One of my best friends has recently re-entered the dating world and lately, we’ve been talking a lot about how important it is to keep your rhythm. We’ve both had past relationships where we’ve been swept off our feet and fallen pretty quickly into teenage-like co-dependence.
But when the cloud of that love bomb lifts, and you leave the bunker to come up for air… things can look pretty different. It can be scary to resurface from a relationship to realise how much of ourselves we’ve given away. Getting ‘swept off our feet’ entails a sense of losing our footing. And maybe being swept off our feet for a short period of time is no big deal, but if we don’t get back up on our feet, we’re bound to lose our rhythm.
You’ve probably seen friends (or even seen yourself) fall for someone and lose touch with their friends, their families, their hobbies, their plans, and their dreams... their rhythm. Unfortunately, this isn’t limited to the bounds of teenage crushes. Our lives are full of competing demands and a tangle of responsibilities to others. It’s hard not to lose ourselves in all of it.
The trouble is that when we give so much of ourselves away we can feel really vulnerable when something goes wrong. When we break up with a partner, lose our job, or lose loved one, we naturally feel devastated. But there’s an added layer of emptiness that we feel when we’ve also lost ourselves along the way. Keeping our rhythm is a way of staying connected to what matters to us, to what we love and to who we really are. It grounds us so that even when the winds of life are blowing a gale we can always return to ourselves.
Perhaps the greatest act of self-love is to keep our own rhythm even in the midst of our busy lives. To carve out time in our schedules to prioritise what truly matters to us. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture – it might be committing to that dance class that you love so much, going for a morning walk to see the sunrise each morning, taking time to meditate for 5 minutes before the family frenzy starts, having a long bath at the end of each week, making time to visit a good friend that you haven’t had quality time with for a long while, or reconnecting with your creativity.
Whatever it is that makes you feel like you – find it and hold onto it.
May you always keep dancing to your own tune.