there is a pot of gold, you! As I journey along I have learned to enjoy my own company and really understand the meaning of being my own best friend. Most people travels in “two” and often I find myself as the only “one”. There was a time in my life I would have been mortified to even go out by myself let alone travel the world. It is a humbling experience to walk into a restaurant and sit down at a table by yourself while everyone else is with their number two. Learning to step out and be by myself has been a step by step process; learning to accept, love and appreciate myself for exactly who I am. The good, the bad and the sometimes ugly.
I remember the distinct shift in my being when I was recommended and read the book Soulmate by Lauren Mackler. This became a pivotal point in my life as I was learning to love myself. I struggled with being alone and feeling lonely after I left my marriage of 25 years, I had never really been alone or on my own. I worried about what other people thought about seeing me by myself; I was a loser, I didn’t have any friends and that there must be something wrong with me. I knew I needed to take time to get to know myself before jumping to another relationship but I was lonely. I felt ashamed and I felt like a failure. I knew I wasn’t going to settle for an unfulfilling relationship out of the fear of being alone so instead I tackled the fear of being alone head on and started learning how to love myself one day at a time.
This book Solemate written by Lauren Mackler helped me get over the first hurdle and set me in the direction by providing a road map for achieving mastery of my own life. It helped me start the journey towards becoming the person I was meant to be. I simply started to treat myself like I would a friend or a child with compassion, empathy and soothing. I then started becoming aware of my old beliefs about who I thought I was, who everyone thought I “should” be. Following that, I started looking at my conditioning and began letting go of beliefs that no longer served me and started creating a new belief system that supported me. One by one I replaced old conditioned beliefs with new beliefs about myself and started the journey of loving myself for who I am rather than what people told me I was or who I thought I “should” be.
Loving yourself is a process, like everything else, it does not just all of a sudden appear without putting in the work. There was an ominous mountain in front of me and I just had to start climbing by putting one foot in front of the other, resting when I needed to and keep forging ahead.
Some wise soul recommended that I look in the mirror, into my own eyes and telling myself “I love you” everyday! At first I couldn’t meet my own gaze and I certainly didn’t believe what I was saying but the more I did it the more comfortable I felt with my own eye contact and eventually I started to feel something, I started to believe that I did love myself.
Another wise soul said it’s all about affirmations, seeing them, writing them, accepting them, making them part of your thought processes. Putting them up on your walls, seeing them everyday affirming who you are and who you want to become.
I learned about witnessing my thought patterns, connecting to my monkey mind, becoming aware of my ruminating thoughts about myself. What did I even think of myself? What was I saying to myself about myself? You can’t change what you don’t know.
I took it one step further and started to become familiar with the layers of conditioning I had accepted as the truth and started breaking down the walls that were so carefully constructed. As each brick fell, I picked it up and looked at it, examined it and if it no longer served a purpose in my life, I threw it in the junk pile and replaced it with a brick that was more in line with who I was and started the whole process of reconstruction. This would take years of diligent, hard, dirty work constructing a new version of myself.
In order to continue the construction of myself I had to face my fears and stare them straight in the face by stepping outside of my comfort zone every single day doing many things that scared me, frightened me and sometimes even paralyzed me. I kept stepping even when I didn’t want to.
Every day I put in the effort to love who I was right now in this moment, the closer I got to retrieving my authentic self and began the journey of loving myself for exactly who I am today.
This lesson occupied some of my thoughts today because I did experience being the only “one” on a tour full of “two” and in that experience, I realized how far I have come from being uncomfortable stepping out the door unaccompanied to where I am today, travelling around the world as a “one”.