A Heart A Day #43

Not only was yesterday International Peace Day. It was World Gratitude Day, too! So my heart for today is inspired by gratitude. 

I like gratitude. Every morning and every evening I write down the things I’m grateful for. At least 3 things in the morning and at least 3 in the evening. In the beginning it felt a bit strange and it seemed hard to get to 3 things. But a year onwards and I easily write a list of 6 or 7 things, sometimes even 10. The smallest things, the most random things, all those things I tend to take for granted. The longer you do this, the easier being grateful comes to you. Magic! And the good thing is, gratefulness, like happiness, shines. It beams right out of your face! So I’m turning into this advocate for gratitude…and before you know it, so will you ;-)

At this very moment I’m grateful for so many things, that I’d like to share some with you. In case it might be inspiring to you…

I’m grateful for my very loving and golden friendships; I’m grateful for my amazing and loving parents and brother; I’m grateful for the sweet and thoughtful responses on my hearts; I’m grateful for my creativity that’s boosting; I’m grateful for the fact I live in a country where there’s no war; I’m grateful for you, reading this blog!

And now onto the heart of today. I drew one heart, created two others out of it and then failed to choose one. So you’ll get 3 hearts from me. An amazing 3-for-1 deal! Enjoy!

 

#43 – the drawing mixed with a confettied “thank you” I once made.

  

#43 – a negative

  

#43 – the original heart

 

I’m gonna re-write me a love song

In the process of learning to love and appreciate myself I’ve come up with endless ways to make it happen. Some ways stick, others don’t. A favourite of mine is rewriting love songs. Finding the cheesiest love songs and then starting to swap you with me or I.

I do hear you think: that is SO SILLY!

True! But…do you ever really listen to love songs? As in ‘really’, word for word? If you do, you may have noticed that most love songs seem to be about how someone’s happiness and self-confidence depends on the other. It’s always focussed on the other. Never on the person itself. Never on you, your importance, the fact that you are the person you’ll live with your whole life.

So yes, it’s absolutely silly. It will make you laugh out loud at first. But give it a try, ‘cause after a while you’ll notice that the words really reflect with you. And the whole love song gets a different meaning. In fact LOVE gets a different meaning. It starts to become clear that it starts with you!
And here we get to one of my main realisations during my self-love journey. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone else. Not the other is responsible for my happiness, but I am.

I totally understand if you don’t get it right now, if you think I’m nuts – I am – or whatever it is you think. But fact is that this – rewriting love songs – is something that has helped me on my self-love journey. And to help you on your way, here are some examples:
To start, we’ll take one of the neediest songs from the ’90-ies. I need you by T3. If you don’t recall, bear with.

This is the refrain of the above mentioned song:
I need you
And I couldn’t live a day without you
I need you
More than anyone I ever know
I need you
And I wanna build my world around you
I need you
I need you

Yikes.

Now the fun part – rewriting it!

I need ME
And I couldn’t live a day without ME
I need ME
More than anyone I ever know
I need ME
And I wanna build my world around ME
I need ME
I need ME

And there you have it. The essence of life: you need yourself to get through life, you need to take care of yourself and build your world around you (not in a egocentric way, mind) before you can build a life with someone else. That’s the core of what I’m learning, little by little, bit by bit.

Let’s try another song. This Love, This Heart by Phil Collins. This is what it looks like after the formula of self-love:

 
This love, this heart, these arms to hold
So tight to me, I won’t let go
Can this be real, or just some dream that feels so true
I wish myself love, I wish myself more
I’m all that I live for
I’ll never hurt me, believe me
My heart beats just for me
It only beats for me

 
I’ll keep the fire alight for me
Can’t think of nothing else, what can I do
This lonely heart of mine, it only beats for me
It only beats for me
I bring me peace, I make myself smile
I give myself strength and all the while
I ask for nothing, only love
And my heart beats just for me
It only beats for me

I won’t give up, I’ll wait for me
‘Til I come back, it’s all I can do
I’ll be right here, I’m going nowhere without me….!

 
Okay, that one may sound a bit sad. On the other hand, don’t you wish you would tell yourself “I wish myself love” or “I’ll keep the fire alight for me”? Amazing, wishing yourself love! That’s what I’m trying to wish myself and give myself: love. And by singing love songs to myself, literally, it sticks. There you have the whole point of singing them to yourself: it is so funny, that it can’t do much else but stick. And slowly it will start to make sense. These days I can tell myself in the mirror that I love myself.And that’s the best feeling!

 
Save the best for last, Charles Aznavour’s Me, eehm, She:

I may be the reason I survive
The why and wherefore I’m alive
The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years
Me I’ll take my laughter and my tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where I go I’ve got to be
The meaning of my life is me

I mean, come on! This is the core of it all. You are the reason you are alive. The one person to take care of is you, in the first place. Why neglect yourself and expect others to do all the caring and loving for you? Why do you think that, if you loathe yourself, you are able to love others? Why expect others to love and adore you and take care of you if all signals you send out are signals of self-hate?

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought…or at least something to smile about ;-)

With love,
Tess

Self-love

Love and music. Essentials.