Self love is the foundation of health. Without it, our lives can become unmanageable, and it can happen so gradually, we may not even realize it.
It’s not always easy, and can feel really icky to take care of ourselves. But self-care makes up the blocks of that foundation. It can feel greedy when we set boundaries with family members or have to say no to an invite or favor. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first, which feels self-centered, but we have to take care of ourselves #1. If we are not well cared for, it’s nearly impossible to care for others.
Happiness comes from the inside. When we don’t love ourselves, it’s nearly impossible to feel joyful, unless something really big happens- like winning the lottery or buying our dream home. On the other hand, when we practice self-love, we’ll find glee in the most mundane of places. I sometimes cry tears of joy while driving because the gratitude I feel for this life is overwhelming. It’s always a wonderful feeling and one I’ll never get tired of.
Where to start?
Start with actively forgiving yourself. I don’t care how terrible you were or are, I urge you to realize that you were doing the best that you could do, and move on. Close your eyes for just one minute. Think of one or more things that you feel guilty about, thank the feeling for giving you the insight and then let it go. Visualize it floating up far far away.
Notice your thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve proclaimed, out loud to someone, that I will be winning the worst mother of the year award, and meant it. I slam myself all the time, and so do my friends, which makes me think it’s kind of normal. Now that I know better, I have a name for those thoughts and have gotten good at sending them away. Sometimes my mind says nasty things about myself, which I’ve gotten better at noticing the absurdity of these thoughts.
Start with these things and notice that it doesn’t really require you to “do” anything. You don’t have to wake up early, or do X minutes of whatever. Just notice and forgive.
This seems so insignificant, but it’s the small shifts that create an avalanche of change.
So how about some self-love for 2021? I think we all could use it <3