Cleo's Dating Blog

Liberate Me, Baby

Posted on: January 22, 2011

For some odd reason, I have always associated the word “liberate” with the image of a topless hippie frolicking through a field of colorful flowers with a loyal following of birds circling her, like in the Sleeping Beauty (my favorite!).

There is something liberating about crisp air on your nipples, am I right?? Anyway, I have been feeling so liberated lately (in an emotional sense- not in a hippie way) and I love it. Compared to a year ago, my ability to maintain inner peace throughout most any circumstance has grown exponentially. If I did not know better, I would say that I feel immortal and invincible- Cleo, the Goddess of Fortitude and Liberation.

It is such a delicious, engrossing feeling- like the first time you ever saw the ocean, right after you finish a great workout, or when a hot man put his lips softly on your ear. It is better than being drunk or on any mixture of drugs… because it is the real thing. You can always trust in the real thing. So why would we ever let anything interfere with this elation?

The sad reality is that in this life, it is all too easy to surrender your freedom. For example, I used to think that I was afraid of love because I was afraid of getting hurt. I dated guys that I knew were not the best match for me or that did not capture my full attention, mostly because I was bored and wanted to keep life fresh. Not saying I regret it, but it was not the least bit fulfilling. A year and a half ago, I decided that I was ready to try the real thing- to be vulnerable and finally let someone control my heart. The problem was that I went about it the wrong way.

Just because you are ready (or think you are ready) for love, does not mean you will find it. Being bored or lonely and convincing yourself that you are in love does not mean you really are. Not being afraid to be vulnerable does not mean you are strong. We can not forget to maintain our rationality. How can you possibly “love” someone you just started dating? How can you plan a future with someone if you are so uncertain about the nature of the relationship today? How can you except someone to love you if you are so uncomfortable being yourself?

It can be very challenging to maintain control over your emotions and retain liberation when you let your guard down and are at the mercy of another. But do not worry… I have been working tirelessly on finding a solution to balance letting someone in while keeping a stronghold on your ability to frolic.

First- what are the enemies of liberation and why do we invite them into our lives?

Any time you feel anxious, indecisive, insecure, awkward, guilty, regretful, jealous, lonely, addicted, depressed, and/or obsessed, you are fostering emotions that are potentially dangerous. For me, any combination of these emotions is enough to take over my mind and cage my personality. Being caged does not make me feel like frolicking.

I find that most of these emotions only enter my life when I let them- when I do not make a conscious effort to shut them out. All of these emotions are instinctual at times, thus it becomes our job to recognize when they exist and to properly distinguish them.

Sometimes these negative emotions sneak up on me when I am exhausted, over worked, bored, or hung over. But more often then not, it is when I am sitting, waiting, wishing (jack johnson) for something I have no control over, i.e. whether you will one day love me, if I will ever be happy with my job, if I will make lots of money, when I wish I could change my reflection, if I can trust you to be with me tomorrow and forever. Placing a void in your life on someone else to fill is a burden that no one can successfully accomplish. Only you can ensure your own liberation… but unfortunately, that is easier said than done. The idea of being taken care of, looked after, praised, and worshiped can be all too tempting.

Second- how do we ward off the enemies to ensure long lasting liberation?

As cheesy as it sounds, positive words, thoughts, and energy are what make the difference. I know it sounds like the advice your mom always gave you when you did not have a prom date a month in advance, but maybe mommy had something right. Soul food, baby. Be proud of yourself all the time. Catch your own eye in the mirror and tell yourself how stunning you are (because you are). Pity the men that do not get to be with you. Reaffirm to yourself that the ones that do should feel lucky. Tell yourself that you are happy when single, dating, or in a relationship over and over until you believe it. Convince yourself that even if the most amazing man in the world does not love you, you will be just as happy without him (because you will). Tell yourself even if you do not believe it now. I do this literally everyday. As a personal testament, it honestly helps so much in building confidence and calming dating anxiety. Everyday I believe it a little more than the last. Similar to the fake it or make it mentality that I subscribe to,  the more positive feelings you have toward yourself, the more liberated you will be from the negative. The less negative, the stronger you will be. The stronger you are, the more capable you will be in letting good men in your life and enjoying their company without any fear of how you will be without them- because you will be just fine.

Just as important, surround yourself with like-minded people. It makes it that much easier to stay positive if those around you reinforce your opinions. Encourage each other often. Be affectionate. Give genuine compliments. Listen and be silly. Laugh, laugh, laugh.

We are all in this together,



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