In 2012, I will be intent on falling in love again. There will be no courting, hand holding or extended weekend visits. No birthdays or anniversaries to remember or pet names to be embarrassed about in public. Public displays of affection will also be quite impossible or at least very awkward. This resolution of loving will demand complete understanding and forgiveness from me. It will also ask for deep exploration of the mind, soul-searching and self-reflection. And the only name I will need to remember is my own. This act will be for me. It will be a journey of self-love, a selfless act for the self – I write selfless, because many of us have turned the tables on ourselves throughout the years. We are so intent on helping others that we neglect our own personal needs and forget that in order for stems to grow and blossoms to bloom, a plant’s roots must be well-fed. When we reach out to mentor, educate and support others, we need to make sure that we are strong enough for the undertaking – we need balance in our lives that will help steady us as we accept new opportunities and challenges. If the roots are not strong, a plant will wither and die.
I also emphasize the “selflessness” in loving one’s self, because I do not believe that loving the self has to be a selfish act. It is not narcissistic to embrace your person fully and have a keen desire to know more about the self and its needs and desires. We do ourselves a disservice when we shy away from quiet reflection or meditation. These moments should be used to fully grasp the conscience and search unexplored paths within the psyche. It is a way of getting to know yourself better, just as the physical art of yoga is a method of introducing you to your body’s true physical abilities and limitations and helping you understand the unbreakable, working connection between the mind, body and spirit. This latter connection can also be said to be the ultimate goal between two in terms of romantic love, an indelible bond between minds, bodies and spirits. It is also the same with self-love, becoming one with your mind, body and spirit.
We all love differently though, so the act or process of self-love will not be the same for everyone. In my journey, I plan to forge a stronger connection with all the things that bring me joy, including my writing and literature. I will take myself far more seriously than I have in the past and will place my health at the forefront of everything. I will continue to run and hopefully complete a marathon for the first time. I will make no more promises and only do what I am able to do. I will choose to love those that love me, and invest in only those things that will give a sound return. I will give only what I have to give and no more. I will listen more to my heart before I act or speak. I will ask God what I can do for Him and not what He can do for me. I will refrain from speaking out in anger and throwing curses at my accusers or tormentors. I will have an equal place in my life aside everyone and everything else. I will have a voice. I will say yes, but I will also say no. As I am there for others, I will also be there for myself. I will place myself first. I will continue to fight my demons and worst fears and will not succumb or take the easy way out. I will love myself enough to know that the world is a better place with me than without.
Please wish me well on this journey of exploration and love, and I will do the same for you as we move into the days and months ahead. I wish you love and a blessed New Year!