Patricia Lynn Reilly, theologian, women’s empowerment pioneer, and author of Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself, contends that a woman’s relationship with herself is the source of all personal power and relational success. In I Promise Myself: Making a Commitment to Yourself and Your Dreams, she offers step-by-step support to make a vow of faithfulness to yourself and your dreams – the first essential step to achieving meaningful and reciprocal relationships with others. Author SARK, describes the book as “A profound and deeply illuminating guide to magnifying self-love.” And adds that “Patricia’s work is wise and resonant.”
The introduction to I Promise Myself begins like this:
An Invitation to Be True to Yourself
Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her life and capacities.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.
Imagine yourself as this woman.
For more than a decade, I have invited women to journey with me from self-loathing to self-love, from self-criticism to self-celebration. Along the way it has been necessary for us to dismantle the disempowering questions, “What’s wrong with me?” and “Who will save me?” As these questions are ousted from our lives, we return home to ourselves, reclaiming our natural resources and capacities; we author our own lives, participating fully in life’s gifts and challenges; and we remain loyal to ourselves even in the face of challenge and opposition. The journey transforms our inner landscapes and reframes our relationships to the world around us. To deepen these fundamental shifts in self-understanding within women’s hearts, minds and bodies, I have refashioned the wedding vow and wedding ceremony into transformational resources for making a lifelong commitment to ourselves. Each woman’s journey culminates in the composition of a “vow of faithfulness” to herself, which is then witnessed at a commitment ceremony…
Women of all ages, from all walks of life, are vowing faithfulness to their own lives. As a result, they are refusing to ask the questions “What’s wrong with me?” and “Who will save me?” Instead, they make powerful statements with every thought they share, every feeling they express, and every action they take on their own behalf. They use their personal and communal resources to give birth to woman-affirming rites of passage and ceremonies of transformation for their daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and for themselves. They are women ~ full of themselves!
…Pause for a moment and imagine growing in knowledge and love of yourself, vowing faithfulness to your own life and capacities, and remaining loyal to yourself ~ regardless. Imagine a life in which you deepen your relationship to your natural vitality, resilience, and sense of self. Imagine a ceremony of commitment to yourself, culminating with these words of self-blessing: “This is it. This is my life. Nothing to wait for. Nowhere else to go. No one to make it all different. What a relief to have finally landed here….now. Blessed be my life!
Did reading these excerpts from Patricia Lynn Reilly’s book conjure up any particular thoughts or feelings?
Is there something in particular you want to promise yourself?
Consider writing a ceremonial vow for yourself this week.
If you feel inclined to share, come back to the discussion and post your promises and/or vows of commitment to yourself.