Shed The Layers - Part 1
60 Days of Self-Dating by Lindsay Brady
You can’t give away something that you don’t have, and until you have true love for yourself you’ll likely not be able to give this type of love to someone else... And that’s why I embarked upon my journey of self-dating. I picked 60 days because they say it takes 21 days to make a habit, 30 days for that habit to become a routine, and 60 days for that routine to become a lifestyle.
So what is self-dating? Self-dating is about shedding the layers and masks you have put on for all of the different roles you play in your life leading up to this present moment; because the person you are at your core is someone the world has tricked you into believing is wrong of you to be. Self-dating is about getting back to your authentic self. This notion of dating yourself is not an easy journey. If you're truly dating yourself with the same vigor and tenacity that you would someone you’re interested in romantically you’re going to find parts of yourself that you may not necessarily like. And unlike a dating scenario where you can break up with the person because of such character flaws or “defects”, you’re not able to break up with yourself, period. Your relationship with yourself is the one that is guaranteed to last a lifetime.
This discovery of dating yourself is not about drawing yourself lavender epsom salt baths every night, and treating yourself to pedicures, or taking yourself out for extravagant dinners and buying yourself the expensive outfit. While those are definitely the icing on the cake activities if you will, they’re not the entire dessert. Self-dating is about taking the time to be with just yourself, no one else, and truly dedicating chunks of time for you to rediscover you.
The most powerful revelation that I had around day 30 of my 60 day journey was an idea to do a gratitude inventory; an inventory of all of the beautiful things I was grateful to have had in my life starting from being born of sound mind and body leading up to the present moment of sitting at the lake one Saturday afternoon doing this list. And what was interesting is right around the time I was getting to things that occurred in my life around the age of 15 I hit a wall. It became heavy and difficult to write things I was grateful for. Whereas from early childhood up through adolescence and my early teenage years my pen flew. I couldn’t write fast enough. All of the memories and all of the treasures I was recounting just poured out of me. I realized that when my pen became heavy and I couldn’t write as free-flowing it was because that’s when ego took over. That's when I stopped feeling safe to be who I truly was and I started being who the world demanded me to be. Who I should succumb to. My inner child if you will was banished to the corner, and would not be allowed out for years to come.
I am not writing this from the perspective of having any formalized training or having a very expensive piece of paper that tells me about human behavior. I am writing this from my own experiences as a woman that has lived through fright and terror, and remorse and guilt. But also as a woman who has lived through light and love and beauty. I can see how all of this formed and shaped me into the person that is able to put pen to paper and provide this insight and way of self discovery and healing to you the reader. There is no formal training. I am just a student of my own life who has had experiences and simply wants to share them as a means of shining light into the dark corners of our world. And maybe you’re in that dark corner, and maybe this article is some light helping you to come out. And if it is, I am so happy you found these words. More to be revealed. Stay tuned.