06.05.2014

Self-Love

self love, respect, woman

 Being single for a while has taught me so many important lessons about myself, life, etc. that I simply couldn’t have learned otherwise. Learning to love yourself regardless of whether that affection is reciprocated or not is a genuine process, and for me, it has required a substantial amount of work, patience, reflection, and [quite possibly most importantly) a sense of humor. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in relationships and in other people, that, more often than not, we don’t even notice it happening. And I have found that this happens in ALL relationships, not just romantic relationships. For me personally, I’ve had the distinct opportunity to date, and, like most other women, [and don’t mind my intense vulnerability) have struggled with rejection, the questions of “what if,” and wondering really what I have to offer. I consider these things a blessing because throughout the process, I’ve learned how to love and respect myself unconditionally, without requiring validation from others, and it’s given me a sense of self-contentment that it so beautiful! That being said, here are some of the tools I have used in order to get to that happy place.

1. Cultivate your own interests: It’s so easy to be sitting at the bar with someone, hearing him talk about how much he loves hockey, loves Thai food, or has a passion for finance and numbers… and pretend like I love the L.A. Kings too, and, sure I can like Thai food…I love Curry right? (Wrong, I hate curry). And don’t even get me started on the whole numbers thing. What I have come to find is that I love working out and finding new ways to challenge my body. I love learning about people and hearing their stories. I have a passion for wine! These are all MY interests, and regardless of who is sitting across from me, they don’t change, and they are always mine.

2. Learn what is Unique about Yourself: Everyone’s heard the expression “everybody is different.” It’s trite, but it’s true. I have found that everyone has something unique about them-I met a guy once who was able to do uncanny impressions, and another who was born in Canada and had been to every continent (except Antarctica), and I always thought those were really cool, unique things about them that I hadn’t encountered before. Some people are really shy, but once you get to know them, you realize how genuine and compassionate that person is. Find that uniqueness in yourself and use it as a strength!

3. Embrace Your Humanness: We’re all human (another old saying). But the way people say this is always with such a negative intonation. I had a conversation yesterday with my supervisor about how much of a perfectionist I am, and how impatient I can be with myself. When really, I’m not perfect, and that is great, because that means that I am constantly learning and evolving…what fun is life if you’re the same person for years and can’t say you’ve ever learned something really valuable and meaningful? And to be honest, I don’t have control of some things. Many things, actually. Ask Shannon, I used to stress about “when am I going to meet someone? I’m 24!” When the truth is, she doesn’t know the answer…no one does! So I channel that anxiety surrounding the uncertainty to appropriate things I CAN control-such as how hard I work and what kind of employee I am, and my family relationships and the security in those. I’m human, and I’m so limited, but I’m ok with that!

Giving myself the time to develop love and understanding for myself has been the best gift I could give myself (and it’s free, so I can’t complain about that!) And I genuinely believe that that makes me (and anyone else who does the same) a better friend, partner, employee, and woman!

Comments

  1. Kerry says:

    Great blog Allison! You are learning, at a young age, truths it takes some women a lifetime to learn…and in truth, some never get it! Thanks for your thoughts and transparency.

  2. I love that you mentioned the humanity part. I think so many times, people gloss over the reality of being human. Being single myself (I’ll be 31 next month) I’m constantly reminding myself of who I am no matter what, yet, at the same time, I’m human and we were created for relationship with one another. Hoping and growing with you.

    • Shannon&Allison says:

      Yes, absolutely, Tiffany! I definitely need some reminding of those things sometimes as well. Thanks for your comments!

  3. This is really well written and hits the nail on the head. I think it’s so easy to forget this vital lesson, but single or not it’s something all women should be mindful of. I just shared it with a few of my girlfriends. 🙂

    • Shannon&Allison says:

      Thank you, Joelle! That’s exactly what I had in mind when writing this. Thanks for sharing! 🙂