What do I really enjoy? What gives me joy?How do I take care of myself…
On our Honesty Europe Facebook page, I recently posted the question: What would you do if you loved yourself twice as much? The result: more people than ever responded to one of my question posts, which I found interesting. The question is not of my own creation. I read it as an exercise in Harville Hendrix’s old book Getting the Love You Want.
I really like this question and I especially enjoy using when I’m coaching couples. I find that in some couples, partners are very focused on the other partner: What is the other doing, how the other should be different, what the other wants, etc. I claim that putting the focus back on ourselves is the route to happiness. What do I want? How do I make myself happy?
In my relationship with Pete, each of us has stated aloud that we are each 100% responsible for our own happiness. Pete’s job is not to make me happy. While he can contribute to my happiness and well-being, I’m responsible for making sure I ask for what I want and that I take care of myself. Too many times we expect the partner to be a mind-reader. We often tell ourselves that our partner should know what we want (or worse “what I need” which sounds to me like a god-given I must have this as it’s my need – which I judge is bordering on being emotional blackmail). I imagine I might sound harsh to you. Yet I do think that as long as one doesn’t accept and take responsibility for his or her own happiness, then they are keeping their own happiness tucked in someone else’s pocket. They make themselves dependent on someone else to make them happy rather than finding the ability and power in her/himself to make her/himself happy.
And, yes, sometimes I can be tough. Sometimes I do want my partner to be different. Sometimes I want him to want the same things I want and do the same things I do. And still, I recognize that he is his own person. Many times, Pete and I agree and want similar things and other times we find a way that makes us both happy even we didn’t get our own way. At times, he’s not willing to go with what I want and when that happens my exercise and my meditation is to live with that and love him as he is. For example, recently I asked Pete to change his travel plans so we could participate together at a tantra weekend. When he told me he didn’t want to change his plans, I was angry at him and expressed that to him and eventually I got over it as I practiced some good self-love and took care of myself.
So: what would you do if you loved yourself twice as much?
What is your self-love ritual?
How do you take care of yourself and pamper yourself?
Do you look at he mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you are?
Do you touch yourself in a loving way?
If not, then what about starting today?