We cannot give what we do not have

Barbara-Kenyon---Life-Coach

Like most folks in The Villages, when I think of Feb. 14, I think about love. It’s a time we celebrate loving relationships—relationships that sustain us and provide us with affection, companionship, devotion, joy, and pleasure.

Story: Pat Jocelyn

Villager and professional life coach Barbara Kenyon says we often forget to celebrate and dedicate ourselves to the most important love relationship of all—the one we have with ourselves. “After all,” Barbara says, “You’re living with yourself all day, make sure you’re in good company.”

The process of forgetting to love ourselves can occur when we’re single, married, or simply dating. It can also occur with children, friends, and even in working relationships; but this month I’ll be talking about adult love relationships and using myself as an example.

I’m a single, fairly intelligent 69-year-old woman who, over time, has successfully and sensibly dealt with a number of life-altering challenges. Yet, a few months ago I found myself in a relationship where, under the guise of “making it work,” I compromised way too many of my core values and beliefs including finances, religion/spirituality and politics—all in the name of “love.”

I misplaced much of what made me me. I worried too much about what another person thought of me and not enough about what I thought about me. My body, mind, and spirit suffered in the process. My life was like wearing a pair of jeans two sizes too small—no matter what I did, I just couldn’t get things to fit or feel right.

With my precious core values compromised, I relinquished much of my control to someone else. I morphed into a person I no longer believed in or even liked. Barbara shared a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that reinforced what I had intuitively discovered on my own. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Unknowingly, I had given my consent. But now it was time to regain what I had lost, to love myself—again. I quieted my mind and my body and listened to my inner voice. I knew what I had to do. I ended the relationship.

Barbara says it best. “It’s all about our self-talk and what’s going on in our head. Treat yourself as you would a best friend. Become your own best friend.”

My two cents worth? Love and appreciate who you are because you cannot give what you do not have.

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