Aphrodite: Goddess of Self-Love?

Ancient Greek Goddess in Sea WavesOne of my earliest memories of the Goddess Aphrodite was the 1986 hit song “Venus” by Bananarama. I never liked the name Venus though – I much preferred Her Greek name, Aphrodite. As a child I wanted to be Aphrodite. As a gawky, gangly pre-teen, I would have given almost anything to have Her beauty and grace.

As I grew up, I learned that Aphrodite was not just the Goddess of romantic love, but rather, she was the embodiment of self-love, something we can all use a heavy dose of these days. Ask any woman whether she’s happy with what she looks like or if she’s completely happy with her life and you’ll likely get a resounding “no.” Ask that same woman, “When was the last time you did something really nice for yourself?” and you’ll likely get silence. After a few moments, she might come back with, “Well there was that day a few months ago when I had the flu and I slept in until 6:00 am.”

Sound familiar? It’s sad, really. Why can’t we as women take a day off or do something nice for ourselves? And lest you think I’m a hypocrite, I’m asking that same question of myself right now – on a Sunday morning when I’ve been working all weekend and haven’t had a real vacation in a couple of years.

But I do manage to make time for a few little things for myself. I try to get a massage at least twice a month, turn off the laptop by 6:00 or 7:00pm every night, and have lunch with my girlfriends once a month or so.

Would I like to do more for myself? Of course. But that little voice inside is like a gerbil on a wheel, “You know what you could be doing with your time right now, right? Writing another blog? Working on your product line? Doing some marketing? Going to a networking event?” Ahh… the infamous little voice inside. Sometimes I just want to yell, “Shut up, already!” But then I’d be yelling at myself, which I’m pretty sure is not a way to show yourself love.

So when that little voice crops up inside my head, I try to respond with, “Yes, I could be doing _____ [fill in the blank], but right now, this is the best way to Honor me. If I don’t make time for myself, then I won’t be able to give my best to _____. “ Most of the time that works to quiet the little voice down from a scream to a whisper. And if it doesn’t, I turn to Aphrodite, Goddess of Self-Love, for a little help.

Take care of you!

Goddess Mary

4 Comments

  • Brilliant! I love the way you model healthier self-talk. Now if only the Bananarama song wasn’t stuck in my head….

  • Donna Brown says:

    Your “little voice” and mine have been going to the same networking events, evidently. I married into a family whose highest value was WORK. By that, they meant manual labor, not mental labor. I am a creative person, and all the work that has meaning for me involves my brain, not my muscles. (Consequently, I’m really out of shape, because exercise time is time I could be reading or writing or spinning or knitting or making jewelry or clothing or a quilt or — yeah, well, that’s another discussion altogether.) I already “should” on myself regularly, and being part of this family only reinforced that. Now that I’m a widow, there’s also maintenance on the house and yard that adds into that. I find it constantly difficult to prioritize stuff, because everything all needs to be done NOW, and taking time for me is difficult. I do it, but I always feel like there’s something else I ought to be doing instead, so it doesn’t come without guilt. In fact, nothing I do comes without the guilt that I ought to be doing something else. I’m working on my business, but I really need to mow the lawn. My kitchen needs cleaned desperately, but I need to be doing something that actually makes money. Etc., etc., and so forth. This makes me a little crazy, and I wonder if I’ll ever find myself in a position of being able to delegate the crap jobs and feeling free to do the things that fire me up without feeling like I ought to be doing something else?

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