Personal Passion

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Say it three times; I LOVE ME! I LOVE ME! I LOVE ME! It’s not being cocky or conceited or pompous. It’s something very few people ever get right! The first step in any relationship is to love you. It’s not being selfish or self centered. It’s like building a house. That relationship must be built on a strong foundation. And that foundation is you.

One of the Ten Commandments is to love your neighbor as thyself. But most people have never learned to love themselves. They have never taken time to discover who they are, and they are too busy taking care of everyone else and worrying about what others think to get to know and love the person they truly are inside and out. I was once given a little card that I kept in my wallet for the longest time until it finally fell apart that read,

“I am great ‘cause God don’t make no junk!”

Think back to that friend who drags you down. They talk about other people and show pleasure in gossip. They try to control you and make you think their way and resent you if you did not go along with them. Maybe your politics are different from theirs. Well, if you did not speak up and hold your ground, perhaps it’s because you do not love yourself enough. Don’t your opinion and feelings matter? This is not a real friend. I have had to walk away from several of these people in my life over the years. It was painful, but it had to be done, and I have never looked back.

How I wish I had learned this lesson earlier, as I had many boyfriends in high school and college who tried to control me. Thank goodness I had a strong mom who instilled in me a unique sense of pride in who I am, and how not to put up with any crap. (Even though I put up with a lot of it along the way before the message set in!) Had she not reminded me how to speak up for myself, and respect myself above all else, I might have stayed in these destructive relationships. Sadly, I was drawn into several poor choices early on, but at least I was smart enough to finally get out.

There is a poem by Frederick Perls that I learned in college that has stayed in my heart. Perhaps you too will remember it!

I do my thing and you do your thing

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you

And I am I

And if by chance we find each other,

It’s beautiful!

And it really is beautiful when you find a really great friend or soul mate, or best of all, spouse who feels that same way. It’s magical. In order for them to learn how to love you, you have to be able to love you. There’s nothing selfish about self-love.

So enter the New Year my friends, working on loving yourself more. Treat yourself to a spa day. Do more of the things you love. Spend more time with those you love. Concentrate on your passion for you!

“It’s your cup. Fill it up.” “Find the beauty within and let it soar.”

And one more catch phrase I love – “This is NOT a dress rehearsal.” It’s opening night and the STAR is YOU!

About this writer

  • Diane DeVaughn Stokes

    Diane DeVaughn Stokes

    Diane DeVaughn Stokes is the President of Stages Video Productions, Host and Producer for TV show “Inside Out” on HTC, and EASY Radio Host weekdays noon to 3pm. Her passions include food, travel and theater. You can reach her at

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One Response to “Personal Passion”

  1. Anna Riley says:

    Very good message! It’s so easy to forget to do things for ourselves at times. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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