Men + Myself + God

Category: LIFE

Self-love is a marketing ploy…

by Patia Braithwaite

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The only thing I know for sure is that we’re all okay.

Beyond that…I’ve got nothing.

See, evangelical self-love used to be enough for me. It gave me fodder for countless blog posts, book ideas, and staccato poems, but there’s something beyond self-love…I’m certain of it. Read the rest of this entry »

You should probably handle the truth.

by Patia Braithwaite

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I’ve mentioned a few times over the last few weeks, that I’ve recently enrolled in a leadership training at The Institute for Compassionate Leadership. There’s so much unfolding as a result of my choice, but our FIRST assignment was to create a fundraising campaign for a portion of our tuition. In the information packet we received, the assignment was framed as a low-stakes spiritual lesson — our relationship to raising money and galvanizing community support
was clearly an opportunity for growth.

Read the rest of this entry »

All relationships are evidence of love.

by Patia Braithwaite

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A few days ago I came across a video from Julie Zipper, the one of the headmistresses at Earth School. She was talking about relationships and she said something key…

“The relationships in your life are a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself.”

She went on to comfort those who might be facing relationship difficulties, and let them know that they deserve to feel more love within, but my line of thinking went elsewhere:

I’m a work in progress. I’m constantly battling the demons that whisper my insecurities, but if my relationships are a reflection of love within, then I’m doing okay. This does not mean there isn’t more room for more self-love, but all-in-all I’m doing fine.

…and so are you.

I’m blessed by my reconnection to Boyfriend Zero, a man I’ve known since I was 13. A man who has seen me at my absolute worst (I’m sometimes unbearable), but still makes sure that I’m fed and worries that heels on my boots are causing knee pains. He’s returned to let me know that at my core, I’m okay. If relationships reflect self-love, then I’m blessed with gorgeous friends who would do and give anything to make sure I was okay. Friends who try to feed me or cuddle with me or make me laugh when I’m upset; Friends who are slow to anger, rarely judge me, and are quick to understand where I’m coming from (even if we must sometimes stretch to find common ground). I have friends who are honest…even when it hurts.

If relationships are self-love, then I’m blessed with awesome siblings who travel to far-away places but allow me to tag along. I’m blessed to have a brother who has given me a sister — two people who understand my never-ending desire to grow (even when it is scary and uncomfortable). I’m blessed to have parents who support my pursuit of a creative life; they encourage me to take risks, and even fail. If my relationships are a reflection of self-love than I’ve loved myself well in other lives — I couldn’t ask for a better relationship with my folks.

I’m blessed to have to encountered teachers, mentors, coaches, colleagues and even strangers who taught by example — and who have loved me deeply and supported my endeavors. From conversations on planes to authors I’ll never meet, we are all…constantly…relating.

If relationships are a reflection of self-love,than I’m blessed for the tumultuous and drama-filled relationships as well. They’ve taught me who I am and who I want to be going forward. The rough and difficult loves crack us open and accelerate our growth — they push us toward the truth that there is nothing to fear, and nothing to reject — love is the only quality that persists.

A broken heart is an open heart. An open heart…changes the world. We are all better served by having loved.

If relationships are a reflection of self-love, then I’m blessed to count blog readers and bloggers among friends. I’m blessed by those of you that comment, and those that don’t..and those of you who send me emails and support me on this path. Even ‘strangers’ can be pathways to self-love.

I write this as a reminder because Valentine’s Day can be the loneliest day of the year, and it is so easy to get caught up in the social media assortment of gift pics and couple-selfies. It’s easy to find yourself feeling like you are lacking, but the truth is that love is everywhere. Your relationships, and the wisdom they bring, are direct reflections of the self-love you have within. Trust me, the most difficult relationships have brought me the greatest insight. You must really love yourself to sign up for such tough lessons.

And one more thing..

If all of your relationships are shitty and life feels unstable, and Valentine’s Day feels extra rough, I’m here. I see you. I know who you really are. You probably think I’m full of shit, but if you are reading my words then we are relating and THIS relationship, this intimate space we share, is a reflection of deep and profound love for yourself. Even if we never speak or I never know your story, please understand that I can only write this way because you are kind, and trust-worthy and beautiful and good. Other folks might be confused, but I know the truth. I can share my life this way…with you because I know I won’t be judged.

Our love is a reflection of your self-love. So if no other relationship is working, know that I am a reflection of the love you have for your self. Thank you for allowing me to love you.

I’m truly blessed to have you here with me.

Happy Valentine’s Day. May the universe be your Valentine today…and all days.

And so it is.

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