Several years ago, my pal Dayna called me and said, “I’m walking down a new path, starting today. I’m going to have a love affair with myself. I’m taking a room at the beach and doing nothing but be kind to myself for the next week.”
I hung up the phone and thought, “Wow!”
Although we can’t all go to the beach for a week, we sure can try out the first part and get the hug-um/squeeze-um/love-ums on with ourselves. [Get your mind out of the gutter.]
I’m thinking about Dayna today, and I’m convinced she had the right idea.
If you don’t love on yourself, how are you going to be in any shape to love on someone else?
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Margaret Paul. I’ve posted on her before and she always makes me think. A few weeks back she did a post called Ecstatic Moments on HuffPost. She talks about “those moments when the love or joy feels so big you think you’re going to burst.”
I adore those moments, and prize them for their purity. And they can come from so many directions:
- Holding my honey’s hand in a busy restaurant
- Writing a great sentence
- A quiet hour in my garden
- The sound of the Little Bean singing in her crib
Dr. Paul’s post made me pause and pay attention. (And of course I wanted to share the best parts of it with you!)
The key to having of these [ecstatic] moments is that you also have to be willing to feel the pain of life — the heartbreak, loneliness, grief and helplessness over others and over events.
…painful feelings exist in the same place in the heart, so if you close down to the pain of life, you also close down to the joy of life.
The challenge is that you might never have learned how to manage the pain of life, so you might be protecting against it in numerous ways.
When your heart is closed, you cannot feel the joy of life.
Love is what spirit is, what God is, and when your heart is open to love, you get filled up with love. When your heart is closed due to protecting against feeling the pain of life, then the love and the joy of life cannot enter. If you want more ecstatic moments in your life, then you need to learn how to lovingly manage the pain of life, rather than continue to avoid it.
Compassion feels wonderful, but you can’t just wait for someone else to give it to you. [You must give it to yourself!]
When your intent is to love yourself rather than protect against pain, then the door is open for compassion to enter your heart. This is what keeps your heart open to both the pain and the love and joy of life.
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The moral of the story: if you want to feel those “drunk on the joy of life moments,” it’s time to start up that mad, torrid love affair with yourself.
What do you think? Are Dayna and Dr. Paul full of crap, or are these two ladies onto something? How are you doing in the self-love department? What gives you those ecstatic moments? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!