Deciding to dissolve a marriage or end a relationship can be one of the most painful times in a person's life. Like Paul Simon sang, there are 50 ways to leave your lover. You've chosen one of them. What's next is the process of relearning self-love.
This is a time ripe with possibility and lessons, if you're willing and open to receive the gifts that dissolution brings. One huge gift is the opportunity to remember aspects of yourself that you've forgotten. You may find that you've been searching outside of yourself for a love that can only come from within.
Many of us have experienced pouring our love into our partners, and forgetting to pour that same love into ourselves. A breakup provides the opportunity to choose to spend time taking exquisite care of yourself.
And for those who aren't going through a breakup, it's never a bad time to pour love into yourself so deeply that you have the felt sense of being adored.
Here are 50 ways to be your own lover.
1. Treat yourself to a massage.
2. Take a walk in Mother Nature, noticing Her bounty by focusing on the sounds, scents, sights, and textures She has to offer.
3. Leave one day a week completely unscheduled. Notice (and follow) the creative impulses that arise.
4. Call your best friend and share the qualities you most appreciate about him or her.
5. Smile at a stranger and breathe into the sense of connection between you.
6. Wake up at dawn to meditate.
7. Rub warm oil all over your body and then lay down and be present with the sensations that arise.
8. Drink a cup of warm water with lemon and raw honey each morning (this is how you love your digestive system).
10. Buy lunch for a colleague.
11. Wrap yourself up in a blanket and sip a warm beverage.
12. Snuggle into your most comfortable chair and read purely for fun.
13. When you feel sad, scared, or angry, breathe into it and stay present until the wave of feeling passes.
14. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you, three times a day, to take 5 belly breaths and come home to yourself.
15. Take a leisurely bath (or a really long shower) using products that delight your senses.
16. Eat dessert slowly, savoring the taste, texture, smell, and sight of your food.
17. Practice deep relaxation at least once a week.
18. Spend time in the company of a wise teacher, either in person, by reading a book, or by watching a video.
19. Cultivate a new habit that supports your mind and body (such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, qi gong), and stick to it.
20. Put on your favorite song and have a dance party with yourself.
21. When you feel an emotion, acknowledge it to yourself and breathe into the place where you feel it in your body.
22. When you wake up in the morning, say aloud the things for which you are most grateful.
23. Dance naked to music.
24. Eat more foods that contribute to your felt sense of aliveness, and slowly stop eating those that dampen your energy.
25. Drink more water.
26. Try an activity that in the past has scared you.
27. Notice where you hold yourself back and start to live full out in those places. What would you do if no one was watching?
28. Express yourself as if each day was your last.
29. Forgive yourself for that one thing that you use to beat yourself up.
30. Read yourself a Hafiz poem aloud.
31. Chant or sing the names of the Divine.
32. Draw or paint the way that you feel.
33. Buy something that contributes to your experience of your own beauty.
34. Slow down.
35. Book a vacation and leave your phone at home.
36. Lie on your back with your legs up the wall until you feel completely relaxed.
37. Make time daily for stillness and quiet.
38. Notice those places inside that hurt and bring some love there.
39. Watch your favorite film (no multitasking allowed).
40. Cook yourself a nourishing meal.
41. Take a day trip to a new place.
42. Practice loving-kindness meditation.
43. Read yourself a Rumi poem each morning.
43. Forgive someone.
44. At the end of each day, appreciate something about yourself.
45. Write a poem to the beloved inside of you.
46. Donate to your favorite charity.
47. Love the parts of you that you've found unlovable.
48. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and notice the resulting vitality.
49. Put on your favorite song and sing your heart out.
50. Begin to see that everything that happens to you is there to help you learn.