Tag Archives: Unconditional love

Care and feeding of the Royal We

22 Aug

 

 

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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!

 

Carol

 

 

Unconditional

5 Apr

Unconditional…

A Dr. Suess concept concocted as a dream, half-baked, and fed to the masses eager for acceptance and love.

Whoever says life in any way is unconditional has mastered self-love (which can be unconditional), and accepts the world at face value and the terms it presents.  Relationships with others are, at their core, conditional on what each party can get out of it.  When one party’s conditions are that the other give completely (while they take completely), the relationship ends. Sometimes conditions are parasitic, sometimes symbiotic, sometimes conditions change. But there are always conditions.

Love is based on relationship(s). Life is a complex web of rules and conditions.  Always changing, morphing, ebbing and tiding.

Not bad, not good, just is. Life is a conditional reality.

Have a happy day – and love yourself for the wonderful person you are!

Carol

Recovery from Childhood – a Lifelong Journey…

24 Jan

I am a big believer in The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz and his recent book The Fifth Agreement.  In summary, don Miguel teaches us to get over the seemingly innocent agreements we entered into and made (often unconsciously) in early life.  We accepted these in childhood as a done deal imposed by parents with the noble intent of “domesticating” us into submission and assimilation into a civil society.

Our parents typically raised us in the same way they were, without consideration that such ways might not prepare us to deal with the disappointments and realities of adult life.  Case in point:  life is not fair, and there are no guarantees of respectful treatment, yet many of us learned to follow the Golden Rule.  Others were taught (especially females) to take care of others first and foremost (see my previous post Put on Your Own Mask First for more about this…)  These concepts don’t hold in adult world where others are focused on self-interests (as well they should.)

The Four Agreements and The Fifth Agreement are worthwhile investments for anyone seeking to understand relationships – especially because both books explain how to work with others and ourselves in daily life.  I love the writings and the works!

In spite of studying and practicing The Four Agreements (1. Live with Integrity; 2. Don’t take anything personally; 3. Never assume (ask questions instead); and 4. Always do your best) – I face challenges to overcome “childhood teachings”- even though decades separate me from those years.  Moreover, in talking to friends both older and younger, I am not alone!

Why is it that we spend the first 15-20 years learning how to live (childhood) and the rest of our life overcoming the same?

Some people do not have childhood baggage.  I know people whose childhoods abounded with unconditional love and acceptance, and their parents treated them as the apple(s) of their eyes. As a result, one friend has so much self-esteem that co-workers tire of her incredibly healthy self-image!  Unfortunately, I think that this situation is more the exception than the rule.

Is there ever a point when our parents can no longer get under our skin, or when they are no longer the voices in our heads?

Even though I am middle-aged, I routinely get emails from my father chiding me for not calling enough (I call every week), emailing enough (I respond and send emails all the time), thanking enough for gifts (no matter that I have).  These emails bother me, and it bothers me that they bother me!  I should be used to the treatment by now… and one would think I would stop hoping for acceptance!

As an accomplished professional, I know that I am a great person – so why would I still hold out hope that my father will someday notice this?  As a child, I learned that 97% was never good enough – it was always 3% short of the perfection that meant acceptance.

Why do we keep hoping for change in others even when we know that we can only change ourselves?  Why do grown women seek approval from judgmental fathers (and often marry similar men)?  Why do grown men keep hoping they will buy that perfect gift for an unapproving mother?  Why do we strive to make our parents proud long after it shouldn’t matter?

I know that parental love is expressed by pointing out shortfalls and faults, yet I still hold onto the dream that someday just being ME will be enough.  I’m not alone in the lifetime journey of recovering from childhood and some people have it much worse. I read about similar struggles on blogs, in discussions, and in listening to friends and colleagues worldwide!

I am optimistic as I watch my son and daughter-in-law raising two daughters in a loving, accepting and supportive home, and it warms my heart as they show their princesses unconditional love.  Even so, I wonder if anyone has a childhood from which they do not seek to recover.

Wishing you a peaceful week where you experience self-love and an ongoing recovery as you move forward in your life!

Carol

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