If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.
Today’s teaching is such a powerful one and so easily misunderstood. How many times have I ended up in negative situations both personally and professionally that could have been different if I had really, truly practiced self-love? Too many to count.
We are living in this strange and interesting intersection of artificial awareness and hyper-connectedness that for me can, more often than not, cloud my ability to trust my intuition, to stay focused, to be kind and generous. Showing kindness and generosity towards everyone I come into contact with IRL and virtually feels like it should be fairly simple to do; yes, that is the lofty goal I am subscribing to because I want to live in a world where humanity and civility are the norm. It also comes highly recommended in the form of the self-help books, teachings, meditations, etc. I consume in the hope of curing what ails me.
Yet I tend to feel less kind and generous when I am inundated by the opinions and demands of others, when I feel like everything and everyone is moving at this accelerated pace that I don’t have a clue how to match (Do I want to match it?!), when my thinking becomes so fragmented by all the ‘important distractions’ I allow to catch my gaze.
Thus upon reflecting on today’s message, I am emboldened to embark on the voyage of self-love again. Where I tend to misunderstand ‘loving oneself’ as a card-carrying ‘pleaser’, I mistake putting the needs of others above all else as is the definition of love. I do this despite consistent evidence to the contrary. So, how to remain true to myself, how to allow my loved-ones make their own mistakes and experience their own journeys, how to trust that I am still a good person, a lovable and loving being even when I choose to establish boundaries, how doing something I love and that feels good to me as a profession and charge money for my talents? The list goes on and on.
Does anyone else out there struggle with this? What is your stumbling block or your blind spot? How do you navigate between wanting to be of service, wanting to save and fix, and knowing yourself in a meaningful way?
For the immediate future, being in the midst of the holidays which presents its own rollercoaster of expectations and emotions, this is my plan to cultivate a practice of loving myself:
Physical Self-Care-sleep, healthy food, exercise, breathing
Mental Self-Care-unplug each day, read printed material, write
Spiritual Self-Care-meditate or practice being still for even just a minute, be in community, laugh, forgive myself and make amends when necessary
And in the spirit of loving oneself, if I achieve one of my intended goals then I will be okay with it. I will stop holding myself to a standard that I would never expect of my family, my friends, or my clients.
Happy Holidays and Blessings to All,
PS As always, feel free to connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my website, attriniti.com.