BE YOUR OWN VALENTINE
By Hermine Hilton
America’s Memory Motivator’
These words of love from the poet, Elizabeth Barrett, to her future husband, the poet, Robert Browning, have been immortalized thru the ages. Now, although it would be nice if we all could have our Lizzys and Bobs to be our Valentines, in most cases that would be a stretch. However, all is surely not lost if we could learn to love ourselves a little (and then a little more). If you can do this, then you, dear heart, can Be Your OWN Valentine.
To Start With:
Appreciate the rhythm of life……the ups as well as the downs.
Just think. If you didn’t have any lows you couldn’t know and experience the thrill of the highs. And if your physical or mental instrument needs reviving, enjoy the many ways you can find to fine-tune it. Don’t be apathetic and expect others to be sympathetic. They may not be on the same wavelength. Give yourself your own makeover. Don’t wait for the Oprahs. She’s on another network now.
Be your own best friend……and then take a minute now and then to listen- really listen, to what you tell yourself. Listen to the statements- about you, your body, your health, your abilities- that you make about yourself in your head. Then compare that to what you would expect- or hope- a good friend would say to you. You’d want that friend to be honest, sure, but you’d also like support and encouragement. You wouldn’t want him or her to say things like “You’ll never lose those 10 pounds” or “That dream of yours is in La La Land.” You want a friend who will believe in you, share excitement about your ideas, and nudge you toward your goals. Indeed, when you’re trying to change not-so-healthy behaviors while reaching toward the stars, a friend can lend you just the support and motivation you need. So try keeping tabs on your own self-talk. When you hear yourself being unsupportive, try substituting the words of a good friend. Imagine how well you’d do if you could carry that kind of friend with you in your head.
Control your reactions…… Know that you like yourself and don’t let anyone else push your buttons. If others do or say something insensitive or mean- you have no control over that. But you do have control over how you react. And reacting negatively to what others say can affect your sense of wellness. The best way to gain control over your reactions and stop wasting emotional energy on such negativity is to know yourself. Take an honest look at your strengths and your weaknesses. Then you can reflect on negative input from others in an objective way. You can decide that either the other person has a point – that they have, indeed, hit upon an area that you need to work on- or that they’re just trying to get a reaction out of you- in which case you can refuse to play the game.
We all have our sensitive subjects and there are people who, for one reason or another, feel the need to push our buttons. In many cases you may not be the only one they’re doing a number on but perhaps you’re the only one dancing to it. Don’t get sucked in. Before automatically reacting, think. Are they right? Then work on fixing it. If not, perhaps they need some fixing. Most people who lean toward putting others down don’t like themselves. And if they don’t like themselves, they have a difficult time liking anyone else. But that’s not your problem. You can’t change them. What you can do is change your reaction. You may be surprised at how much more energy you have to spend on productive thoughts.
Get to know yourself well. Know what you like and change what you don’t.
Overall, stay away from people I’d label ‘socially impotent’ who only have brain space for thinking of themselves. They neither acknowledge, recognize nor understand the word, empathy. Can’t even spell it.
And, by the way, try recycling your memories…tossing out the losers and bringing the winners back around from time to time. Recalling great moments can recreate a most positive aura in your thinking, and it always pays to accent the positives.
I promise you, if you can learn to be your own best friend,
you’ll have a Valentine for life.
Now…. “How do you love thee? I’ll let you count the ways.”
The Lady On The Mountain
[International Speaker and Author of “50 Ways To A better Memory”,
“The Executive Memory Guide”, & “Fuhhgeddaboutit!” (How To Stop Worrying About Your Memory), Hermine’s column ‘ABOUT YOUR MEMORY’ appears monthly, online, in the Malibu Chronicle. You may have heard her on Radio or seen her on Television with David Letterman; Charlie Rose; Matt Lauer; Bryant Gumbel; or a host of others. She is the creator of Sonik Memory and the memory motivator for the Fortune 500 Companies from Nordstrom to NASA.]