What it means to love yourself

This past week has been personally challenging and very draining.

It not only took a lot of out of me, it also took me to a different place – a very dark place which I have not visited in a very long time. 

I am not at liberty to share more as it involves and affects other people. More them than me. So, I have to respect their privacy.

I apologise to all my friends for not being around, and to those online friends for not being able to read their posts lately. Yes, I have tonnes of emails to reply too. 

I will resume once I have pulled myself together.

For those who think I lead a magical life – well, sometimes it is magical. But it never lasts. There will always be new horrors and nightmares just to remind me that nothing is permanent. Good or bad, everything changes.

Sometimes the truth is scarier than the lies we tell ourselves.

Sometimes, the lies are more comforting at the beginning…a temporal relief because we are not prepared to face the truth.

Sometimes, the hell is the “bed” we make for ourselves.


Here, I am grateful for the art of fearless living. If I had not been “training” myself in this “art of fearless living”, I think I would have easily succumbed. The idea of downing the bottle of bleach like it was a bottle of scotch was tempting. But not tempting enough.

These days, I rather be hurt by the truth than be consoled by the lies.

Even my own daughter had asked how did I become so strong – well, the truth is, I didn’t choose to become strong. Sometimes, there is no other choice. When being strong is the only choice, then we learn just how strong we can really be. But it does not mean that we will not get tested as time goes on. It does not mean that we will no longer need to struggle. As I have said many times, the battle is an on-going affair – into greater depths, and heights. We will not know until it is all done.

So, as I lick my wounds and count my blessings, I remain grateful and hopeful.

I refuse to be bitter, angry and sad. Most of all, I refuse to be pitiful.

I share the following quote from Toni Morrison to remind myself to always LOVE and VALUE myself, first and foremost. 

In my case, it is not so much about a man loving me, or not loving me – well, as you all know I do not have a man, being undateable and a titanium tofu. LOL

Yes, I can laugh now. And that is a very good thing. 

It is really about loving ourselves in the right way – whether you are a man or woman πŸ™‚

β€œYou think because he doesn’t love you that you are worthless. You think that because he doesn’t want you anymore that he is right — that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. If he throws you out, then you are garbage. You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don’t. It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn’t be like that… You can’t own a human being. You can’t lose what you don’t own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.”

~ Toni Morrison

So, whatever happens, always remember to have faith in ourselves.

We are much stronger than we think. In fact, we are much more capable than we give ourselves credit for.

Life can knock us down and beat us up, but it cannot defeat us when we do not quit.

Many a times, people tend to reject themselves first before anyone else does. And they don’t really give themselves a chance to begin with.

So, before we seek someone else to fall in love with us, perhaps it would be great to fall in love with ourselves first.

Yes, to love ourselves for who we are – warts, flaws, weaknesses and all. Because somewhere in all of that, there is also immense beauty πŸ™‚ 

As always, stay fabulously fearless and love the life you live.

Peace πŸ™‚




Being Afraid Is Human, But Staying Afraid Is A Choice.

  • Thom Amundsen
    February 24, 2014

    If we do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we can never learn. In all my interactions with you, the writings, the honesty, the praise, the delightful words, I am always intrigued by your ability to be human and real. Thank you for letting us know that living fearless takes effort, and not simple entitlement. Peace!

    • shirleymaya
      February 24, 2014

      Thank you for your kind words, Thom. Truly appreciate it. Peace indeed πŸ™‚

  • Carol Balawyder
    February 24, 2014

    Shirley, this is a truly powerful post. I read your link to the Huffington Post (BTW – congratulations for that!).
    I can see your dilemma being an Asian woman but it’s also somewhat true for older women in America. We become invisible. Men (my age) prefer to date women much younger – even twenty years younger. Youth over wisdom.
    As we grow older, women need other women more than ever. Also this online community is truly a magical place. I’m glad you are part of it πŸ™‚

    • shirleymaya
      February 24, 2014

      Thank you, Carol. I am very grateful for the online community, support and friendship. I am very glad that you are part of my cyber-world as well πŸ™‚

  • irenedesign2011
    February 24, 2014

    This is a really deep and mindful post Shirley. You really gave me something to think about today, and it is early morning here, so I will have the time, I hope.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, wish you the best and hope you will feel better soon.

    • shirleymaya
      February 24, 2014

      Thank you, Irene. Very kind of you to drop by and share your thoughts. Hope all goes well for you too. Getting better, bit by bit, moment to moment πŸ™‚

  • beeseeker
    February 24, 2014

    Just echo what Carol B says in an earlier comment. You have my respect for both your personal strength, your courage in writing about it and the way you do just that (whoops that’s three things isn’t it?)
    Best wishes.

    • shirleymaya
      February 25, 2014

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  • Ranting Crow
    February 25, 2014

    Be proud of who you are and what you are, you came a long way to be right here right now. and be YOU.

    There is nothing else to say. we all have a hell of a day. on times.. so we crawl out and learn and grow stronger. No moping for it changes nothing.

    If one needs a day of who are we to judge.. πŸ˜€ Keep smiling

    • shirleymaya
      February 25, 2014

      Thank you so kindly for your words of support. Means a lot to me, TJ. Coming out of the dark soon…just need to make sure I slay its ass real good this time πŸ˜‰

  • Evie Grabowiecki
    March 21, 2014

    Great post πŸ™‚ I really enjoy your blog!