Tag Archives: loving yourself

Don’t Wait and Don’t Settle

You are worth it. You should be with someone who makes you feel special every day. Sure there can be disagreements and dark periods (most relationships go through some trials) but as long as both parties play by the rules and never do anything to hurt the other person, relationships go on. Mine dragged on. And I realise after the fact that I was settling. And I’m worth more. I am loving and loveable and I deserve the same in a partner. Not sometimes, not mostly, but all the time, even when things are bad. I deserve that and so do you.

So, if you’ve been following along you know I’m single again. Not by my choice, but I think this wonderful woman did us both a favor. I’m also conflict averse and I was never going to say uncle. And after a glimpse into the online dating pool, I’ve decided I’m not ready for a relationship yet. Not with anyone but myself. I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot of work to do. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love someone else.

I had fallen out of love with myself. I was the most negative voice in my head. All the time. I hated myself. Imagined offing myself. And I knew I was pathetic and worthless. All because I lost a job. A job that was not right from me from the beginning. The problem is, this was the 3rd job in a row like this. Miserable. But this last miss crushed more of my spirit than I could handle. I mean, when you’re imagining that you’d be better off dead, you’re in a seriously fucked up place. That’s where I was.  And in this relationship we were hanging on, both wondering where the relationship and magic that we started with had gone.

Now, I’m working on finding out more about myself. I’ve been on a weight loss journey that has given me the healthiest body I’ve experienced since my 20s. And for the first time since I can remember I don’t have love handles. I’m not down to my 16 yo swim team weight, but that’s where I’m aiming. Why not? I should have that body again. Would I be more attractive and loveable? Probably not. Have I gotten a huge self esteem boost from losing all this weight? Yes. And it feels good to feel a bit hungry. That’s my body working on becoming a better machine. A leaner machine.

And the biggest part I’ve got to work on is loving myself. I know I’m repeating myself but I’m saying it for me. I need to hear it. My friend texted me one day while I was feeling particularly down, “You are loveable and you are loved.” It hit me with some force. I didn’t feel lovable at that moment. Far from it. But this phrase has become somewhat of a mantra. imagining myself lovable is a task. It’s a practice. It’s my journey towards loving myself. Not losing more weight. But just accepting and believing that I am loveable just as I am. I still don’t believe it, but I’m working on that issue right now. A am. And you are loveable too.

And you deserve to be loved fully and unconditionally. I know that sounds like a stretch. Like who really believes that woowoo shit? But it’s true. Even 2% out of sync is not what you need. You need 100% loving or you’ve got to pass. Miss almost, no matter how appealing she might appear, is not the one for you. Sometimes we call them red flags. And at this time in your life, you should not settle. Not one iota. I know this means it will take longer to find that match, but it’s going to be worth it. And you are worth it. I believe in you. And I believe in this Real Love.

So I’m staying out of the dating pool for a while as I reset my own self worth. My esteem was at an all-time low because of my job loss, which turned into one of the most protracted depressions I can remember. And while I’m no longer depressed (thank god) I’m also not about to start thinking about another woman. I’m not ready. I feel it. Sure, I feel the desire and longing to be with someone. And sure, I desire sexual connection with someone other than myself. But I’m not ready, and I’m worth the wait.

But I also said don’t wait. And what I mean by that is GET ON WITH YOUR PROGRAM. What do you need to improve about yourself. What kinds of non material things, what types of activities would make you feel happier? Seek those out. Learn again what YOU want to do, not attached to anyone but yourself. Only when you show up 100% for yourself can you really be ready for the next relationship of your life.

That’s what we’re talking about here. THE ONE. And if you see the signs at any point along the relationship journey, any red flags, the deal is off, the person is not the ONE. The person does not deserve you. And I’m sorry to say, they don’t get a second chance. Once you’ve seen someone’s true colors and you know in your heart that their behavior was hurtful or at best unthoughtful, it’s time to move on. “Let them walk,” as T. D. Jakes would say.

I’m walking my path alone right now. And I can say I’ve missed me. All that time in a chemical depression showed me, once again how bad it can be, and I’m grateful to be vibrant again. I’m developing a relationship with myself and I will eventually believe that I am loveable. And so will you. And anyone that takes that glow away from you is not worthy of your gifts.

So get on with it. Get on with yourself and your program to find the ONE. Anything less would be unfair to the awesome you that you are continuing to become.

Always Love,

John McElhenney

image: couple, creative commons usage allowed

Re-learning to Love In the Present Moment

WHOLE-yogaLove your time and be aware how you spend it.
Love your body and be aware how you use it.
Love your thoughts and be aware how you focus them.
Love your feelings and how they move you. *

How many ways do we project our stuff on to others? How many ways was the divorce, or end of the relationship, due to some illusion we held about the other person, or about our ability to change them. As harsh as it sounds, I believe that waiting or working to make the other partner change is a dead end. It never happens. It’s like the alcoholic’s family praying for them to change and stop drinking. You need to get help for yourself, not the alcoholic.

