As many of you may know, I got married to my partner in crime (and business) David Vennie just a few months ago. I have many wonderful memories from that special day, but the moment that sticks out most vividly in my mind is saying my vows. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about exactly what I was committing to as I had an inkling forever-love would require a lot more than a few romantic dinners and gifts on Valentine’s day. At the expense of sharing TMI (which you should probably come to expect), here is a snapshot of what I vowed that day:
- Love him exactly as he is
- Inspire and encourage him to follow his dreams
- Take care of him
- Build a home full of love, compassion, laughter, and learning
- Trust him and trust us
(Hang in there – I have a point and I’m getting there.)
Surprisingly, I found it was not very hard for me to come up with or commit to these vows, the irony of which hit me when I was writing them: I have struggled my whole life to do any of these things for myself!
Seriously, I often beat myself up when I make mistakes, eat like crap and forgo sleep, and have a very hard time trusting myself. It’s quite easy and natural for me to offer these things to others and yet incredibly difficult to have the same level of compassion for myself.
Am I alone here? I bet not.
This month, as you are bombarded by red and pink and teddy bears and candy, I invite you to tune in to your relationship with yourself. Do you love the good and not so good aspects of yourself? Do you forgive your own mistakes and encourage yourself to keep moving forward? Do you take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually? Have you made it a priority to surround yourself with a healthy community of friends and family, one that cultivates compassion and love? And have you learned to trust your inner teacher, to listen to your own heart?
This, my friend, is absolutely critical, and your happiness depends on it. So go ahead, give yourself some well-deserved lovin’ this month (and every month). Because as my girl Whitney said in a song, learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.