A brilliant display of fireworks glittered overhead as I welcomed the new year. I was full of joy and wonderment, and grateful for the many blessings last year gifted. After a Happy New Year’s smooch from my sweetheart, I continued to watch the fireworks and quietly contemplated how I could have made my year more exuberant, less fearful, and more peaceful.
And then I remembered a recent conversation with my dear friend Rita. Rita was going through hard times. I mean the bottom-of-the-barrel times, where at moments she was certain it was the end of happiness. She felt her life was ridiculous and not of great value.
Despite Rita’s difficult circumstances, she found the strength to embrace a profound, new way of thinking. A new way to guide her life. A new way to make choices. Rita decided to honor herself. To choose a life free of emotional chains. Free of self-put-downs. Free of burdens that were no longer hers to carry. She was committed to the pursuit of a healthier mind and body. Rita told me she was going to hold onto her new revelation as a Queen reigns her Kingdom.
Rita’s epiphany caused me to ask a golden question — was I truly honoring myself? The answer was, (sort-of…sometimes…ahhh…well…iffy). And then I thought, what does honoring yourself mean?
On most days, I like myself. I’m happy. Then there are the days when I’m a bit out of sorts. It could be from a trivial happening — for example a bad hair day when my darling hair-fairies had one heck of a party the night before. Or I’m crabby and just want to sit on the beach in solitude, writing silly poetry: “To be grumpy? Or not to be grumpy? That is a good question!?”
But does liking yourself mean honoring yourself?
I try to follow Louise L. Hay’s suggestion to look at yourself in the mirror and say, I Love and approve of myself. However, this practice can be a challenge. It’s like sending yourself a Valentine. Pretending you are Penelope Pussycat, “Le mew…Le purrrrrr”, and you are also Pepé Le Pew, smothering Penelope Pussycat (yourself) with kisses, “muah…muah…muah!” An interesting idea? An entertaining idea?
But does telling yourself that you love and approve of yourself mean you are honoring yourself?
I took my questions on a walk along a wood-chipped path through an organic garden. The garden hosted a stunning array of vegetables, fruit trees, and sunflowers — complemented by patches of purple and pink wild flowers. Tall trees protected parts of the garden from the afternoon’s heat as ladybugs, bees and butterflies help create a plot of enchantment.
I observed a kaleidoscope of butterflies pollinate while the sun brightened their vibrant wings of yellow and black — it was then — I was given the answer: Honoring yourself, for me, meant having a loving relationship with myself; not a narcissistic relationship, but a loving connection, an honorable bond between me and me. I was to be my BBF (best friend forever). If someone is truly your best friend, you can tell them just about anything and they will continue to love you. To cherish you. It was a brilliant moment when I realized how vital I was to myself, and I understood how important it was to need myself, to nourish myself. To give myself lots of love and kindness. I also understood that it was my choice to make — no one else could or should be allowed to interfere. Louise was right; I was ready to send myself a gorgeous Valentine.
I share this story in hope that you will ask yourself the same two questions:
Am I honoring myself? And what does honoring myself mean?
Only you know the correct answers. And when answering these questions, please remember you are an amazing being, and only you can make the changes necessary to honor yourself, to love yourself.
Invite this year to be the end of self-sabotage and the beginning of something so beautiful it transforms you in ways thought only to be in your dreams. Allow honoring yourself to be a priority. A guide to increased spiritual power. Let us all find this magnificent centering so that we may be a better force in our world, and in the world.
In peace, love, and a new, wonderful year, and a new, wonderful you!
This story is from my monthly “Just Beachie Column”. Visit www.beachweston.com for stories that encourage a compassionate relationship to yourself, to others, to animals, and the Earth. And for more inspiration, join me on Facebook.
Originally published at medium.com