Oh how loving another body begins to shine up my own image of my body. How being in relationship to another, and receiving gifts and appreciations of skin time, gives so much energy and momentum to my life.

So we travel on now, newly divorced and looking to find another chance to do it right. Or at least, do it better. Let’s start with the reality vs. the illusion. And I have to admit, I do this A LOT. I’m a romantic. Not a hopeless one, a hopeful one. Maybe that’s the most dangerous kind.

As an adult I have many more creative ways to express myself than the last time I was “dating” or even before that, my college years, where I established some sort of idea how a date should go. And the old adage of giving them just a little bit of affection and then leaving them alone until they crave you, or you crave them, again. That idea of the heart growing fonder with absence. As an adult I don’t actually buy into that concept. But I sometimes go to the other extreme, and that’s not any better.

And if this blog is any indication, I overshare all the time. I’m just so interested in sharing my ideas and reveries that I do it all the time. I can see, that in an early phase of establishing boundaries and guidelines of a relationship with me, that I bleed all over the lines. I’m out of bounds all the time. And then I dial it back. And then I do it again.

There are a couple of things at play here.

  1. I’m enjoying the pursuit. I love the racing thoughts and romantic desires. I use the catalyst of sexual energy and desire as fuel to create. I let my heart fly and fantasize. I go with it.
  2. I can get fooled by my own enthusiasms. I begin, even a tiny bit, to believe the overinflated myth of passion I am responsible for creating
  3. From the receiver’s point of view I can come across as fixated and obsessed. And I wonder sometimes if they are right. Is love an obsession? Is romantic revery a disease? It’s certainly a distortion.
  4. I occasionally have a hard time dialing back the streams of creativity. Often these are songs, poems, stories, that are trying hard to capture this essence of love.
  5. I don’t love myself with the same passion I focus on other objects of desire.

One of my challenges, in life, and certainly in relationship is balancing the creative with the real. I occasionally have to strip back the romantic facade and realise I’m over-romanticising. This other person (ex-wife, lover, first date) can’t possibly be all I am capable of projecting on to them. And that’s one of my gifts too, diving deep into the romantic love vibe, extracting some form of uber-love. Some channeling of Eros.

But when I can’t separate the myth from the person, I know I’m starting to go off the deep end. In recent dating experiences I have flushed a potential bird out of the nest with my charm only to scare the crap out of them with over-communication. I’ve never experienced the reverse, so I can’t speak from experience, but when a date asked me what I might feel like if the poems and stuff was coming from them towards me.

I’m also too aware of how my feelings can lead me down dark and lonely paths. I am constantly trying to find the balanced walk down the middle.

I had to think about it. I guess I would be a bit overwhelmed. There, I learn again, I am overwhelming. I have a tendency to overwhelm others. Okay. I can watch that.

And really, I believe, that I am in control, that I can stop at any time. But my heart and mind don’t always obey. And in relationship, real relationship, the romantic blinders can cause problems. Maybe I have a problem.

That’s why this article from the Elephant Journal spoke to me so clearly this morning. Each line is a deeper stage of awareness, for me.

Love your time and be aware how you spend it.

I absolutely love being in love. I love the feeling of intoxication. I will even over-create that feeling to unlock the muse. And occasionally the illusion is all mine, and terrifying to the object of desire. Okay.

Love your body and be aware how you use it.

Oh sex. Oh how loving another body begins to shine up my own image of my body. How being in relationship to another, and receiving gifts and appreciations of skin time, gives so much energy and momentum to my life. Hmm. Does this mean I’m addicted? How can I bring this sense of self-love inside?

Love your thoughts and be aware how you focus them.

I do love the thoughts generated by this intoxicating reverie. And I can get lost in the feelings so far that I lose perspective to see the other parts of a relationship. I can over-love and thus over-look things that are not working, In the case of my marriage, I can love-through things that were broken, and some how believe that it was still some form of bliss. It was not. It was sublimation of love, in order to hold on to the illusion that love was still present.

Love your feelings and how they move you.

I am learning better how to tap into the power of feelings and how they can motivate me towards doing better, being better. But I’m also too aware of how my feelings can lead me down dark and lonely paths. I am constantly trying to find the balanced walk down the middle.

The only way I’ve learned to keep the balance in real life is to focus on the present moment. The skin in front of me. The kiss that is presented in real life. And the body that I have at this very moment, loveable and true. It’s a hard exercise, and I often don’t live up to it. But I do understand that I am creating this love blitz. And I can choose to create it and not to share it directly with the engine of my desire, my partner, my date, my lover. I don’t have to share everything.

Breathe in, breathe out. Enjoy this moment. Write about it’s potential if you want, go with the flow, capture the deepest love or deepest pain you can reach, and then return to the present. Like a meditation. It’s only a thought, let it go. Breathe. It’s only a feeling, return to the breath.

Ah. That’s the idea.

Always Love,

John McElhenney

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*Source: Loving the Person Not the Potential – Elephant Journal
Image: yoga at sunset, dennis yang, creative commons usage