It seems to be a trend (at least here in Florida amongst friends and colleagues) that people over 40 are “waking up” to the realization that we’ve taken care of the world (spouses,children, friends, children of friends) and all the while – neglected the most important person in our life – ourself!
Readers here are familiar with my journey of self-discovery, of learning to say no more often (instead of the altruistic and over-committed “yes”), and “putting on my own mask first.” One of my biggest learning points to-date is that I am a unique and wonderful person worthy of the best that life has to offer – and furthermore, no one deserves love more than the Royal We (me, myself, and I).
This should be something that everyone on earth feels about themselves as well! We all deserve unconditional love and respect from and for the Royal We – no matter what the rest of the world dishes out – in a healthy and non-narcissistic way that serves us AND the world.
This is an important point – a NON-NARCISSTIC way. (For many years I was in a relationship with a spouse where I loved him, and he loved him… love of oneself to the entire exclusion of another you are in relationship with does not work! We can love ourselves and love another – as separate beings in a healthy way. In this post, I am simply talking about finding solace in loving and accepting yourself for the wonderful human you already are.)
Self-love did not come instinctively to me – or maybe it did at birth and then I overrode it with intensive training whereby value came only from serving others to the exclusion of myself – so I often find myself slipping back into old ways of putting others first.
For this reason, I put together a short checklist I call:
Care and feeding of the Royal We:
1. Remember that the Royal We can be tempermental and may not always agree on the best course of action. Be kind and live with “integrity” and never, ever say anything to yourself that you would not say to a best friend.
2. Each person on earth has their own path to journey including the Royal We. Respect that your own path is uniquely yours and yours alone. Others may come and go along your path but you must remain steadfast and true to the truth known by the Royal We.
3. Wherever you go, there you are… with the Royal We. Take care of both the emotional and physical health of the Royal We so that your time together can be as blissful as possible.
4. You are never alone when you are with the Royal We. Some people wake up to the realization that they have neglected themselves for a lifetime – learn that the Royal We are loyal, steadfast, caring, wonderful – and some of the best company you will ever meet.
5. You can be alone and not lonely, and lonely when you are not alone. I wrote about this in the earlier post: Alone but not Lonely.
6. Others will try to put their own interests ahead of the Royal We and use guilt and coercion to make you abandon the Royal We. Do not be swayed to give care to another before the essential needs of the Royal We are taken care of. The one exception is dependent children who, at times, must take precedent.
7. Dedicate conscious alone time to be with the Royal We. Do not allow others 24×7 direct access to the Royal We – put up healthy boundaries to protect the Royal We’s rights. Take care to safeguard your rights to good sleep, healthy food, relaxation, quiet time, emotional space.
8. Do not stay where the Royal We are simply tolerated, instead go where they are celebrated! Life is too short to be amongst those who simply tolerate you but make little attempt to understand, accept or celebrate the wonder of each one’s Royal We. Once you understand the vast contribution possible through self-love of the Royal We, it is folly to simply accept the status quo of existence. Find friends who are also healthy in self-love and create a healthy community of support and love!
The Royal We are not an end unto themselves, but rather a construct whereby emotionally healthy people can interact, relate, and create supportive, nurturing communities one person at a time. Mastering self-love is the key to being able to generate love for others, and it is a critical first step to successful relationships beyond the Royal We.
Have a great week and don’t forget to celebrate yourself and your own Royal We!
- The Key to Finding True Love (sheerbalance.com)
- We live what we learn, then learn what we live… (caroldekkers.wordpress.com)
- Unconditional love is the answer to all great questions. (positive-thoughts.typepad.com)
- Self Love♥ (onthebrighterside.net)