You know the giddy feeling of being smitten? You’re attracted to a special someone. You can feel it when your stomach flips as you meet their eyes. You notice it in your awkward attempts to impress. There’s so much you don’t know about this person and you’re so pulled towards deeper knowing. You want to know what they’re reading, what they do for fun, and what their first thought is upon waking up. You want to be together all the time. You want to show them the playlist of your life.
Imagine yourself as the lover in your life. Because you are. To paraphrase a line attributed to the poet June Jordan, “You are the one you have been waiting for.” There is no better lover than you.
Imagine the perfect lover giving you exactly what you desire. When my clients envision their perfect date with themselves, they see adventure, grandkids, long bike rides on crisp spring days, giving and receiving acts of kindness, sleep, soft sheets, laughter, a new lover, learning, creating, or a glorious day in the garden.
They feel peaceful, at ease, happy, creative, curious, cared for, excited, purposeful, grateful, intimate, safe, wise, loved.
What we want in a juicy life is quite simple. “Ah yes,” I hear you object, “simple, but hard to get.”
To which I ask, “What is making it hard for you to get the life you want?”
When I answered this question for myself, I realized that my least juicy days are governed by to do’s. “Well, first I have to pay this stack of bills. Then I’ll go to the gym, and after that I'll pick up groceries on the way back.” In between I invariably fall down the Facebook rabbit hole for an hour.
I end the day feeling depleted. This is no way to turn your lover on!
The fact is, daily life is filled with perfectly ordinary and also stressful moments. To make love last, we need to hold these moments with the same embrace that we do special times. Long lasting love keeps us playful and curious, pulling us into deeper connection with ourselves and others. It creates the dance of a meaningful life.
Practices to Love Yourself as A Lover Would
Write the top 3-5 feelings down where you can see them every day.
Plan dates with your lover. Every morning, or the previous evening if you prefer, plan to experience 1-3 of those feelings during the day. You don’t need to do anything that different. Let’s say, for example, that gratitude is one of your top feelings. Today is your gym day. How can you bring gratitude into your experience at the gym?
Forgetting is OK: If you realize that you’ve forgotten to plan a day, that’s fine! Take a moment now to find the moments where you were living the life you love that day.
Feel what you need to feel: Anger, frustration, irritation, boredom,annoyance, embarrassment, rejection, minimizing - they’ll show up. You can count on it, like an old ex. Rather than allowing them to ruin your relationship, thank your feelings for being here. Allow them to pass through. Get curious about what they have to say.
The Number One All-Purpose Love Your Life Practice: Whenever you want to feel more connected to yourself, stop for a moment of gratitude. Moments savored are worth repeating. They add up to a life worth living.