I don’t wear uncomfortable shoes anymore. No matter how cute they look and what a great deal they are. I do love shoes. I gave up on “collecting” them when I gave away about 13 pairs of great shoes and boots when I moved to Hawi’i five years ago. I know they were a nice collection because of the look on the women’s faces I offered them to. Some dresses and skirts when the same way. I was glad to see them go to new happy owners.
This feels like a great analogy for relationships. I got that as I was trying on shoes yesterday and being a girl. I was, of course, drawn to beautiful colors and designs. What was different this time was that I found myself automatically checking for the way the shoe fits or feels immediately. If my feet didn’t like them, then they went back on the shelf.
If the shoe doesn’t fit from the get-go, it will never fit. Don’t blame the shoe. Don’t think you can put damp towels inside them soaked in vinegar water to ‘stretch’ them. Don’t take home shoes that don’t feel good just because they are cute… Don’t try to change your own feet in order to be able to take those shoes home. Too many don’ts? I found that a few don’ts that I can stick to lead me to DO’s that feel right.
I can no longer ignore blisters, sore toes or calluses. I realized that I don’t have to.
A few years ago, I would have gone home with a pair of uncomfortable but cute shoes. Some time later, I would consign them or give them away. I wouldn’t enjoy them while they were in my possession. The men I picked because they were cute created the same experience for me. I picked for short-term fun, not for long-term peace of mind. I paid a huge price for that. I didn’t fully enjoy them while they were “in my possession”, so to speak. No matter how much you stretch them, or try to, they are still going to feel the same. Lesson learned. No need to hate the teacher. I would rather feel gratitude instead.
Even if the shoe fits, as a part of my self-love practice I ask myself if a purchase is a necessity or me wanting shiny, sparkly things because I feel bored, alone, uncreative and have been ignoring my inner child? Then, get honest about how I have not been making my own happiness a priority. In most cases, I hadn’t been expressing myself creatively and I know from experience that this leads me to try to “buy” the experience (as in shoes, cute clothes, art supplies, etc).
Self-awareness is self-love.
Self-control is self-love.
Self-compassion for how we meet our needs adaptively (sometimes in unhealthy ways) is self-love.
I love shoes as much as the next girl. But I realized that there are other needs under wanting to purchase a $300 shoe that I will wear once (if I am lucky). I have other priorities. Such as saving for my first trip to Italy or even better, to attend a client’s wedding in Mexico in March (I helped heal their relationship after an affair). I would rather save my money towards either or both of these goals that will fill my heart and soul with joy. Not waste it on a pair of sparklies that will gather dust in my closet for my of their existence. Hey, if that one time I wore it was at an Oprah Award Show or a Luncheon, sure I would pay the $300. (Wink). Who wouldn’t want to pay a little on a day when she gets to meet other great teachers and share her message with the world.
Self-love is very multi-faceted. This is why it needs to be learned and earned. It is about reaching a level of maturity and personal power that prevents our egos from taking over and sabotaging our happiness. It is about knowing where our pirorities are and where are energies are going. Financial, emotional, mental and spiritual energies. How are they being charged? Are they being charged enough? Staying with these questions can help lead you to deeper truths that can be tough but freeing.
This is why self-love is…
Still treating ourselves with compassion even when we get the shoes and feel too scared to pay more attention to our deeper needs. We accept ourselves where we are starta new project as a new seed to nourish but bring the lessons forward from the ones before.
What do you need to pay attention to be more self-loving? What is your inner being calling for? It is self-loving to be self-honest. It is also honest acknowledging when you are not ready to hear the call. Start gathering your energies back where you can. The Universe will see the signs.