Tag Archives: self love

Loving Yourself – Can You? Do You?

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Loving-ourselves

 

A friend recently asked me why I had stopped writing in my blog.  I told her, because sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say, that’s all.   Sometimes I feel I have words that the world needs to hear. (And wow, doesn’t that sound boastful?)  But so does everyone and their brother nowadays! Other times I think, with all the people who are trying to get their words across on the internet these days, why on earth would anyone want to hear what I have to say?

Perhaps it’s just that I’ve been trying to learn something important.   You see, for as far back as I can remember, I’ve tried (and tried and tried and tried!) to be better in some way.  As if who I’ve been has never been enough.  I’ve read books (oh-so-many-books) on how to be this or that, or how do this or that even better.  I’ve read articles, I’ve watched videos, I’ve gone to support groups and women’s groups and prayer groups and church groups – because my belief has been that I must always strive to be better.  But I’m tired of striving!  I’m tired of reading, watching, and attending!  For the first time in my entire life I’ve been asking myself – what’s so wrong with me that I need to change everything all the time?

And the answer that I’ve come up with is…..nothing.  Nothing is wrong with me.  I AM good enough, just the way I am.  I don’t need to be fixed. I don’t need to constantly be berating myself because of some random thought that I had that I felt wasn’t appropriate. I don’t need to continually be chastising myself because I ate something (or did something or thought something) some vague person or article said wasn’t good for me.  Who gets to say what’s good for me – or not good for me?  Shouldn’t that be ME, after all?

More and more I’ve come to believe that I no longer need to search for answers outside myself.  I believe I’ve talked about this before somewhere here, but this is becoming clear to me in a brand new way. I believe, now, that the constance with which I berate myself for the way I feel I’m never doing it right (whatever IT is) – that this way of being is a complete disconnect to myself – body, mind and spirit.  I’m coming to believe that if I constantly hate on myself for what I’m not, then I’ll never, ever achieve a true sense of being ok with who I am, right now, warts and all.

And believe me, I have warts – BIG ones.  I worry and fret way too much over things I cannot control.  I spend too much time regretting things in my past that I cannot change. I procrastinate.  I don’t have a body that is – how shall we say – acceptable – in today’s society.  I sometimes over-mother my kids and grandbabies.  I perhaps spend too much time alone.  I am what I like to call myself – a reluctant servant in the work that I believe I’m called to do in my little corner of the world – meaning, I don’t always do what I know I have to do willingly, but instead go kicking and screaming.  I often relate to the story of Jonah, in the Bible, who kicked and screamed (and ran away and spent 3 days in the belly of a whale!) Yikes! Hopefully that will not be my destiny -cause, ya know, I don’t like fish! 🙂

With all of these not-so-positive ways of being, these days I’m still choosing to be ok with who/what I am.  To have compassion for myself.  To stop reaching for ways to do it all better, and just love myself for who I am.  And I’m beginning to believe that once I can reach that place of real love for myself in all my ways of being – well, that will be a peaceful state in which to live.

Can I love myself through all of that – and more?  Can I quiet the frenzied self talk that goes on and on, day and night?  All I know is that I must stop pushing and pulling at myself, sending myself in a thousand different directions.  It’s not good for me, in any way.  And so, I’ve stopped reading so many articles. I’ve unsubscribed from newsletters whose owners promise the next big change if only you do it this way. I’ve stopped following gurus’ and men and women who are claiming to be leading the way in health and wellness.  It’s all become tiresome.  It makes me wonder what kind of world we might live in if we all really and truly loved ourselves from within?  I believe that entails getting to know oneself inside and out.  Hearing what our inner voices tell us. Listening to what our bodies say (because I believe our bodies speak to us daily).  Becoming able to hear our own self – and drown out the cacophony around us.

There are a million more voices ‘out there’ that tell us to try this new way or tell us this is the way we should eat nowadays, this is the way our bodies ‘should’ look, or this is the car, house, education, vacation that we need to have.  But what does our inner self tell us? If we can listen and hear that inner voice, perhaps we might stop getting caught up in the millions of voices we hear chattering all around us that tell us we will Never Be Enough.

So, perhaps this is the reason I have stopped writing.  I have been learning something new – something important to me, something deep within myself that maybe I need to authenticate before I can write again.  I make promises that I wish I could keep, but I don’t keep.  And I’m going to be ok with that for now, and I’m going to say that I will write when I feel I really there’s something on my heart I wish to share.  And I will  try to write, not as someone who needs the world to know something, but perhaps as someone who is learning instead, and who is wanting to share that learning experience.

Perhaps getting to know/love myself just as I am has been why I have not been writing just now.  Perhaps it’s just not been the time to write, no matter what my ‘intentions’ were.  Can I be ok with that? Can you?

