The Greatest Love Of All (it really is yourself – Whitney and Dolly had it right)

Oh Whitney.  How sad I was yesterday watching a block of Whitney Houston videos on VH1 (Videos on Vh1? I know, right)? I realized, standing in my kitchen holding a wet dishcloth and a half dried mug, that I had grown up to her music. I had bopped my head to “How Will I Know,” and cried my eyes out to “Where do Broken Hearts Go.”  But even if you thought it was cheesy, the most important message in any of Whitney’s songs was the one she shared in “The Greatest Love of All.” You’ve got to love yourself, first and foremost. Which is sometimes easier said than done.

I was washing dishes at the behest of Marla Ciley, AKA FlyLady, who has an online community that shares tips and a whole system for cleaning, organizing and clearing clutter out of your house.  Now I don’t know about you, but I find it even harder to feel good about myself when my house is a wreck.  And when it’s a wreck, it can be so overwhelming, I feel even worse! Wow, talk about a self perpetuating cycle.  FlyLady’s pep talk emails and essays pull you through all that if you take it all to heart.  Again, it’s kind of like Whitney- you have to overlook a little cheese here and there to really appreciate the message.  And so I decided to excerpt Marla/FlyLady’s essay about loving yourself here, in honor of Whitney.
Dear Friends,

This weekend we have been mourning the loss of Whitney Houston. As I have spent all day listening to her music one song says so much to me; The Greatest Love of All! We will always love her voice and how we feel when we hear her sing. There is a line in this song that touches my heart; Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all. Finally Loving Yourself is this gift!

Whitney Houston~The Greatest Hits
Whitney Houston~The Greatest Hits

How do you learn to love yourself? What is Love anyway? To us it may be something that we have never had. Several years ago when I was in an abusive relationship; all I wanted was to feel loved. It didn’t matter if I was loved; I just wanted to feel like I was. What I finally came to realize was I was never going to feel this way by his actions. I needed to find other ways to feel loved.

I started to meditate and in order to stay focused on my breathing I would repeat with each breath in “I LOVE” and the breath out “MYSELF”! Even though I didn’t believe it yet; I still did it! I would meditate 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. This became a way for me to slow my brain down; after a while the words that I said to myself began to manifest themselves into actions.

When something would not feel right; I would ask myself if doing that was loving myself. Now I have taken those simple words and turned them into my mission statement for my life. To find joy in everything I do.

This is one of the greatest gifts I ever gave myself. It keeps me from perpetuating the abuse by showing me that I am loved. Love is an action word. It is the result of some little deed that makes us feel good or special. I want you to take a few minutes right now and write down a list of things that you can do for yourself to put into action the word love.

Take that seriously folks – take a minute out of your day and jot down 5 things you can do to love yourself. Because, to quote another  fabulous role model of mine, RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?” Amen to that, Ru. Amen to that.

Be well, and love well.


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I’d like to thank the Academy…for ordering this FABULOUS stemware!

Do the glittering parties surrounding awards shows like last nights’ Emmy Awards and the coming Grammys, and Oscars have anything to do with little ole’ non-celeb weddings?  You bet.

1 – They’re the inspiration. Design for big awards shows is adventurous, and usually very spendy.  The organizers want “wow” factor, so designers stretch themselves and set trends.  The hottest colors and themes trickle down- so a motif from the press check in table at the Grammys may show up on your escort card table.

2 – Goblets, and linens, and tables, oh my!  Being in the SoCal area can get you closer to Awards Show inspiration.  Many designers, not finding the “look” they need from existing stock at party rental companies, will have them buy a new pattern of glassware, create a custom linen, or even specially sized or shaped tables.  Those items don’t usually disappear from inventory after the event, the rental company wants to make their money back.
Governor's Ball
3 – The Lifetime Achievement Award – Another perk of being a SoCal bride is that you have access to professionals who have experience at fabulous events.  There are things that a designer can only learn at the Oscars. Lucky for our brides, the My Little Flower Shop staff has collectively done floral design and event planning for multiple years’ Emmys,  Oscars, and some of the hottest after-parties like the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.  That’s a lot of glamour, experience and flair we’re ready to put into your event.  After all, on you wedding day, you deserve the star treatment. And even a little ole’ wedding is hugely important to us.