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The love of my life

Recently a few friends were talking about marriage, and I heard myself
saying that, “I had married myself a few years ago.” I surprised myself
when I said it. I didn’t really have a ceremony as such, but it did dawn on
me that in a subtle way and over a period of time, I had in fact had a
‘Commitment Ceremony with Myself’.

They were intrigued with my statement. Before I knew it, I was explaining
that like most people I had longed for a partnership with that one special
person and all that that involved. I had in my mind my list of what I
needed and wanted and another of all of my disappointments and
heartbreaks; lists filled with dreams, hopes and cynicisms. The perfect
person, the perfect relationship and my perfect life played in and out of
my daydreams for many years.

I thought about the weddings that I had attended and the vows that
people made to each other. I wondered what the probability was that
someone could indeed fulfil those promises. To love, honour and
cherish, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or
worse. Could they be faithful and keep themselves only for the other?
Would God approve of the union?

It’s interesting that we all believe to some degree that there really is a
person who can love, honour and cherish us all the days of our lives.
Interesting, mostly because it probably never occurs to us that we are
incapable of loving, honouring and cherishing ourselves all the days of
our lives. It is somewhat amazing to consider that we can stand before
God fully believing that we are capable of loving someone else like that
and offering up our full and heart felt commitment. It’s even more
amazing that we really do believe that someone has the capacity to fulfil
that commitment to us.

In the early days of reinventing myself, I had to be totally honest with
myself as I explored the many facades, illusions and erroneous beliefs
that I had about myself. I also had to be very clear about the difference
between what I wanted as opposed to what I thought I wanted. I needed
to set clear goals. I needed to dump a lot of baggage. Ultimately I needed
to not only know myself, but above all, I needed to like myself.

It takes time, it takes attention and it takes determination. I actually came
to a stage where I not only achieved this, but I also realized that I could
push it further and explored the possibility of loving myself. No, I do not
mean arrogance, vanity, self-centeredness or selfishness. (Those things
are insecurities dressed up as self-confidence).

My concept of marrying myself is about commitment. It is about making
promises and paying attention to living those vows on a daily basis.
Initially when I decided to make changes in my life, I wanted to improve
my health and energy levels. On achieving this I decided to actively
increase my well-being on all levels. This included more creativity,
financial and business success, better relationships and creating a
beautiful and peaceful home life.

In bringing this all about, I also made drastic changes in letting go of
things that impeded or prevented my success. Once these things were
put into place, the easier it all became. The better I felt, the more I could
add to my list of my needs and wants and the easier it became to achieve
these goals. As my self-confidence and self-respect grew, my list of
obstacles became much easier to deal with.

Respect and Self Esteem

As a child, I was taught that it was selfish or bad manners to put my
needs before the needs of others. It was vain to think that I was anything
special. Speaking about my achievements was considered to be
bragging. Pleasing other people suggested that I was kind and likable, so
I learned very early in life to detach myself from myself. I grew up feeling
guilty if I had something that someone else didn’t have. I can’t remember
leaving food on a plate without feeling guilty about the starving children
in India. Although I really do believe that it is important to be considerate
and humble, I do not believe that this requires us to be disrespectful to

Somehow the good intention of learning to be kind, considerate and fair
has become jumbled in our brains. Many of us have interpreted these
good teachings to mean that other people are more important than we
are. Our opinion is less valuable than the opinions of others. We have
been programmed to believe that we are less and our lives are less. The
result of such thinking leads to a lack of self-respect and low self-esteem.

Some people live their lives like they are assistants to other people.
Many people have fantastic opportunities presented but they just can’t
recognize or accept them. How often do amazingly brilliant or talented
people never get to show the world their work? How common is it to be
capable of loving someone, but not ever experience being loved in

Low self-esteem or lack of self-respect serves no positive purpose.
Putting yourself last, having the least amount, keeping your ideas quiet
or making yourself ‘small’ in any way, serves no purpose. Kindness and
generosity are not about having the least amount. We need to embrace
and share abundance. We do not pick other people up by keeping
ourselves down.

The smaller you allow yourself to become the less you will have to
contribute to anyone else. Lack of self-respect is nothing more than
stifling your own spirit.

No matter how much we focus on our physical reality it is almost
impossible to ignore the spiritual aspect of being. Yes, we are all spiritual
beings here on the planet Earth and we are all having a physical
experience. However, the spirit within is constantly whispering and it is
always calling for us to honour our place on Earth and to honour our own
existence. Low self-esteem is an insult to this great gift of life that we
each have been given. It is a unique and individual journey. No one is
here to experience someone else’s life. You can support and assist
others but you do not need sacrifice your life to live for others.

It is impossible to achieve our full potential if we do not have respect for
ourselves. Self-confidence is not about who you were or who you will be,
it is about being comfortable within your own skin. It is also about placing
great value on your own existence, regardless of who or where you are.

If I were willing to commit to myself the way two lovers commit in marriage,
then my vows would probably be:

I (name…) promise myself to honour and give gratitude for the privilege
of having this life.
I will view my existence as my most precious and valued gift, and
I will endeavour to add my unique qualities to this process.

My intention for this journey is to accept love, happiness and peace
within each day.
I will operate from a place of respect and honesty with others and myself,
I will be genuine and thoughtful in my actions.

Because I love, honour and respect myself, I consciously allow my heart
to reach out and fill others.

I (name…) vow today to fill my body with all that promotes health and
I will commit to myself to treat my body as my most sacred temple.
I will fill my mind with and maintain thoughts that inspire creativity,
wisdom, knowledge and optimism.
I will speak of health, wealth and happiness and share such words with all
I meet.

Good fortune, success, prosperity and exciting opportunities will be
embraced and received fully.
I will actively pursue quality relationships, enjoyable work and stimulating
I will be kind and gentle with myself, and allow myself to relax and be
I will seek pleasure and excellence in my work as well as my play.

Today, I make my pledge to myself, and in my heart I will carry forward
my commitment throughout all the days of my life.

Today, I make my pledge to myself, and in my heart I will carry forward all
that I am and all that I may become to add to this world my best in all

(c) sonya green
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Self Esteem and Self Respect

Low Self Esteem and Fear of Love
The love of my life
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