I know this is crazy…but Elul is right around the corner!
And while we still have a few weeks left of summer, September and the chagim are coming up right after that…
Before you get caught up in the new year and the holiday prep I would like to share with you some ideas you can use to build your home in the New Year starting right now!
For the next three weeks we will work together on building intimacy and peace in our relationships by building ourselves!
Why is this so important?
Because we can not expect anything from someone else that we are not willing to give ourselves. That’s why the main mitzvah that we learn interpersonal relationships from is “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
I have identified three of the most important things that women are looking for in relationships, and I want to share with you how you can first give them to yourself to then make the space for your husband to overfill it!
This is the basic ingredient we are looking for in a relationship. Rambam identified it as a woman’s main source of satisfaction in marriage. It is the most chased after and talked about ingredient in all forms of art. We even have a whole book about it in Tanach, Shir Hashirim, which Rabbi Akiva called the holiest of all the holy books!
And yet, it seems so elusory! Even the Lover and her Beloved in Shir Hashirim can not seem to stay in a complete state together – they are always searching for this ideal emotional state and yet it keeps eluding them!
And while some of this uncertainty in love comes from the fact that we can not control who and how others love us, we are empowered to invite love into our lives and homes.
And that is by loving ourselves!
Loving yourself is not about being haughty, conceited or arrogant. It is not about feeling entitled or assuming you are always right.
It is about knowing that you were created by Hashem with the exact tools you need to accomplish a mission in this world that only you can do.
It is about recognizing all that you do – and the positive impact you have on the world.
Only once you recognize your talents and abilities will you be able to really use them. And only once you feel lovable will you emanate that energy and allow others to love you as well.
I will share with you three ways that you can build your own love for yourself:
1 – Make time for you!
Nothing teaches those around you how to treat you more than how you treat yourself.
When you make sure to give yourself time for self care every day, no matter what the circumstances, not only will you feel and treat others better, but you will recognize and emulate how important you are.
As much as I may think being a martyr will make other appreciate me, it doesn’t! The martyr face and energy only pushes them away.
And when I take the time to make myself happy, my smile pulls them to me like a magnet!
2 – Focus on what you have done instead of what you still need to do!
As it says in the Torah, Hashem created a world “to do” – a world of never ending work that can be done. Since you can never finish it all, you are actually more inspired to keep going by realizing how much you have accomplished.
When you focus on your long to do list, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Our lives are full of tasks and responsibilities, often all calling us at the same time and much of it daily to-do’s.
When you choose to shift your attention to what you have accomplished, your victories and wins come out and shine. You can look in the mirror and say “I am enough.”
When you appreciate the awesomeness of all that you do and all that you are, you recognize your power – and this actually inspires you to do more.
3 – Receive graciously!
In Jewish thought, receiving is the essence of femininity. When we receive we not only allow ourselves to feel “worth it”, but we tap into our powerful femininity.
Let me make a very important differentiation between taking and receiving. Taking is about entitlement and it is actually a disconnecting feeling – it says, “I am more deserving than you.”
Receiving on the other hand is a connector – it says, “I appreciate your desire to give and I will engage in the intimacy you are offering.”
To really receive, you must recognize that you are deserving of whatever is being offered instead of assuming it is fake, undeserved or unnecessary.
When you receive graciously you start a wonderful cycle that teaches both you and the giver how lovable you are!
Stay tuned for the second way you can improve your relationship by building yourself…