A funny thing happened when I looked at who had checked out my last blog post, “The Love Game, For Guys Only.” I discovered that, For all my good intentions, I completely missed the mark attempting to serve the needs of my reading audience.
A large number of my blog visitors are seeking relationship help and love advice. My mistake was thinking most of these folks were already in relationships and wanted ideas on how they could not just survive their intimate partnerships but thrive together.
It turns out that many of my blog visitors are on the outside looking in. They can’t win the Love Game because they’re not even in it yet.
Dear relationship wannabes, I feel your pain. But, unlike most of you, I’ve got fifty years of trial and error experience with this subject, and I can help you if you sincerely wish to grow yourself into a more loving human being and will do the work to make this so.
I’m offering you my Back to Love Basics Series, an opportunity for you to learn how to get in the Love Game, and perhaps even discover happiness and fulfillment along the way.
Here we go-
Back to Love Basics Lesson One: First, Love Yourself
Okay, I can hear the groans. C’mon Tio, I’ve tried all that feel good, affirmation, positive thinking stuff.
My answer, maybe so, but please play along for a moment. This gets better, and it’s REALLY simple.
“First, Love Yourself,” is the only true foundation for building successful, mutually supportive loving relationships.
I’m going to skip by all the reasons people don’t love themselves, all the rationalization that occurs to justify low self-esteem. Rather, I’m going straight to Love Basics. I’m going to teach you how to start loving yourself right now.
I’m going to teach you how to dribble the Love Ball.
That’s right, like basketball. To learn how to play basketball, you first must learn how to dribble the ball. You learn how to dribble the ball before you shoot baskets and pass to team mates . In the Love Game, you need to learn how to dribble the Love Ball before you can score points with potential partners or make successful passes at them.
In the Love Game, the Love Ball is self love.
Repeat after me: The Love Ball is Self Love.
Now, this part is really amazing. Take a deep breath, let it out, and read this-
The way to dribble the Love Ball is to Smile!
The Way to Dribble the Love Ball is to Smile!
No, I’m not joking. Here’s how it works-
When you smile, you not only stretch the muscles on your face and perhaps even show a few teeth, you send a message to your mind that says “Happy!” Your brain is shot up with feel good hormones. You feel different.
You feel “Happy!””
Yes, sometimes the message is a little “happy,” and sometimes it’s a big “HAPPY!” It doesn’t matter, because any “Happy!” feels good. And, since smiles are self-activated, when you smile you are making yourself feel good.
When you smile, you are loving yourself.
No, I’m not going to get into any existentialist arguments on the meaning of “Happiness.” This is my blog and I’m choosing to equate “Happiness!” with feeling good and love. If you want to take another tack, please feel free to do so on your own ocean.
My purpose here is to help relationship wannabes get into the Love Game. With that, I offer you the first Back to Love Basics Exercise: Smile!
For the next seven days, I want you to smile at least one hundred times each day. I want you to smile when you see your surprised face in the mirror. I want you to smile when you spill coffee on your work clothes and have to change your outfit. I want you to smile at everyone you meet on the street, on the bus, in the elevator, standing in line to get another cup of coffee, smile, smile, smile.
No, don’t leer. No Jack Nicholson “Shining” weird smiles. Just curl your lips upward, stretch your jaw muscles, flash some teeth and that’s it. No need to say a word. In fact, for this exercise it’s better to say nothing.
Seven days. 100 smiles each day. Big smiles,little smiles, just smile, smile, smile.
I guarantee that in one week, you will feel better about yourself and life, because if you honestly do the work here, you will love yourself more in one week than most of you have loved yourselves in months.
Seven days. 100 smiles each day. No need to say a word, but pay attention to the reactions you get. Let me know what happens.
Next time, Back to Love Basics Lesson Two: Give the Love You Want.