Freedom to Love Oneself

I was traveling in the Carolinas, teaching and visiting my army daughter and the twins who are already four-years-old. It was a beautiful day.

The leaves on the trees were moving gently as I stepped out into the sun. I felt so alive, so free. You get tired when you travel, as you know. And, you can become energized as you experience your independence… your ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Within some confines, it’s true, yet liberating

That’s the place I was at when I went into the welcoming center and saw the display of red hats. There is a group called the Red Hat Society. It’s made up of women who choose to be free, even if it’s only in their way of thinking.

If you are fortunate enough to be 50-years-old, you are allowed to wear red hats, less than that you wear pink. Obviously, I’m not a rules person or I’d have the exact guidelines. The whole movement is based on a story/poem that says, “When I am old I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t suit me” and do all of things I wasn’t supposed to do during my life. And the thought is that you don’t have to wait until you are old to let that happen.

Out of the blue or from a recent trip to San Diego, I came upon a Real Woman Creed. I thought it was from the Red Hat Society, but it’s from the Athena Foundation ( This creed has some great words that are directed to women, but could easily be set for men also. Here are some of the words:

"I believe that within me lies an extraordinary radiance and I commit to letting my light loose in the world."

"I believe that negative thoughts and words compromise my well-being and I commit thinking and speaking positively about myself and others."

"I believe that young women are in need of positive role models and I commit to being an example of authenticity and self love."

"I believe that joy is an essential part of wellness and I commit to removing obstacles to joy and creating a life that is full of exuberance."

Don’t you just love it? Both of these groups are dedicated to being who you are and to having a good time doing it.

But, how do you do it?

First of all, know that it is possible. You just need to set your intention and let it happen. Well, OK. There may be a little more to it than just thinking of it once and it’s there. To begin, the most important part is to decide what you want and be worthy of that. Easy for me to say, you may say.

What do you want? Really want?

Winning the lottery would be fine, but I doubt that you would love yourself any more than you do if you were rich. You might spend more money trying to buy happiness. And folks would certainly come around you more if they thought they could take advantage of your wealth, but I doubt that your core beliefs about yourself would be different.

Since this is the first moment of the rest of your life and one thought can change everything that follows it, find the dream and put it out there to be reality.

The books on how to make a million dollars tell you to make a list of 100 things you want to do so that you can let your mind stretch. Let’s do something like that.

Make a list of 100 ways you could honor yourself. A hundred? Yes, one hundred.

Where to start? I honor myself by: sitting down with my feet up for ten minutes when I get home from work, saying only positive things about myself and others, asking for specific help around the house, allowing those that help to do it their way, eating good food, telling myself I’ve done a good job, letting criticism flow off my back (it’s not about me) and more. There are many ways when you let yourself think freely.

You may find repeats. That’s OK. They are probably things your being really wants or needs.

Pick out your 10 best or most often repeated and make a list entitled, Today I will:

Spend a few minutes when you wake up (and when you go to bed) with your list and see yourself doing each and every item on you list. Put it on the bathroom wall where you sit and relax for short periods throughout the day. You could put the list on cards and place them on your car visor, workstation or in your wallet.

Allow yourself to do the things on the list. Add more things. You are not being selfish. You are taking care of yourself so you will be available for whatever you need to do in the future.

When you travel by air, the flight attendant will tell you that if there is an emergency (happy thought) the oxygen masks will drop in front of you. You are to put yours on first and then help your child or others dependent upon you.

You see, I’m telling you to do this so you can help others better. It’s either a co-dependent statement or being part of a team. We could also learn to do this just for ourselves, because we’re worthy of it.

I really am working on it. When I saw the red hat display, I finally found the place that sells them and bought a beauty – and a purple scarf to go on it. More money than I’m used to spending on myself, but I decided I was worth it.

I’ve decided to bring more joy into my life and I’m playing my violin more.

So, when do you think you will start doing more for yourself? Is now a good time? What will you do first?

If we want those who follow us to have a life that is more free, with more joy, we need to teach by example. And we need to support each other and those who are being oppressed by our society’s economics and unwritten rules. We can do that.

Here is the last Real Woman Creed on their list. Maybe we could substitute the word person for woman.

I believe that a woman who loves herself is a powerful, passionate, attractive force and I commit, from this day forward, to loving myself deeply and extravagantly.

About the Author

Kathy Sinnett, RN is a Certified Holistic Nurse, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and Instructor.


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