In part four of our own more practical Journey to Awakening we discuss Love. On her journey Elizabeth Gilbert finds love in Bali. If you read the book you know that Gilbert’s journey was about finding and defining herself. Until then Gilbert, like many of us, lost herself in her relationships. She would actually become the man she was with. This is can be a common occurrence among women as they seek to BE loved and in that seeking will become people (man) pleasers. Gilbert had become a man pleaser and had no clear definition of who she was.

In our practical journey to awakening amongst our daily living busy-ness we focus on the love of self. Gilbert did this on her journey as a single woman but you can heal and rebuild your relationship with yourself and deepening your sense of self-love whether you are single or in a relationship or whether or not you have children. You can cultivate the relationship that matters most while cultivating a relationship with your partner, children, friends and co-workers.

As your relationship with yourself transforms so will all of your other relationships. The quality of all of your relationships is directly related to the quality of the relationship you have with yourself and as you begin to improve your relationship with yourself all of your other relationships will shift and change positively as well.

Many women don’t know what it means to love her self. We are so trained to meet others needs, to take care of the people around us that often we allow the happiness of our loved ones, how clean our homes are, how skinny our bodies, and whether are not we are loved by a man to define our own self-concept. It boils down to how “pleasing” in manner and how “pleasing” to the eye we can be, trying at our own expense to keep from rocking the boat. The thought of loving oneself becomes a taboo known as selfishness and nobody wants to be a selfish woman.

In actuality loving your self is the most loving thing you can do, not only for yourself, but also for your husband, your children, friends and co-workers. Yes, what was previously defined as selfish is actually the least selfish thing you can do. Just as Julia Cameron states in the “Artists Way” in order to create we must ‘fill our well’. It is no different in our relationships. If we do not first fill our own well with love we won’t have love to give. As women we can get caught up in doing nothing but giving and giving, constantly trying to be the perfect wife, mother, sister, friend, employer/employee. We give our time, we give our energies and we give our love to the point that we no longer even know what would make us happy.

We give until our well runs dry. A dry well only produces anger, sadness, depression and resentment. When we are drawing from a dry well we will have a short fuse often reacting in anger; speaking harshly to the one’s we love only to beat ourselves up later. Soon our act of giving comes from obligation rather than love. Our family and friends come to expect that we do their bidding and we become afraid to set boundaries, to say no, for fear we will not be loved any more. For fear that we will be judged as selfish or even bitchy.

Loving yourself and taking time to fill your well by following your dreams and doing the things that give you joy bless your partner by giving him or her a partner who is interesting. When you step outside the family and have your own activities you have something to talk about. You become inspired and become an inspiration to others.

You will find, after the initial resistance, that your children will even enjoy hearing about your interests and having an opportunity to know their mom as a person with her own interests and passions and will probably be proud of you. Not to mention that by NOT being constantly available to your kids they get to develop some independence which translates into their own self confidence.
You demonstrate to your sons and daughters that a woman can be a mother and have her own projects and interests. Through demonstration you give your daughters permission to do the same. A mother with her own life beyond her children also raises less self-absorbed children.

As you demonstrate self-love in your life you give all of the women around you permission to love themselves. Can you just imagine a world where all women loved who they are? You can be a woman who starts this trend. You can be a woman who allows her self to make mistakes, allows herself the time to express herself through the activities that give her the greatest joy, all the while knowing that you are filling your well with love and are able to give more freely and joyfully to those you love.

Create your own Bali right here right now and fall in love…with your Self, knowing that it’s the most loving act you can take for everyone involved. If it blesses you, it blesses them.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle Lee is a Certified Hypnotherapist, EFT practitioner and Soul Realignment practitioner specializing in self-esteem, women's empowerment and self-actualization. As a Relationship Specialist, Michelle helps women to reach their fullest potential by healing and rebuilding the relationship that matters most. Michelle is the author of "Fall in love...with your Self" self hypnosis CD and "Self-Love...How to get there from here" DVD workshop as well as many other workshops. Michelle is available to speak to your group. Michelle’s website is