Namaste

 

 

The Black Hole of Loneliness

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Once upon a time,

when I was far, far away from myself,

I was lonely.

And that loneliness

swallowed me up

into a deep, black hole.

It terrified me,

and I would stop at nothing

to avoid

being alone.

To be alone

was to be desperate

and empty

and lost.

But,

I began to learn

that the answer to my loneliness

was inside me.

Getting to know myself

learning to love myself

looking at myself in the mirror

and saying, I really like you!

Now, when loneliness drops by,

as it sometimes does,

it doesn’t frighten me

at all.

Because now I believe

that the very one I was lonely for

was me.

 

The Wisdom of The Body…

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Dear Body,

Are you there?

Always.

I feel lumpy today.

Maybe the way you’ve been eating this past week?

Past two weeks, actually, and yes.  I really lost touch with you.  Even with the visualizations, I lost touch with you.  I’m sorry.  I guess I let the visualizations take over, thinking they’d have the same effect as me loving on you.  They don’t.

Live and learn, hey?

Yes. Live and learn.  I really don’t feel well.  My tummy hurts.  I feel bloated.  But I got tired of all that ‘good’ food!  I wanted ‘bad’ food!

It’ll take some time to make changes, don’t be hard on yourself. What’s wonderful is that you are able, after only two weeks, to re-connect with me.  That never used to happen…

Yes, I will be happy about that.  But, how do I lose the cravings for the not-so-good stuff?

Be mindful.  Be mindful of what I tell you I want and need.  And then (and this seems a bit funny) ask the food you are about to put in to your mouth.  Ask the potato chips.  Ask the ice cream…..what are you going to do for my body?  And from there, you can make a plain choice.  The most important thing is that what you put into your mouth is  a conscious choice.  Not a mindless act.

But, if I keep messing up, how will I get anywhere?

With time.  And practice.  And patience.  Most of all,  with love.  I did not get  into this state overnight.  It was years of mindlessness.  It will take time.  And persistence.   And deciding to never give up, no matter how big the mess-up seems.

But, I want it now!

Everyone wants it now.  That’s the society we find ourselves in.  But now often means beating up on me to get to where you want. Or starving me.  Or pushing me too hard.  You don’t have to beat up on me to get to the place you wish to be.  I’m not that stubborn.  I do want what you want.  I’ve always wanted it.  You just haven’t been in the same mind, until now.  But, the undoing of all that has gone before will take patience.  Once I really begin to feel safe, you will see changes. I promise.

Do you feel safe?

Not entirely, no.  Safer than I ever have before.  But I guess I need some proof that you are really, finally, in this with me.  That we’re finally working toward the same goal.  The goal of better health.  The fact that you’ve been eating poorly again, and have realized it quite quickly, and are here right now….that speaks volumes.  This is the kind of behavior I need to see…consistently.  Then I will believe.

Hey, body?  I’m really, truly sorry for all these years that have passed that I have not been able to acknowledge you.

I know that.  I’m just really glad you’ve arrived in the place where you can now see that I am alive, and wishing to have a relationship with you.  Thank you so much for the BodyLove that you’ve been doing.  It means a whole lot to me.

Thank you so much for everything.  I’m glad we’re once again on the same page.

Me too.

I love you, body. I appreciate you so much.

Thank you, Chere.  That means a lot.  I love you, as well.  Very, very much.  And it makes me so happy that we’re working together, now.  The slip ups don’t matter….as long as you keep on loving me despite them…as long as you recognize them and come home to me again….

Big hugs, beautiful body.

Hugs right back! 🙂

 

listen to your body

It’s the Funniest Thing….

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It seems the moment I committed to producing more, better content on my blog…..my mind went blank. Is that Murphy’s law, or some other kind of law, you think?  I have been totally uninspired to write this whole past week.  Even though things are going swimmingly as far as my self care – as of yesterday, my doctor’s scale tells me I’ve lost 15 pounds!  Yay for me!

So, I guess I could write about my weight loss!  What have I been doing? Dieting? Nope, not at all.  For the past few months, I’ve been doing a 5 – 8 minute weight training regime first thing in the morning, followed by about 20 minutes of Qi Gong.  I found this weight training regime right here .  I’ve added a few things to it, so it’s a bit more than 5 minutes, but I started doing it because I thought to myself, well, I surely can do 5 minutes, right?

But, I think it’s more than just exercise, honestly.  For a very long time, I’ve had the sense that until I began to love my own body…until my body actually felt safe enough,  I would never lose the weight I wanted to lose.  So (and I’ve written about this, as well, on here), I began to physically tell and show my body that I loved it.  I began to do this with touch, and with my own visualizations, several times a week.  I began to constantly remind my body that she was loved, and that she was safe.  As I’ve said before, no one ever told me or showed me how to do this.  I just began to sense within myself that it was the next step in my self care regime, and just decided to start doing it on my own.

