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
Christmas 2020 will always bring me cherished memories. It will be remembered as an anomaly, and not because of the pandemic. This is the year we left stress, negativity and drama behind. And it was amazing.
The last two trips to Florida were in January and February and the weather was awful both times, so we didn’t go for the weather, and planned on bundling up/staying inside.
To our surprise the weather was gorgeous and hot. The whole week couldn’t have been better.
I ran around the block with my 15 year old nephew the first night, it was exhilarating.
All four boys, my two, plus my nephew who we have custody of plus the nephew in Florida meshed well the entire week. I should mention that we stayed at my sister’s house— a modest 3 bedroom home and having 5 extra adult sized people for a week can be, well, stressful. The kids were rockstars and my poor nephew in Florida was sad to see all our boys go.
We had some nice adventures. We kayaked with alligators, which was just awesome. The last one we passed (pictured below) was the smallest one we had seen so we got nice and close without getting scared. The weather was perfect.
On Christmas Eve day we went to the beach along the Atlantic Ocean. The waves were huge, the air was warm (80 degrees) and the water wasn’t too cold.
We all played in the water. Usually I play for a second, if that, before getting too cold. As I sat on the edge with my youngest and got knocked down by wave after wave, I realized how unique this was. It can be 80 or 90 and our pool water can be in the warm side, but I’m always cold in it no matter what. My chills were absent that day. I was perfectly fine, not too hot or cold. In disbelief, I checked my arms multiple times, but no goosebumps. For me this is really unheard of, and I consider it a miracle.
Hubby and I also rented electric bicycles and had some cool adventures riding through Cocoa Beach. We’ve wanted to try them for awhile and once again, the weather was amazing. I was hot in a tee shirt and was ecstatic that we were riding and hot in late December.
On the last night, we took the boys to Andretti’s Thrill Park. They had a blast, and rode their favorite, the go carts, several times.
The soul work I’ve been doing for a couple of years now appears to be paying off. I was so much less stressed than ever before. Usually on vacation, I worry excessively about my pets. I didn’t check on them once.
Even when my cat sitter called and said she might have corona, felt super run down and had to miss a day, I remained calm. When the dog daycare/boarding place called to say that Jules had projectile vomited during the snack and snuggle session, but was otherwise okay, I kept my cool, and let it go knowing it was out of my hands and not to worry.
I noticed the people I encountered, I mean really noticed them. What I concluded from my observations is that the small interactions we have on a daily basis is far more purposeful than I thought.
The old family friend we helped move, she gave me a new perspective on the audience I need to consider when writing spiritual books.
An active alcoholic who seems to have fond memories from rehab, as a cute/handmade religious sign on his walk hit me on the head. He talked about a friend from rehab making it for him.
Countless people from all over who relocated to Florida and I had small conversations with.
The rude lady at the airport who griped about a lady cutting the line, but later cut right in front of me. I almost said something like, “for someone complaining about cutting, it’s funny you cut in front of me. But I didn’t, and let the thought go. Later I found out something that gave me an enormous amount of empathy and I was reminded that we have no idea about people’s struggles.
The man at the bike shop who asked me about the brace on my wrist. I told him I have rheumatoid arthritis and knew he spoke my language when he asked about my diet. He gave me a recipe to make a supplement that will help with inflammation, and talked a great deal about the holistic/spiritual things I’ve been studying. He’s a self-proclaimed healer and is writing a book. I concluded that he has monkey brain like me, and am thankful for the knowledge he shared with me.
The old me would do anything to avoid any type of interactions while out and about. Now I’m blown away at the things you can learn from a stranger.
The old me also would have been counting the days of my vacation. About halfway through I’d be ready for it to be over, eager to get back home.
Not this time. I paid no attention to days or not having my dog in the bed, or going back to work, none of that was on my mind.
My sister noticed and told me she’s never seen me so relaxed during a vacation. The soul work I’m learning and practicing has instilled some automatic habits. I’m not thinking about tomorrow. I’m not thinking about yesterday, or worrying about things that didn’t happen.
I’m living in the moment, and it’s glorious.
And I’m loving everyone, even the tough ones, because more often then not, they’re the ones who need it most.
WOAH this week got a little ugly. That last day that I wrote ended with me in a fetal position bawling on the shag rug next to the fireplace around midnight- way past my bedtime.
My mood was much lighter the following day. I think much of this was hormonal, plus holiday stress. I am feeling one thousand times better and have since that dreadful night. I feel that I navigated this ugly episode better than in the past. Meaning, it didn’t last as long and instead of crying all day, I cried for 15 minutes at midnight. So this makes me feel grateful.
A few days ago something simple but profound happened, and I don’t want to forget about it. I was at CVS picking up a prescription and decided to browse the Christmas aisle. I was still in that funk at this time, and this was probably a really stupid thing to do, but when I spotted a display full of liquor, I couldn’t help but to go look, and I stared. It was risky because I never know when that switch can flip and the alcoholic voice completely takes over. I studied the bottles; the brandy, the vodka, adult chocolate milk. I noticed that I didn’t desire it. I thought of the bottles as “bottles of lies,” but I wasn’t angry at it. Sometimes in the past I would flip the liquor aisle off, or at least scowl at it. I wasn’t really angry though. I didn’t really have any feelings toward it either way. I was happy to walk away empty handed and acknowledged that for a LONG time I would have never been able to do that. And this time I didn’t walk away because I knew I had to, but I wanted to. It felt so good!
