I picked this particular graphic, because when I saw it the first time, I immediately thought of how often we forget to be in love with ourselves. We find ourselves innundated with those emotions of loneliness and longing and yearning...always looking for something outside ourselves to fill that vast emptiness we experience. Something, someone...anything. Comparing our insides to the outsides of everyone we look at and never measuring up. Never realizing that we are worthy of love, just the way we are. Never looking at the intrinsic heart of the Universe that we all are. And we get sad and we get depressed and find ourselves spiraling down the rabbit hole.
All because we forget what remarkable human beings we are. We get caught up in the world we have created and we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget to love ourselves and nurture ourselves. We put ourselves on the back burner...over and over again.
I had a moment of insight once, a long time ago, and realized that if I was of no value to myself, how could I possibly seem valuable to anyone else ? If I don't think I'm worth taking the time to care for me, why would anyone else? I was in my mid thirties when I had that AHA! moment. I was married, had a houseful of teenage boys, was in college, owned a business and ran a household. Pretty much by myself. I hadn't had the time to do any kind of nice things for myself in a long time. It was all I could do to keep up with my schedule (which I had made). One day when I was cleaning, I had a meltdown and started yelling and crying and the 4 men in my house looked at me like I'd lost my mind. (I had.) In that moment, I knew that I had done this to myself. That I had set standards that I couldn't maintain, as much as I tried. And I took a long time trying to figure out why I thought that my home needed to be spic and span, or if it was even possible. And what were the things that mattered? Was it dust free bookshelves?
And ....(wait for it...)...WHAT ABOUT ME ? Everyone else in my home had everything they needed. I made sure of that. THEY made sure of it. They didn't miss out on anything they thought they needed or had coming. But here I was...exhausted, stressed and pathetic. I shut off the vacuum and walked out the door. I sat on my beautiful deck for about an hour, trying to figure out how this happened. Who was I trying to impress?
I realized that if I needed nurturing, it was my responsibility to make sure I got it. If I needed a break, take it. The very next day, instead of running home after work/school to do laundry, shop,cook,clean--- I scheduled a massage. I have to admit, I felt a little guilty. But it passed.
I started taking long hot baths with candles lit all around the tub. Peaceful classical music playing. I locked the door and just luxuriated in the fragrances and steam and relaxed. I decided that 2 nights a week I wasn't cooking. One night we could have pizza or takeout, and one night...they could cook for me. I didn't know how long that would last, lol, but hey--it couldn't hurt to try.
I started thinking about what I needed. What were the things that were important to me? What are the things that feed my soul?
Time alone is crucial for my well being. Quiet time to be creative, to visit art galleries or museums...I need these things. It was a lot to change, and it took years for me to find that place in my life and my world where I could love myself the way I loved others. To show myself compassion and affection. To find the things that made my Heart sing.
These days, I love myself, warts and all. I can be gentle with my shortcomings. I can honestly say that I am a precious being, worthy of love and happiness. Worthy of long hot baths with candles and soft music playing. Worthy of being cherished.
How about you, you glorious child of the Stars?? Are you loving yourself and caring for you the same way you care for the most beloved person in your life?
Might be time to start....