A few days ago, I was feeling frustrated with my husband—angry, too.
(Don’t worry, I cleared this disclosure with him. Also? The challenging nature of romantic relationships—make that most relationships—is hardly a secret!)
Like many of us who process out loud, I said something to a friend about wondering if he’s “my person.” Of course, that phrase means different things to different people, but to me that night, it was a catch-all representing the ideal significant other as memorialized in all the films and novels I’ve absorbed since childhood.
I know what you’re thinking: that person doesn’t exist!
Touché. Just stay with me, okay?
Digging deep with my friend helped crystallize a theory: What if “my person” is me?
Although self-love has been a lifelong journey, various circumstances propelled it to the forefront for me starting summer 2017. If you’ve been following my intermittent blog, this is no surprise.
Last year, I explored self-love as a gateway principle to loving others through the pink Grandmothers representing this category in my first oracle deck. This year, although less overt, self-love wove its way through many of the individual issue cards in my new Heart 2 Heart deck about navigating relationships.
So, here’s the rub. Conceptualizing self-love is one thing, but embracing it no matter what is something I’m still learning.
As I look back on that conversation with my friend, I can now see that I also felt angry and frustrated with myself that day. Even giving voice to this theory that I am my own person did not resolve my feelings.
Later that same night, I exchanged dozens of messages on the topic of relationships with my delightful pen-pal who lives halfway across the world. More processing, more sharing. She asked me to do a spread from the heart deck for her. Of course. After all, it’s one of my favorite things to do.
Connecting with her energy and serving as a conduit was a powerful experience. Through this opportunity and her response, I received the enormous gift of seeing myself through her eyes, without all the goobers. It helped me see through the illusion of the anger and frustration I felt towards myself and connect with my inner light again.
By the time we finished talking, all the yuck I felt in my marriage had dissolved of its own accord. I hadn’t hashed it out with my husband, blown up or “solved” anything. (Not saying I haven’t done those things or that they don’t have their place! Just that they didn’t for me that night.) Suddenly I was able to see and remember and appreciate my husband again—and all because I did the same for myself first.
The next day, something incredible happened. In the seven plus years we’ve lived at our house, I don’t recall ever seeing deer in the backyard. Well, a doe and a buck showed up in the morning and spent almost the whole day with us, largely in the empty lot behind our backyard. We all loved watching them. My baby (I can call her that until she turns 2 in a few months, right?) cried if they left and kept calling them, “dog! dog!”
Deer are connected with gentleness and unconditional love. The overwhelming feeling I had from their presence was a sense of wholeness, balance, harmony. As a sun Libra, this is my jam. To me, they represented the unification of masculine and feminine energy in the best way possible. Yes, in their literal relationship with each other and as a reminder of what I seek in my marriage.
But more than that—it felt like a validation of and encouragement to continue unifying and balancing the masculine and feminine energy, the light and dark, the various aspects within myself. To embody that wholeness for myself. Because I AM my own person.
Learning to truly love myself means being willing to see my shadows and love them into the light, to accept responsibility for myself and my impact on others, to encourage myself, to forgive myself, to stop berating and shaming myself, to praise myself.
As I fell asleep that night after watching the deer, it struck me like a lightning bolt. Yes, I’m my own person, but what if EVERYONE ELSE is my person, too? We are all one, right? I know you’ve heard that, too. Well, what if we treat each other like that is literal?
I know these aren’t new concepts. I’m just sharing the new-to-me way they presented these last few days in case it helps you on your own journey. In sum: #goldenrule4ever.