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!