Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time there was an astoundingly beautiful young woman (yeah, that’s me) who didn’t have a boyfriend, or a husband, or a lover on Valentine’s Day.  She was only twenty-one or twenty-two so she still bought into that shit.  However, instead of wallowing in her own emotional cesspool, she went out and bought herself a bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates, some candles and some fine cuisine.  She fixed up the food, fancied up the table, and, in a set of sweet lingerie, sat down to eat by candlelight.  She cranked up the jazz, toasted herself with a fine Cabernet, and savored her dinner-for-one. She expected nothing more than what she had given herself and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This confident, sexy (did I mention this was me?) and tearless young woman went to bed full, happy, and not at all longing for someone to share her heart or her bed or her soul. The next morning, upon waking, she stepped out of her front door for a glimpse of the sunrise. On the doorstep, were several thoughtful and wildly beautiful flower arrangements.  Of course, this wildly beautiful young woman assumed that they were for her roommate who had a very steady steady.  But, in fact, when she picked up the first bouquet to read the card, she saw that they were for her. A small gaggle of her male friends had delivered her Valentine’s Day flowers in the middle of the night.  Of course, she was struck.  And, she decided then, and still believes now, that the gifts from these sweet, handsome young men stemmed directly from the gifts and self-love that she had given herself.

The Lesson (as if it weren’t clear as crystal…): Give unto yourself as you would like given unto you.

(And, of course, give unto others too.)

I jotted down this short tale of my early twenties yesterday.  Today, I opened The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, a book that a friend gifted to me. Yes, Byrne is the same woman who wrote The Secret, a book I have never read but a movie I have watched that I thought was hokey and New Agey but made a lot of sense anyway.  The Magic is about gratitude, and, I have heard, about keeping a gratitude journal.  In preparation for reading the book (bit by bit I presume as I can only seem to jump from book to book, mostly spiritual, at this time), I opened a journal that my sister gave me for Christmas in 2002.  There were a few little chicken scratches in it from 2003, but the journal was largely untouched.  I (eek!) tore the few pages out of the notebook (clipped and saved them in my tub of past words) and dubbed it my space for thankfulness. It seems that I am opening journals left and right these days each one ordained for a different purpose.

So, after making it through the first Santa-riddled (groan!) chapter of The Magic, I braved chapter two. Delving into somewhat different territory, the next chapter begins with the biblical verse Matthew 4:25.

Below, I have included both lines 24 and 25 from The Scholars Version.  The translation that Byrne uses also mentions abundance.

And he went on to say to them: “Pay attention to what you hear! The standard you apply will be the standard applied to you, and then some.”

“In fact, to those who have, more will be given, and from those who don’t have, even what they do have will be taken away!”

After some investigation, I also discovered that apparently Luke linked the verse to “give, and will be given to you” which makes a whole lot of holy sense.

Byrne suggests that the “have” in “those who have” is gratitude.  I surmise that it could also be faith or love or a number of other wholesome and healthy things and combinations thereof.

Regardless, I felt that the fact that I stumbled upon this verse was both unexpected and auspicious and not entirely chance. After putting my Valentine’s experience down on paper, it was wonderful to know that a two-thousand-year-old text could support my claim.

It is time to admit that loving myself has not been my forte.  Yes, there was that lovely holiday in which I cherished myself. That one. But, there have been many a day that I have not.  Yesterday perhaps.  Even today.  Lately, I have been so riddled with guilt and self-doubt that a co-worker laughingly suggested that she cut me down a thorn bush so that I might practice self-flagellation.  I guess I’m that horribly transparent. I was about to say that I used to hide it well, or that I didn’t used to be this way, or even that I’m not really doing it now, but that is a load of bull.  I’ve always, always, always been hard on myself.  In the sixth grade, the small twelve-student class I was in all pitched in to buy me a plastic dog bone as a representation of how I felt about myself.  (Okay, I am just now realizing how pitiful I am.  See, there I go again!)

So really, there is now, this moment, this millisecond even, in which I can transform from someone who treats themselves with cruelty to someone who fills themselves with abundance and beauty and love and gratitude. What a gift!  What grace. There is no way possible that this love could not shine onto others, be multiplied, and, I imagine, reflected.

In sticking with the idea that words and gifts and epiphanies are just bleeding from the woodwork, a couple of days ago, I also found this quote from Margaret Cho:

 I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.

I am that dancing, drum-driving woman I mentioned a few days ago.  Yes, I am.  That was me. And, I have so much more to give.

So, in giving to myself the forty days of “gifts” mentioned in my previous post, I am challenging myself to love myself in the manner in which I wish to be loved and to give (and receive) that love in return.  As I am told, one cannot truly love another until they have also learned to love themselves. I am on this path for a reason and, I am certain, self-love is one of those reasons.

A high toast of Peppermint Tea to myself and the woman I am meant to be.  And to you, and the person you are meant to be. How utterly beautiful we are.


1 Comment

  1. Melisa said,

    May 22, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Lovely post!

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