On the way out I noticed a new display of exercise equipment. I was drawn to it like a magnet and instantly felt excited. Then I noticed that this aisle was much more exciting than the liquor aisle, a win. In the end I compromised and walked out with a couple bags of chocolate.
I’m reading a fascinating new book called, Your Psychic Pathway by Sonia Choquette. I’m trying to learn how to communicate with my soul voice better and so far this book has been awesome with my endeavor. I was about mid-way through when Sonia started talking about how we can “get blocked” and “holding onto things can impact our ability to listen.” Fortunately, she has a simple solution. Take a piece of a paper and make a list. A list of all the people who have made you angry. Examine each situation and take the lesson (in short).
Isn’t that the 4th step?
Curious timing since I’ve stalled on that step and need a gentle nudge- thank you Universe!
I’ve read dozens of self-help, personal development and spiritual books over the past few years and have noticed that they’re all connected. Basically all of the information is the same, just told from different perspectives. I’m not sure why this is so mind blowing to me, maybe because the beliefs seem so radical and nonsensical to many people.
One last thing that I want to celebrate and record. We hosted a Christmas party for my side of the family yesterday, which turned out perfect, right down to the mama and two adolescent deer laying in the side lot outside my bedroom window. It seems like the deer are never around when we have guests so this was exciting and my dad especially liked seeing them, but this isn’t the exciting part.
Remember my post way back about wanting to join a soccer team? Well, I excitedly told my dad about my idea, who I thought would be thrilled, being the sport lover he is.
“What?” he said, followed by:
“You’re too old. You’ll break a bone.”
“I’m not even 50 yet!” I argued, with my feelings slightly hurt.
When you enter recovery and start digging into your “issues” you begin to learn that parents aren’t perfect and have many faults of their own. I’ve known for awhile that a big part of my problem is having my ideas shut down by my parents. This allowed the voice of my ego to grow, the one that says you’re not good enough. Or, you’re too old, you’ll break a bone.
So when dad’s response was this, I was shocked and then hurt for a bit, but then I noticed some things. I noticed that his response was probably mostly based on fear that I would truly hurt myself. I also noticed that I was wrong to be surprised at all by this, and a little voice said; he’s right, it was a silly idea.
I let it go but later thought about it while cleaning up and realized that this was absolutely no different than when I was a child! I knew exactly what I had to do. Now I have to join a team (might be summer of 2021 or later, but come hell or high water..).
This is all such a lesson, a repeating one at that and I almost fell prey! Had I conceded to those negative thoughts and believed my dad, it would have been no different than growing that voice as a child. I am super excited because this is growth, really really important growth.
This journey has given me far more blessings than I ever believed possible <3
I’m not very proud of my post from yesterday. It screams ‘Pity Party’. Before I wrote, I knew that I needed some gratitude practice. So before I even started, I jotted this down:
It did help, along with writing my post.
I cried during meditation yesterday and today. I think a big part of my distress is the guilt I feel for being an psychotic alcoholic for such a big part of the marriage. Did I do this to him?
I try not to think of the regrets I have, mainly regrets I have as a self-absorbed drunk mom.
And as these words thoughtlessly flow onto the page, I’m realizing that I just called myself some pretty harsh names, unfortunate, but not the point.
My ego is out of control, stress, and hormones (PMS).
While I was writing this, hubby got up and hugged me as he sauntered downstairs to begin work. I cried. I told him maybe his problem is because of me, how I was, for so many years. And then I told him that I have regrets, and I hate them most of all because I can’t change them. During all these years of recovery, relapses and struggling with Day 1’s , I don’t think I’ve ever told him about my regrets. So many things we just assume other people know, or assume that they don’t need to know. But maybe this is important.
Yesterday, I could almost literally hear my soul and my ego arguing. That little voice, my soul, kept saying things like, bundle up, just go for a walk, nature will be good, fresh air will beamazing, we need this. Well, not the last one, but I did know that I needed it.
Ego tried hard to talk me out of it. He said things like, It’s way too cold, the treadmill will be so much easier not having to bundle up, if I go out for a walk, I’ll have to take the dog but he’s been so annoying on walks, just take a bath- it’s self-care. He really didn’t want me to go. But I listened to my soul and I put on two shirts and pants, a huge coat, scarf hat gloves and went 2 1/2 miles. The dog was annoying, but it was good to get him out and it did my soul good, although last night and today the nasty voice is still pecking at me.
I did a lot of praying last night- or pleading with my soul. I asked Spirit to help me sleep and to give me guidance. I am a huge believer that people, situations and things are sent to us with a purpose and I wanted the Universe to know I was expecting it and looking out for it.
