Tom and I were married on this day 55 years ago. My concept of a marriage was that I was to please my husband, take care of the children and do the housework. I thought doing all of that would entitle me to be cared for. You give – you get.
My expectations were never met. Even though I never voiced those expectations I patiently waited for them. Tom had never known about Mindreading 101, never thought about it, never inquired.
Where was my reward for being good? Who was giving out the rewards? Where were the Fair Play police? Is anybody out there?
So now, 55 years later, I know. The answer to all of those questions is the same. The answer is, always was and always will be – me. The one to answer the questions is my Self. Not the small, demanding, little self but the calm, quiet, inner, higher Self.
Ego yells and is easy to hear. Its usually in-your-face. Higher Self speaks softly, soothingly. In order to hear it you must stop, breathe deeply, sit quietly and listen. Its answer is always the same. Love.
Taking care of and loving yourself is not about me me me. It’s not about I want, I want, I want. It is about accepting you as you are; about forgiving yourself when you think you have fallen short; about resting when you are tired; about sharing rather than doing without.
Take time to know yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you. You are my best friend and I will take care of you.” Eventually you will believe it, feel it, and do it.
How does that help a marriage? How does that improve your life? The formula was given 2,000 years ago. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Your neighbor means your spouse, children, parents, the president (of anything), the bank robber, the terrorist, and your ancestors. The often missed caveat is “as”. Love your neighbor as yourself.
You must love, care for, respect, accept and forgive yourself first. Then the rest is easy.