Breathe Deep Into Self Love
There are so many ways to define self love isn’t there? I used to believe it was only about self image. Accepting your flaws and quirks that make you, you. Accepting your body & features the way they are, and being gentle with yourself. I thought it was about believing in yourself. Giving yourself permission to chase your dreams. Although those are aspects of self love, today I am going a little deeper beyond the superficial.
This year has brought me many hard lessons about what self love is and what it isn’t. I was sent through the school of hard knocks to grasp deeper meaning of self love and I wanted to share it with you, to perhaps spare you the hard earned lesson (which can be so painful), so you can advance to go and collect $200.
As women, I think we can all relate to this truth, we have been socially conditioned to put ourselves, last. We put everyone and everything else, first. Accepting the things we don’t want in order to make another person happy or more comfortable. Sometimes to the point of exhaustion, losing yourself, experiencing depression, anxiety, feeling inadequate or unworthy. We’re told to put on our “oxygen mask”, because if we don’t take care of ourselves then we can’t take care of anyone else. Needing a oxygen mask means THAT YOUR PLANE IS ABOUT TO CRASH. Right? It’s basically saying burn yourself out and then take care of you, so you can continue to take care of everyone else. How messed up is that?
Instead, how about making sure the air around you is purified? Breathing clean, fresh air all the time would be supportive. If you create an environment that is supportive to you, then you won’t crash and need an oxygen mask! That may mean you start saying, NO. I know, I know, it feels so “mean”. That’s because we were trained to acquiesce to everyone else except our own SELF. It also might mean holding others accountable to their responsibilities, instead of taking it on for them, because you either feel sorry for them, pressured, or more in control by just getting it done your way. It feels yucky to say “I can’t help you. This is your responsibility.” Because again you’ve been trained to acquiesce which makes everyone around you more comfortable yet leaves you drained.
Acquiesce is a new word to me. I was introduced to it by my 79 year old Phycologist Thomas. Who is just a God send by the way. Acquiesce means to bend or to give in. This year I full on burned myself out, sacrificed my soul, my life, my finances, to care for someone that if the tables were turned, would have left me for dead. My heart, my soul, my intentions were to help, serve, love, & heal. After giving all of myself, & I’m not exaggerating when I say ALL OF ME. I was then discarded, blamed, shamed, harassed, stalked and left in financial distress. I ran up my credit cards to care for this person, missed months of work to look after this person, farmed my kids out to friends so I could attend to this person’s every need. I gave everything I could and in turn it left me broken into a thousand pieces. This year left me dismayed. How could kindness be repaid by such hatred and cruelty? I never want any of you to experience such pain as I did, just because you are subconsciously expected to acquiesce to the demands around you. I think as women we take on responsibilities and burdens that are not ours to carry. We do so because we feel it is our duty in some way or we feel guilty.
Thomas told me “You are the most important person in your life.” Oh, that’s hard to accept. Especially if you are a woman, have any religious upbringing that reinforces the opposite, or if you have family you care for. Say that to yourself, “I am the most important person in my life.” Feels kinda funny right? (Maybe not for a few of you who have already learned this lesson.) How can we allow ourself to be the number one person in our own life and make decisions from that position? It sounds so selfish right? But it’s not. If you don’t put yourself in the number #1 seat, and make decisions from this position, you are sure to (at some point) get run down, be used, feel resentful, tired, stressed, develop anxiety, depression, even PTSD.
Putting yourself first is a nice idea, but how do you do it? Practice. Take care of yourself as you would someone else. Go the extra mile for, yourself. Cater to, yourself. Make life easier for, yourself. Little by little it’ll get easier. As Buddha said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.
What are the consequences of putting yourself first? The results may include feeling less stressed, increased vitality, increased creativity, feeling uplifted, fulfilled, happy, perhaps more free. But every action has a reaction. Those around you might find it uncomfortable, because frankly they’re used to you making their life comfortable (at your expense). You may even be snubbed, name called, or guilt tripped. Expect it and when it happens, let it go. Remember, YOU as much as anyone else deserves YOUR love and affection.
Do you relate to today’s topic? Do you have to take “oxygen mask” breaks? What do you think about the concept of putting yourself first, creating a supportive environment for yourself? It this something you practice or could improve on? How do you think your life would change if you put yourself in the #1 spot for a change? How to do you think those around you would respond? How does that make you feel? Leave a comment below or continue the discussion in my group Inspired Life and Beauty Social.
Are you feeling overwhelmed in life, work, or relationship. Do you feel out of balance, depressed, experience anxiety, sad, lost, down, broken hearted, angry, withdrawn or just feel out of sorts? Book a balancing Reiki sessions with me, Nicole Dionne Certified Reiki Master, at The Ibrow Studio. Reiki is a deeply relaxing, Japanese energy healing modality, that is deeply calming, cleansing, and balancing.