So glad to have the honor to be working with jewelry designer to the stars/author Stephanie Wells. Her book, The Earring Style Book is currently available. It's a stunner, and when you visit her Web site, http://www.doublehappinessjewelry.com/ you can buy some of her exquisite handmade goods. If you want a crack at creating your own pieces with her techniques, you will want to reference the upcoming Jewelry Affaire (out April 1). I'm partial to the ring directly above, as it is named Esme, which happens to be my favorite name.
Stephanie's company is called Double Happiness Jewelry. The term "double happiness" refers to marriage in Chinese culture. When I read about this term it got me thinking, about what it means to be truly happy, and how you can't really make someone else happy (double your happiness) unless you are happy with yourself.
After doing a lot of thinking on these things, I've come to the conclusion that when love finds you (and it does find you, you don't find it) it gives you many gifts. Sure, happiness is one of them. But perhaps some of the greater gifts it gives you is that it makes you realize a great deal about yourself. True love makes you see those things inside of yourself that you have put off, ignored for too long, those things that need work, that need changing, oftentimes, need fixing. You see these things because you want to make yourself better, you want to make yourself happy, so that you can make someone else happy; so that you can share in each other's joy, in helping each other, and ultimately you both come out for the better, and in turn make the world a bit better.
Loving yourself, like loving someone else, takes work. Loving the things you make (be it jewelry or a magazine) takes work. And we should take pride in our work, even if it's self-help. There's something infinitely encouraging in realizing your own shortcomings rather than having someone else point them out to you. There's something inspiring in knowing that with one step at a time, you can help yourself be happy, rather than relying fully on someone else to fix and support you.
One time I said to my good friend Paulette (http://www.summerlandcottagestudio.blogspot.com/) "we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves" and her reply "yes, but no one loves themselves anymore" stuck with me. I think she's right. But I also think when we open ourselves to loving another, we are given the immense gift of learning to love ourselves more. One of my lit. professors in college made the observation that "love is selfish." And perhaps it should be. Otherwise we would never learn about those things that make us truly happy. We tend to become consumed in another person on the road to finding love, but when love finds you, it causes you to be consumed in the relationship, that goal of finding double happiness, so that you can reflect on yourself as well as the other person.
Happy happy Friday. Show yourself some love.