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Feb. 25th, 2016

Life is full of endings, and beginings.   Sometimes it is hard letting go of what is, no matter how badly it makes us feel because we fear change....the unknown....the "What ifs", but I tell you now change is inevitable, unavoidable, and a tool for growth.  When a relationship falls apart we hurt, we ache, and often we want the relationship back no matter how much pain it caused us, because it is a known pain we have learned to live with it.  The unknown is scary, what if there is nothing better, what if there is something worse.? Ah, but what if something so much better is coming our way?  What if we are about to embark on the greatest adventure of our lives? It is sometimes harder to focus on the positive questions because we allow the fear to drag us down, chaining us to our own misery, rather than embracing the change as a positive thing and choosing to soar freely, and joyfully, away from the pain.  I understand the fear, but in all honesty if we stay where we are miserable and unhappy we diminish our lives, and ourselves, and if it is in a relationship that we stay, we take away the other persons chance of happiness as well.

 Relationships should change, and grow, or they will become stagnant and die eventually.  The most important relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.  So often the person we are hardest on, that we are most critical of, that we are the least honest with, and that we abuse the most is ourselves.  We lie to ourselves about things we have done when we can not face what we have done, or we beat ourselves up over every little mistake and imperfection, and in our unhappiness with ourselves we begin sabatoging our relationships with others feeling ourselves unworthy of their love.  How do we stop this cycle?  How do we reach the point of looking at the person in the mirror and loving that person?

It is a gradual process, it takes time, and I will share with you a few of the things that have worked for me.  I am by no means a proffessional therapist, but over the years I have learned a thing or two about working on myself, and my self esteem.  So here it is the list of things I have done through the years to learn to love myself, I hope it helps someone, somewhere, someday.....

1.  Acknowledge, and accept your imperfections. None of us are perfect, some things you will want to work on to change (for example, a raging temper can be channeled into creating art, music, and writing and thus become a tool for positive, rather than negative outcomes), but some things are just the little unique quirks that make you who you are.  Being imperfect does not make you a bad person, it means you are a human being and not a single one of us is perfect.  We are an ever evolving work in progress.

2. Check the motives for your emotions, be realistic, and honest about them.  Look at your feelings and ask yourself why you are experiencing them.  Grief after the end of a relationship is normal, and all the stages of grief may be experienced and are normal.  It is important to allow ourselves to grieve, and it is a good thing to do so. Say you see your ex walking down the street with a new love on their arm....you feel jealousy, anger, hurt,  betrayal perhaps, but it helps sometimes to step back and ask yourself this, could this person have hurt you if you had not been willing to risk loving them, of course not, so you are in part responsible for the hurt you feel, but that is OK.   Love is a risk, a gamble we choose to take....Sometimes love is awesome and wonderful, but if it is not ask yourself this, do you really want to be with someone who can not love and cherish you for the wonderful person that you are?  Your answer should be a resounding "No", if your ex does not love, cherish, or respect you then let them go, you can not make someone else love, or care for you, nor would you want to, and you do not need this person to validate you, or to confirm your value.  Allow yourself to grieve the ending of the relationship, it is needed, it is normal.  Learn to be gracious, walk away with your head held high knowing you are worth so much more than they have to offer. You should more importantly go on to work on who you are, love yourself, appreciate the person that you are.   Eventually there is every possibility that you will find someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine, but never settle for less than what you are worth just to have someone in your life. Never sell yourself short.  Take back, and keep your power.

3.  Learn to treat yourself the way you would want someone else to treat you.  Learn to go out to movies, art galleries, events, by yourself.  Treat yourself to a nice high tea at a tea shop, go exploring in your favorite places, take classes that interest you, enjoy time with yourself. This is not to say you can not go do things with friends, but you need to learn to have quality "me time", time spent with yourself, by yourself, exploring all aspects of yourself.  Don't rely on others for your happiness, because it is your responsibility.Be kind to yourself, be good to yourself, learn to love, and believe in yourself.

4.  Do not compare yourself to others.  There are always people who will be better artists, better singers. better musicians in your own veiw, because we are always our own worst critics. The reality is that it isn't that they are better, but that they simply different than us.  Always remember that what you create is unique, it is your vision, your art, and no one else in the world can create it as you do. When we compare ourself to others we either diminish ourselves, or artificially inflate our own egos, and neither is a good thing  There will always be those that love you, and those that do not, and that is OK too. Be bold, be passionate, express yourself freely, live victoriously,know that you are amazing just the way you are.

5.  Think about your motivations for doing something.  This sounds so dull to some, but especially when what you plan to do affects others take time to consider why you are doing it.  Are you doing it to be genuinely helpful, or are you doing it to try to manipulate a situation to your advantage?  You know the truth in your own heart, and if you are planning on doing something for the wrong reasons then you have the option to stop yourself and choose a different path.  We are not victims of our emotions unless we allow ourselves to be.  We hold the power in our own hands of who, and what, we choose to be, and how we choose to live. We all make mistakes, we are all human forgive yourself as well as forgiving others, and always do your best to make ammends for any wrong don't merely say you are sorry, show that you want to make things right, because words without actions are meaningless. Try to leave the world a better place than when you found it.  Volunteer, spend time with the sick, be a mentor,work to save the enviorment, volunteer at an animal shelter, or a suicide hotline be kind, be gentle, do what good you can while you are here. Address the issues you feel passionate about, realizing we can not do it all, but we can make a difference in at least some things.  Be brave, stand up for what you believe in, speak truthfully, but not cruelly. At the end of the day strive to do the things that ensure that you can look into the eyes of that person in the mirror knowing you have done the best you could do, and been the best you can be, and loving that person unconditionally in spite of their imperfections, flaws and foibles.

Pax to those who find this, I hope it is those who may find these things helpful.  My love to you always whether I am here, or I have moved on into another plane of existance...may you learn to love yourself, be good, do good, live well, and be happy.



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