It’s women’s history month! What better way to celebrate than by talking about self-love?
Back when I posted my upcoming topics on Facebook (yes, I’m on there with a wee baby page that desperately needs more likes), I was following a whim. Rather than fret all week about which topic to cover next time, I decided to talk about something that I was currently doing. It seemed like a good idea. It was fun and lighthearted but an important concept, nonetheless.
Plus it was relatively easy . . . or so I thought it would be at the time . . . and I could use an easy topic while I was going through my post-Emilie-Autumn-concert high/minor obsession (okay major obsession).
So I patted myself on the back for thinking of ahead and let myself fall back into following as much of Emilie and her inmates as I could on the Internet. In the process, I stumbled across one of the inmate’s blog post about writing love letters to yourself and, from there, the Contessa’s post about dating yourself.
Talk about synchronicity!
Yes, I suppose this could just be a topic trend right now, so all you logic monsters (ahem, my partner) can just relax. But I’m allowing myself to find a deeper meaning in the repetition because even though the idea of courting myself has floated around in my mind for a little over a year now, I haven’t been practicing it.
I thought I had started the practice last year, when on International Women’s Day, I bought myself my first “gift.”
Not that I’ve never gotten myself something before, but this was the first one that felt like I was getting myself something that I would normally expect another person to give to me—a rose. I was driving by a florist’s shop, already heady with the energy of the full moon and the excitement of celebrating women, when I suddenly decided that I wanted a rose for that day.
Part of me scoffed at the idea. You can’t buy yourself flowers! It’s like making yourself a birthday cake or giving yourself a Valentine’s Day gift!
But I really wanted that flower.
So I made a u-turn and went back to the florist. I took my time selecting the flower that I wanted, thinking about how each shape and color made me feel, until I felt certain that a pale lavender rose seemed to fit the occasion just perfectly.
I was giddy by the time I left the shop. I don’t even remember what I did to celebrate the rest of the day even though it was an all-day celebration. All I remember is buying myself that rose and feeling so fucking special because of it!
And I decided that this whole romance thing would need to be part of my life—I was finally to the place where I treasured myself enough to want to do it!
Then a year passed before I thought about romancing myself again.
Sure, I had alone time and self-care times, even times of honoring the scared feminine within me (remember the yoni party!).
But it wasn’t a romantic encounter in any way.
Then last Friday, I was stressed. My partner and I had been almost too busy to even say hi to each other, and I was lonely. I knew I needed to unwind, and I was disappointed over every new occasion that seemed to get in the way of that.
Then it occurred to me: Take yourself on a date! You were supposed to be doing that anyway!
At first it felt kind of pathetic, planning a romantic evening when I had nothing else to do—almost as if I were crying for attention. But it wasn’t about that at all. I even got offers from friends that day to go out, but I turned them down because I actually wanted to have this evening with myself.
The evening really couldn’t have been more cozy. I cooked myself a gourmet meal, broke open an expensive bottle of wine, lit some candles and incense, dimmed the overhead lights, and picked out a favorite movie. The food was delicious, but I think eating it would have been special even if it tasted like crap. There was something about knowing that I was doing all of this for me that made it all feel magical (especially when you consider that I rarely even cook if I’m not expecting anyone else to eat with me). The night continued with my homemade spa–even more candles and a vanilla bath. There was no time limit, no expectations, just me and me doing whatever we wanted.
Okay, so enough about my night. Anymore from here will either get inappropriately awkward or boring (if it’s not boring already). The point is that I reminded myself of how precious it is to woo myself. Of course I like it when someone else does it to me, but I’d forgotten how special I could make myself feel. And in a way, this whole self-date thing is almost more important than dates with my partner because it is the foundation of my being able to appreciate and accept my partner’s love. Loving myself enough to say, “You deserve this. I want to give it to you,” adds a deeper dimension to my relationship with my partner. There’s very little from the Bible that I hold onto in my current beliefs, but the whole “love your neighbor as yourself” bit is still one of my favorite mottos because it reminds me that all love stems from self-love.
I’m a complex being. I’ve learned that sometimes I need to be mothered, sometimes I need to be coached/pushed, and—sometimes, I just need to be seduced by myself.
So this March, like last March, I’m proposing a courtship to myself, and this time, I don’t intend on letting myself down. I think I might even work on starting to write myself a love letter, like Veronica instructs. But even if I can’t bring myself to do that right away, I can plan in a date night with myself from time to time to keep the romance alive. Love takes work, and that includes self-love.