Gateway Two: Falling in Love with Ourselves
By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
This is an extremely important gateway. This gateway is achieved after we have made efforts to reclaim and honor our talents, capacities, strengths, lost potential and coping skills.
Now we are ready. We no longer break our hearts by putting ourselves down and saying "No, no, you can't do that," or "You're stupid." Now we are ready to say, "Yes, I love myself. I have a lot to offer. I am capable of having fun. I am capable of doing good, and no one can sidetrack me from who I really am."
When you fall in love with yourself, you begin to feel the positive self-esteem that comes when we don't deflate ourselves. You're ready to take yourself out for tea or to that wonderful spa for a day, or to go back and play the piano, which you always wanted to do. You're ready to recognize all the tools of wisdom that you have to offer. You're ready to recognize that you have an Enchanted Self that deserves to be part of your every day.
When you love yourself, you know when you need help. You know when you need guidance. It isn't a narcissistic love where you feel that you are perfect. It's a love of yourself, as you would love a child. If the child is ill, you take the child to the doctor. If the child comes home with a good paper from school, you put it on the refrigerator. It's a self-acknowledgment that makes you viable, real, and whole. Now you've become really ready to see the story of your life in a positive light. Even the disappointments, even tragedies have served only to hone you like tempered steel. You've been through the battles and have emerged stronger. You're in charge of your own self, a most wonderful feeling!
Charlotte was constantly demeaned and criticized by her husband. Once she fell in love with herself, she had the courage to no longer put up with his attacks. When he became verbally abusive, she left the house and indicated that if he was not in a better mood and could not behave more appropriately when she returned home, she would leave for good.
Her husband slowly mended his ways and became less verbally inappropriate as time went on. And because Charlotte had learned to love herself, she found that she was able to do what she needed to do for herself. This included becoming more independent and spending time away from her husband.
Perhaps another woman would have left, but for her it made sense to build a world that still included him, but also included her own time for herself for sports, spas, individual time with her grandchildren, time to enjoy music, time alone with women friends.
Although she stayed, she had become strong. Her love of herself made her conceivably able to leave at any point in time if she was not treated appropriately. Her husband realized this, and did not test the waters too deeply. A satisfactory conclusion had been reached, due to Charlotte's "new" self.
Positive Activity for You
Think about the story of your life. Think about it in positive terms where every hurdle ultimately resulted in some wisdom or in a turn in the road which had some good in it. Start to tell the story of your life to yourself, making yourself the heroine, and remember to make yourself a lovable heroine. You may find yourself going over the same material that we've talked about before, merely giving it a different twist to more clearly identify your talents, strengths and potential. Enjoy the positive story of your life. Discover how special you really are.