What does self-love look like to you?
How do you know when you’re practicing it?
Do you think it is selfish to practice self-love?
When I write, I fancy myself with the notion that I’m writing about topics you and I would actually discuss over coffee or a cocktail. I picture a lively conversation; I see us agreeing and disagreeing; I see us laughing, as well as being contemplative.
Yet, there are times when I wonder if the conversations I’m initiating hit the mark – or if I’ve pushed the envelope a bit too far (like with last week’s post, “Head, Heart, Hormones“). Yes, I was slightly nervous about pressing “publish” on that one…
But then I get private emails, and I know all is well. 🙂
Based on the responses I received to last week’s post and to the week’s before about the false intimacy that ensues when people practice credit-card dating, it is even more evident that as individuals, couples, and a society, we have a lot of healing to do!
First Love, Then Money
One email I received put the whole credit-card dating ridiculousness in (historical) perspective with this:
“…if potential mates were initially screened and selected based on financial status as measured by credit scores, the black race could be seriously at risk.”
Man, talk about an emotional landmine. I could write an entire book about the social, economic, and familial issues raised in her less than 140 characters comment. In fact, her words remind me of one of the profiles in my book, Patrice: Her great-grandmother, who was born in the late 1800s, graduated college, became a nurse, and started a home-care nursing business. She married a school custodian. This is why, in part, I chuckle about the tremendous amount of attention the whole she earns more phenomenon has gotten in the last decade. It’s something the Black American population has been dealing with for many, many years.
If her great-grandmother had put money before love, Patrice wouldn’t have her particular life-story to tell.
First You, Then Them
“…what about those of us who are single – whether by choice or circumstance? We may not be in a relationship, but we’re just as interested in getting it right with our money and want to know what to look for so we are ready when the relationship happens – if it does.”
He is right, of course.
I wholeheartedly believe that you cannot create a healthy relationship with another person – on any level – until you’ve done so with yourself first. Don’t love yourself; hard to truly love another. Don’t have a healthy relationship with money on your own; hard to do so when you factor in someone else and the issues they bring to the table. (And yes, I’m ever mindful that we are all a work in progress.)
What his question and comment made me realize is that I need to get better at making sure you understand that when I talk about the concepts and practice of financial intimacy and love + money, you get that I believe it always starts first with you!
And therein lies a little wrinkle: You and I could probably benefit from a higher dose of me first in the form self-love.
On whatever day you’re reading this, pause right now, think about your day thus far, how many choices and actions did you take in the spirit of taking care of you, of nurturing you and only you?
How might your daily experiences change if you upped the ante and increased your self-love choices and actions by a factor of one? How about the condition of your finances? What could you give birth to if you made financial choices more from a space of self-love?
Truth is: the well for you to give (and give even more) to others is deeper when you first give to yourself in ways small and large.
Think this is all poppy-cock and woo-woo? Take look at your account balances – they’ll tell you in cold hard numbers whether you’ve been choosing by way of the paradigm of “first you, then them.” (By the way, “them” could be people, work, business, or volunteering – it’s anyone or anything whose needs you’re placing above your own…it”s anything that is causing you to insidiously sabotage your wellness on any level.)
Here’s to all of us practicing more first love, then money; first you, then them!
p.s. the idea of first love, then money; first you, then them is one of best ways to make the triangle of you, love, and money work. For specific ideas and tips, join me for Money, a Menage a Trois – Wednesday, 30 October at 8pm EST. Click here to register.
p.p. s. Master the Language of Love + Money – an interactive online course for couples (and interested singles – smile) ready to create a brand new relationship with their money…and each other begins November 4th!
photo credit: Google images & Inspireyourdreams.com