Imagine my surprise, then, when recently, during the WISH summit, I listened to an audio interview from Jon Gabriel of The Gabriel Method .  Jon’s premise is that weight loss is a mind-body thing, and that if the body does not feel safe, it will hold on to weight.  He has comprised a whole system, including visualization (which I’ve already been doing!!) to create safety for our body in several different ways.  I was amazed at what he said, and it resonated deeply with me.  I have recently purchased his Total Transformation package, and am in the process of reading his book and using his visualizations.

Jon’s ideas made complete sense to me.  And already doing what he says needs to be done, without even knowing about his ideas till quite recently, well, I’ve lost 15 pounds!

While this sounds like an advertisement, it is certainly not meant to be.   And I get nothing for sharing these links with you. You are welcome to check out his website if it interests you.  I’m talking about this because my own inner sense of knowing understood that I will never, ever lose weight if I’m constantly hating myself.

In the beginning of doing these exercises on myself, I kind of had to ‘fake it till I make it‘.  I was not honestly happy with my body, not at all.  But as I began to do these things several times a week, consistently, not giving up, something began to shift inside me.  I began to realize all that my body has been doing for me, every single second, every single minute of every day….to keep me functioning and healthy.   Even in the midst of all my blatant abuse of my own health, my body has kept on keeping on…

And you know what?  I began to apologize to my own body.  Yes, I did.  Because I realized my body has been fighting against my abuse of her, my whole life.  I began to feel genuinely sorry that I had not treated her well, at all.  And in feeling genuinely sorry, I believe I began to ‘wake up’ to what I was doing.  That ‘waking up’ has caused me to be aware of what I put into my mouth, more often.  It is happening gradually…it has not changed overnight.  But I have actually become more aware of how my body feels when I feed her certain things. I began to feel what she has felt like all these years when I stuff her with all the wrong kinds of food…

And, my desire to feed her more healthy foods has grown out of this.  Also, my desire to move my body has increased.  And while there are still days that I’m not doing my best, I no longer beat up on myself.  Instead, I just get right back to being intentional about my health.

So much has changed, just in these past few months.  And I cannot help but feel it has begun to change with my realization that I can no longer afford to berate myself.  Those days must stay behind me, if I am to move forward with my own self care.  True Love for my own body must now accompany me where ever I go…

Re-reading this, it sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it?  I mean, who in their right mind loves on their body, after all?  Well, I do!  And strange or not strange, I believe that listening to my inner self in this regard has been the most important thing I’ve done toward my self care in a long while….

Let The Purge Begin!!!

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Is it crazy to be excited about doing a house-purge?  I’m moving next week, and oh my gosh I am excited about throwing stuff away!  Makes me wonder about myself…I admit!

Can housecleaning be part of self care?  You bet!  A big part of self care is about allowing yourself to have lovely things, and discarding things you don’t need/want/absolutely love. Self care, I believe, is also about creating a space for yourself that is peaceful, manageable, and has ambience. Moving is a time to rethink everything you have in your home and ask yourself these questions.  Have I used this *whatever it is* in the past 6 months to a year?  Do I absolutely love this *whatever it is* – and if I don’t absolutely love it, why is it still hanging around?  Do I really need it?  Can I afford to recycle or donate it?  Or does it just have to be tossed?

They say a cluttered house creates a cluttered mind or vice versa…and it surely has for me.  I feel at my best when my home is tidy and everything is in it’s place.  Not that that happens too often around my house…but it is happening more and more these days.  I’ve struggled with clutter most of my life…but I’m getting better! In my life, clutter has created overwhelm, which in turn creates clutter, which in turn creates overwhelm.  It’s been a downward spiral.  One site that has really helped me with my clutter problem over the years is Flylady.  The FLY in flylady stands for…Finally Loving Yourself.    She helps those of us that have had clutter issues and overwhelm climb over those two huge mountainous blobs, one babystep at a time.

I’ve de-cluttered in major ways over these past years. It’s so easy (especially when kids live at home!) to live with stuff we don’t really want or need.  But it sits there or is stuffed away in a closet with the idea that maybe someday I’ll need it!  But someday never comes…

Last year I (along with several wonderful volunteers) decluttered the office where I work – 30 + years of ‘stuff’ – that was totally unnecessary to the functioning of that office.  Instead, it weighed them down.  While it wasn’t fun, and it took almost a whole year of working on and off, it was a huge feeling of accomplishment when it was finished!

So, I guess I get excited because it feels so good to get rid of ‘stuff’.  Anyhow, here I go! Wish me luck!