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Romance Step One

Many of us have no idea what loving ourselves really means.
Le Ravissement de Psyche (The Rapture of Psyche, 1895)

Love is the most powerful force there is and we can never have too much, yet so many say they have too little. Droves of us spend decades searching for it in schools, careers, gyms, nightclubs, and even grocery stores. We're certain that some achievement, or person outside of ourselves, can give us what we so desperately seek. It's a fruitless search.

Love is an inside job. You won't attract genuine and lasting love in the world, until you have it inside yourself. Moreover, you cannot give what you don't have.

To have the love you desire and deserve (yes you deserve it), you must first cultivate it within. Many of us have no idea what loving ourselves really means. We think that we know, but we can't articulate it well. Often we confuse it with living up to the expectations of others. This is self-harming, not loving. Some think self-love comes from standing in the mirror and saying affirmations, writing ourselves notes, or emulating the behavior of people who we think love themselves. These things may support us in practicing loving ourselves, but they aren't enough. Love is a verb, something you do. You must romance yourself until you grasp just how wonderful and worthy you are and fall in love.

Imagine how you would treat yourself if you were a unique being crafted and created by the most divine artist: God. You would honor, cherish, and support yourself. You would refrain from self-criticism, give yourself instant forgiveness, and compassion. You are this divine creation! Take a moment to really grasp this truth. You're a one of a kind, Divine work, the likes of which has never existed and will never be again. You're very important. Own it. This is the foundation on which to build your romance.

In my book, Resurrecting Venus, I wrote:

If you are single, for a month or two, at least, commit to exclusively dating yourself. If you are in a relationship, carve some time out of each day to romance yourself. Practice giving yourself all of the kindness, attention, time, and love you've wanted from others. Lavish yourself. Spend time identifying your good qualities and celebrate everything you admire about you. Reconnect with the child you used to be. Do some of the things she (or he) dreamed of doing. Teach this child what love is by showing her.

Remember the moments in life that opened your heart and bathed you in joy. Whether through a whispering field of flowers, a glob of paint on the tip of a brush, the breath of a puppy, the feeling of dough in your hands, the wind whipping your hair as you raced down a grassy hill, or being lifted by the swelling waters of the sea, somewhere in time, something powerfully moved you. In those ineffable moments, logic gave way to fascination, joy, and revelry. It wasn't a random instance of insignificant pleasure. You were connected to your Source, your true self, and the soul of the world.

Reconnect with who you are and give yourself the experiences you love most. Meditate, do yoga, draw, dance, paint, run on a beach, or take a weekend trip to somewhere beautiful, alone. Romancing yourself is deceptively powerful because when you genuinely hold yourself in high regard, the foundation for every future relationship is laid. The way you treat yourself silently slips through the ethers teaching others how to treat you. On top of that, one who deeply loves oneself, in this ego-free way, is the sexiest person in the room.

Here's to you and the magnificent love you deserve.

~ Cynthia

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