What is self love I ask? Is it possible? Can it last? Does it really matter? The answer is a loud and resounding YES! Not only is it possible, IT IS NECESSARY!
Most women possess a natural instinct to love and nurture - this act of being loving, compassionate and caring is typically directed towards others... our parents, our siblings, our friends, our spouses, our children, our pets, our co-workers and a myriad of other "others". But what about OURSELVES?!?!
We are taught from a young age that loving ourselves is sort of "unethical" and that taking care of ourselves is "selfish" or at least that was my translation looking through the goggles of my upbringing. It has always been good to serve others and yet somehow less fitting to take care of me. I have struggled to reconcile this concept, which is why I chose it as a topic today. I feel most alive when I am in the service of others and could NEVER give it up! BUT...
Somewhere along the path that has led me to my current self, I have come to realize that the best way I can serve others is to be in a good, strong, firm and positive place myself. Those times that I am wobbly and unsteady are never good times for me to influence or teach others. I have come to realize that my stature, my presence, and my ability to be authentic affect my capacity to be heard as much as the words that I choose to deliver. And I must feel good about ME!
How do I do that? I have learned that it is not only okay, but very necessary to spend alone time. Time where I am not being influenced by the world, by the expectations or needs of others, or by my own collection of "should's", "could's" and "what if's", - during this time I focus solely on MY needs in the present moment. Do I need quiet? Meditate. Do I need expansion? Listen to something uplifting or read a book. Do I need to move? Put on some music and dance! Do I need companionship? Reach out to a friend or partner. Do I need unconditional love? Cuddle with my animals! Do I need answers? Reach out in prayer. Do I need guidance? Sit with my cards and receive direction. Somehow the perfect message at the ideal time and for the exact purpose always shows up!
I have come to see myself much like an electronic device. At full charge, I am filled with energy and exuberance, ready to take on the world. At three quarter battery capacity I am happy and positive and seeking out those who I can lift up. At half charge, I am still capable of love and understanding and of giving of myself - a little less patient though. At one quarter, I feel the draw of the battery and start to wind down like a wind-up toy - moving slower and slower until I finally come to a stop. My battery is drained, my capacity to "be love" is gone, my ability to "show love" is diminished and my desire to "share love" is significantly reduced. Time to plug in! Time to take care of me! A rechargeable flashlight is also a great analogy - if I am not charged up, there is no way I can SHINE my light!!!
It is important to understand that for each of us timing, capacity, personality, life style, demands, and outlook, as well as many other factors impact the drain on our batteries! AND we all have a different way which we prefer to charge our battery ... You get to decide! You and only you know what that looks like. Experiment with many options and then choose those things that build you up, help you relax, lift your energy, make you feel special and recharge your ability to be you!
A few ideas....
Dance - Sing - Draw - Write - Paint - Walk - Run - Spend time in Nature - Sit in the Grass - Lean against a Tree - Feed the Birds - Read a Book - Take a Class - Meditate - Listen to a Podcast or an Audio book - Exercise - Get a Massage - Pray - Dream - Yoga - Make a Vision Board - Write down your goals - Hang out with a Friend - Try a new Recipe - Create Something - Spend time alone - Spend time with Friends - Walk in the Snow - Hang out with Animals - Focus on Love and Joy - Pick some Flowers - Plant some Flowers - Bake Something - Connect with new People - Get a Manicure or Pedicure - Call an old Friend - Make a new Friend - Be Present - Take a Drive - Enjoy a Bon Fire - DO WHATEVER FILLS YOU UP, MAKES YOU FEEL HAPPY INSIDE AND CHARGED UP WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED! Whatever gives you that complete, contented and peaceful feeling inside... DO MORE OF THAT!!!
Lonnie Taylor February 12, 2020