From this Day Forward, for Better, for Worse, for Richer, for Poorer, in Sickness and in Health, I Choose to Love, Honor, and Be Myself

09 May

If you have been married, did you write your own wedding vows or did you use the standard vows that include the phrase, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part?”  As used in many typical Western Christian wedding ceremonies, this phrase holds each partner accountable for their actions in their marriage. How many couples remember these vows during difficult times, like the ones we are experiencing now?

If you have never been married, how do you hold yourself accountable for your actions in your own life?  How do you treat yourself and others, especially during challenging times?

They say you can't truly love someone until you've learned how to love yourself first. But what does that mean? The Hawaiian people believe in working, living, and treating each other with the spirit of aloha.  According to their culture, aloha begins with first learning how to treat yourself with love and respect, and then treating others the same way.  By living aloha, you radiate positive vibes and create peace and harmony for living with each other and nature.  

There is no act too small or too insignificant in practicing aloha.  Aloha can be any attitude, act, or way of being or behaving that benefits your mind, body, or spirit with love, kindness, compassion, peace, mercy, or affection.  But, remember, it starts with you.

To cultivate aloha means to practice love and kindness with self-care.  Self-care is another form of self-love.  By practicing self-care, we are giving our mind, body, and spirit a well-deserved rest to recharge.  By caring for ourselves, we will be better able to love, support, and care for others.  It also helps us achieve more work-life balance, the Holy Grail of living in the modern world.

Self-care is anything you can do that is kind, gentle, and loving to improve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Self-care for your mind includes meditation, practicing positive affirmations, learning more about your passions, consulting with a therapist, exploring a city, visiting a museum, gratitude journaling, or decluttering your home.  Self-care for your body includes exercising, eating a healthy diet, getting more sleep, and getting a massage.  Self-care for your spirit includes playing games, indulging in your favorite hobbies, spending time in nature, practicing your religion, talking with your friends, visiting with family, and listening to your favorite music.

Practicing self-care also means creating healthy boundaries in your relationships. To create healthier relationships, you would need to stop trying to please everyone all the time and instead learn when to put your needs first.  Self-care in your relationships means honoring your feelings and speaking up for yourself and the things you want in life.  It also means learning how to say no to things that no longer serve your highest good. In other words, self-care makes more room for you in your own life.  The better you take care of yourself, the better your relationships, health, and desired outcomes in life will be.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is the ability to be yourself. Being yourself is the greatest self-power in that it combines all the others into one: self-love, self-acceptance, self-belief, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-compassion.  By being yourself, you are saying that you accept yourself as is, even if you are on a path of self-improvement or self-reinvention.  It means you love, honor, and feel good about the person you are right now and in the skin that you are in at this moment.  It means that you embrace all your strengths and weaknesses and all the things that make you uniquely you - from your qualities and traits to your passions, goals, and dreams.  It also means that you stay true to your standards, beliefs, values, ethics, and morals no matter what anyone else says or does.  

Being yourself is the most powerful superpower you can wield in today’s world.  If you embrace this superpower, you will radiate love, light, and positivity to everyone and everything around you. This is how you can cultivate, share, and spread aloha in the world to make it a better place.  If you can love, honor, and be yourself in the best of times and in the worst of times, you will live aloha and your life will be filled with endless possibilities.

Be good to yourself, my Pineapple. Make a solemn vow to love, honor, and be yourself now and always.  It is the bravest act of all.

Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.

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