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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shhhh ... Don't Tell Anyone, I'm Having an Affair

You may want to steep yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of bubbly before settling in to read this.

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That's right you read correctly I'm having an affair. But it's not with just anyone -  it's with someone I already know and had truly unconditionally loved most of my life, until about eight years ago. I honestly had not expected this could happen - that I could fall back in love. In the beginning it was easy to reject any temptation to fall in love again. After all, the hurt and scars of being abandoned - leaving me an empty shell of the person I was - were too fresh.

I won't lie there have been times throughout the past few years when I was tempted to give it another chance. But each time, the memory of how easily - the once confident, articulate, adventurous, independent, life loving, career driven, socializing, lover of fashion left without warning - would not let me give in . Seriously, how could I trust it would not happen again.

I was determined to NOT fall back in love with this Benedict Arnold, heck I even moved from the city to the countryside - to escape the memories of places and people I use to enjoy. Looking back now, unconsciously I must have thought isolation would help me forget, take away the pain of loss. I gave all my love and time to others around me - putting their needs ahead of mine. And though over time I did find some peace/ healing no matter how much others loved and cared for me there remained an emptiness within me that nothing seemed to fill.
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As fate would have it for a year or so now, I found myself drawn back to the city. I began to spend more time at my city house. In my familiar surroundings I began to catch glimpses of this old love. I was sure enough time had passed that should I come face to face with this old love, surely I would be strong enough to resist temptation. Mr. G loved me and that was all I needed - was it not? The glimpses became more frequent and harder to ignore. With each glimpse memories of a time long ago stayed a little longer in thought. I started to yearn for that old love - the way it once had touched me, made me feel. And then one day without warning I found myself smiling and feeling almost whole
again - almost HAPPY!

As I looked in the mirror I knew I was falling back in love ... things would be changing. How would I tell Mr. G? How will he react? I didn't want to hurt him, but I could no longer ignore how I was feeling. This old love is going to require some of the time, and nurturing I have been solely devoting to Mr. G - I can only hope that he is understanding and willing to share, and most importantly be patient as I figure out how to balance both. Because, this old love gives me something that I have not truly felt in eight years - internal happiness.
"Who is this mysterious old love" you are asking. If you have not figured it out .... It's "ME" - I am falling back in love with myself! and for the first time in eight years I'm starting to smile and TRULY feel happy. No longer just talking about and occasionally dipping my toes in taking care of me, but jumping in with both feet - head over heels loving just like
any affair starts!

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"To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness." - Robert Morely 

Too often after life throws us a curve ball (such as my accident - or  a divorce, loss of a loved one, loss of self or job etc.) we tend to busy our self with anything that will take our mind off of what we are going through and the emptiness you are feeling. Or perhaps we have just been so busy caring for others that we have forgotten about our own needs.  This is when unconsciously (and sometimes consciously - there is just not enough time in the day) we stop caring for our self.  Self-love is essential to developing and maintaining a healthy sense of one's self. Loving yourself goes beyond looking good on the outside (though it is a side affect of self-love); it's about being happy with the person you are - not with just the good stuff but with little flaws (and big flaws too!). Remember self-love is not about narcissism, ego-based or thinking of yourself at the expense of others. It's realizing making time for self-care is as important in your day as what you do for others. 

Ask any woman you know how she feels about her body—no matter what her weight--and get ready for an earful. Odds are, she'll launch into a laundry list of what she doesn't like about her looks. For Kenda Smith, 36, the big problem is the tummy pooch from her second pregnancy. It's been two years and the bulge still won't go away. "My belly is so embarrassing," says Kenda, who lives in Worcester, MA. "It makes me feel sloppy and uncomfortable with myself." Sometimes she'd rather just stay home in baggy sweats than go out. And her self-consciousness is also taking a toll in the bedroom. "It's very hard for me to feel at ease getting intimate with my husband because of how I look," she admits.
Whether it's occasional or constant, nearly every woman struggles with the way she feels about her body. A Cornell University study found that 87% of normal-weight women wish they were a size smaller. Like Kenda, "the vast majority of women have what's called normative discontent—dissatisfaction with the size and/or shape of their bodies, even if it's just a wish for flatter abs or a rounder butt," says Laurie Mintz, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
In fact, tummy, hips and thighs top our most-hated list—and that's true whether we're 25 or 65, according to research published in the journal The New School Psychology Bulletin. What else is on that list of dislikes? Everything from the bump on your nose to your size 10 feet.
One thing all these complaints have in common: They can do a real number on your self-esteem. "When you hate such an integral part of who you are, it can have a profound effect on your confidence, even leading to depression and eating disorders," says Amy Flowers, PhD, a psychologist in Macon, GA. In effect, you start to believe what you think you see in the mirror. "You begin to like yourself less, which makes you feel uncomfortable in social situations, ill at ease sexually and a lot less assertive," explains Dr. Mintz.
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
The reasons are as varied as women themselves, but experts agree that certain factors are more prevalent than others. Three key culprits:
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When we are lacking self-love we lose confidence in our ability to provide ourselves with the basic needs and things we want. We struggle with feeling worthy of love and respect from others. Our boundaries become blurred and we look to others for validation of our self-worth.

If you are managing to care for the needs of others while sacrificing your basic needs - sleep, healthy eating, time on your own to recharge, exercise, time with your partner and sometimes even personal grooming - you are not doing yourself or those you love any good in the long run. Unhealthy relationships and traumatic events can leave you malnourished when it comes to self-love and self-care. I always like to remind people (and myself too!) of a plane's emergency exit plan -- always put YOUR oxygen mask on first.

"love yourself first and everything else falls in line."- Lucille Ball

Are you taking care of you?

You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously ,

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  1. I'm getting better at it! I spent time taking care of my mom (until she died); I lost "me". Then we sold her house, our house and moved. I had to haul the parents' entire house to our new one then begin the arduous task of going through everything from their 55+ year marriage. It's been a long haul these past 4 years of doing, doing, doing. I saw the light and it's wasn't a freight train coming toward me! NOW I am learning to take care of ME again. I love, love, love that you fell in love and are having an affair with yourself.

  2. Dearest Celia,
    Perfect post and so TRUE! Whatever we are dealing with in life, it does take away from ourselves and hinders us in looking our very best. I'm hoping to soon arrive at that happy, mischievous and bubbly stage again!
    Sending you hugs,

  3. Well, that disappeared somewhat like myself! Celia, this is the first time I've ever commented on a blog. I'm going to print your words out and tape them everywhere. My doors, mirrors, dashboard...etc! I've been sucked into a vortex, spit into a Bullet juicer and then thrown against the wall.
    Gina, a Cocare partner slipping down the slope of Alzheimers into caregiver for my husband. Early onset at 58, what a journey.

  4. The old saying is true, you can't love anyone until you truly love yourself. And I am so happy to read this! Now, let's go shopping! xox


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