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  • Writer's pictureChristie A. Cruise, PhD

Falling In Love with Myself

It was four years ago this past March that my for better or for worse came to an end. My then husband and I had been separated for 7 months prior to our divorce. When we first separated, I was devastated. How could a relationship to which I had devoted 7 years (9 years if you count dating) of my life fall apart?

So much of my identity had become wrapped up in him, in us. What was I going to do now? I hadn't gotten married only to get divorced a short time later. I didn't want to have to start all over. I didn't want to have to go through the process of being vulnerable with someone all over again. The thought of it all was immobilizing.

Just as I had begun to settle into being single again, I met a tall, handsome, intelligent, God-fearing man from the Washington, DC area. After our first three-hour conversation, I knew I had met my soul mate. I had met my Best Part. I have always believed that a life without risks is a life not worth living. Although I was terrified of being hurt, I closed my eyes and jumped off the ledge. Again. And once again, I found my heart broken into tiny, but recognizable pieces.

As I began the arduous task of picking up the pieces of my broken heart, again, I took some time for introspection. Why did I keep finding myself with hurt feelings and a broken heart? What I realized was that I was spending too much time trying to make my partners happy and not enough time making myself happy. I hadn't really taken any time to understand myself and what I needed or wanted in a relationship.

It was during the process of discovering what I need in a relationship that I realized that many of the things I longed for I could give to myself. I remember feeling so lonely at times and just longing for a hug. My friend Tashiana, tired of me whining about needing to be held, said to me, "you can hug your damn self". Initially I thought, "how insensitive", but as she went on to explain how I could recreate the feeling from a hug, it made perfect sense. She suggested I turn my heating blanket on low, place all my favorite pillows in bed surrounding me, and snuggle up with my favorite teddy bear. It worked! When I got into bed it actually felt like a warm hug.

I took the advice she gave me and applied it to other areas where I felt I was missing out by being single. I AM my best love! I love me some me.

  • Dating: It is not uncommon for me to go to the theater, shopping, out to dinner, for walks, and to eat frozen yogurt all by myself. I enjoy my own company. I laugh out loud when watching comedies at the theater. I sing to myself when on walks in the park. I even read poetry aloud to myself.

  • Gifts: I always treat myself to nice things. My favorite things to buy myself are jewelry and underwear. I buy myself flowers regularly, and have even sent myself cards just to remind me of how awesome I am. I love to travel. I treat myself to several trips each year including my favorite place, Washington, DC and to Phoenix, Arizona to visit one of my closest friends.

  • Intimacy: In addition to giving myself hugs, I take hot, steamy showers or relaxing baths, light scented candles, and eat chocolate covered strawberries. I love on my body. I rub my skin with essential oils, touching every curve of this beautiful body.

You too are worth all the love you have for others. Love on you!

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