A while back, I have no idea when, maybe summer of 2019, I kept seeing a word pop up everywhere- ho’oponopono, and I thought it must be a sign, but I didn’t do anything with it and it fizzled out.
This morning while reading from a book of lessons based on A Course in Miracles , it came up again. The lesson talked about Dr. Hew Len. Basically he got a job at Hawaii’s State Hospital dealing with the criminally insane (murderers, rapsists, etc). Previous employees quit within the month. Hew didn’t work with the inmates directly, like the doctors before him did. Knowing that we create our reality, he explains that he was healing the part of himself that created such atrocities. It’s pointless, he says, to try to heal others. All he could do was focus on healing himself.
Dr. Hew Len practiced the ho’oponopono prayer, by himself while looking at the patient’s files, and gradually the atmosphere around the hospital began to change. Patients required less meds, less shakling. Somebody began to tend to the gardens and tennis courts and the place was transformed. The prisoners, one by one, were eventually released. Within four years, the ward was closed down permanently.
This speaks to me.
Ho’oponopono returned, but this time I’ll listen.
Going to tape it to my wall, my fridge, my car. Going to repeat it as much as I can.
Day #619- Really it took something like 1300 days to get here, but who’s counting?
I’m reminiscing today. Back in 2016 or 2017 I was having a conversation with a colleague at the Keurig machine one early morning.
I was in a sad state.
Hungover, head pounding, puffy face and eyes and not sure that I was going to make it through the morning without getting sick.
My colleague was in a sad state too.
He shared that he had a soccer game the previous night and was having some difficulties due to an injury.
Soccer game at eleven pm on a Thursday night? I thought he was insane! And he had a new baby at home. I kind of was thinking he was a weirdo, to be honest.
Today I messaged that same colleague because I want on a soccer team, and knew that he would have good info for me to find a noncompetitive league.
I played in 4th grade, and was bad at first, but not too bad by the end of the season. I ended up on a team with kids from a different school, so I didn’t go on after that season. I often regret it, and wonder how different things would be for me if I stuck with it.
I’ve been doing a lot of different things lately and thought of this, and it sounds like so much fun! Sadly, my friend let me know that due to Covid, summer 2021 will be the soonest probably that I can play.
It’s crazy how much our perception can change in such a short time, relatively.
I wish I learned about that voice when I was younger. That voice, that tells me I suck. The one that says I’m not good enough. The one that whispered in my ear nearly every single day this past summer, that the hours I poured into my novel were a colossal waste.
It’s no wonder why I didn’t pursue my dreams as a youngster. Heck, it’s probably the reason I ditched my hobbies and never got really good at anything.
We need to teach the youngsters about that voice and how it isn’t even real. How it wants nothing more than to makes us miserable, and isn’t even real. How it informs us of how awful our friends and loved ones are so that we are angry at them, yet isn’t even real. And how it urges us to splurge and binge, all for a happiness that is as fake as the voice.
I guess I’m lucky I learned about it now, some people never disassociate themselves from the voice. The book, The Untethered Soul, equates the voice to a crazy roommate in our heads- and I don’t think the author is that far off.
Are you listening to the deranged roommate in your brain? When you break free of the chaos and negativity, the sky really does become the limit and we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. <3
I feel like I grew a little this Thanksgiving holiday.
I’m more focused on what I need to feel peaceful and honoring that. In the past I was too compliant and felt way too bad skipping a holiday. Have I become selfish?
Having a trip planned for Christians has been the best therapy for the holiday stress I normally feel.
It’s ironic because hubby always has time off at Christmas and asks me just about every year if I want to go away for Christmas.
And every year it was the same response, “We can’t go away, it’s Christmas.”
Who made up these arbitrary life rules anyway?
This year I jumped at the idea, and you know what? I’ve never been so excited for Christmas in my entire adult life! Additionally, instead of our parents being mad at us, they seem happy for us 🤗
Now I know traveling during a pandemic might seem careless, and maybe it is, but we will be staying with my sister and will do our best to stay safe.
One of the things I like best about being where I’m at mentally, is that I can see my growth. Many times when situations arise, I can imagine what my ‘old self’ would do and knowing how I felt it makes perfect sense. NO wonder why I always struggled, I think my ego, or that voice in my head was like 99% to blame.
My ego was on fire about everyone leaving me on Thanksgiving and really tried to rile me up, for like the whole week beforehand.
The old me didn’t know that voice has one mission and it’s to sabotage my life. The old me thought that voice was real, and what it was saying is true, but it’s not.
Today hubby is helping his aunt & uncle move. The old me would have been pissed that he has to waste yet another day of this long weekend with his dreadful family.
When he told me, my ego shouted with anger. I quickly put her in her place and then I told him I would go and help him,
He didn’t ask me to accompany him, but said to me last night, “I’m so happy you’re coming with me.”
It’s a gorgeous sunny Saturday morning and I feel good helping family (I’ve always liked his aunt and uncle they are so sweet). I’m grateful that I’m not at home sulking and crying that I have SO much to do and no help from hubby (yeah, there’s my ego again trying to overwhelm me).