I am compassionate and respectful towards myself.
I speak kindly to myself.
I am present.
These are the key facets of self-love, according to my friend and writer/blogger/speaker/runner, Kristin Armstrong.
Imagine this for a moment she said:
You intentionally put together a healthy, yummy lunch for yourself, in the quiet of your home. Flowers in a glass vase are on the table, your favorite candle is lit. Spotify is on in the background. You set the table with linen and dishes. You sit.
Contrast this to eating for five minutes at your kitchen counter, fork moving way too fast, as you text your carpool-mom-friend about after school routes, and simultaneously write shopping and to-do lists.
A gorgeous-patterned napkin rests in your lap. You pause. You stop and pray or think gratefully. And then you eat slowly, carefully, enjoying each bite and a break from your crazy day. You stop doing to just BE. You take deep breaths and savor this.
This is a picture and practice of self-love. To me this evokes a feeling and atmosphere of deep-core-level love.
It involves intention. It involves slowing. It involves your senses. It involves letting go of worries and to-do’s (even the good healthy ones) to just BE. It involves being kind to your body, mind, and soul.
It’s so easy for us women to provide delicious meals for our families and friends. We of course, give our all.
And—OF COURSE–it is so easy to extend compassion, love and grace to a friend who is venting to us about a mistake or problem. Would we dare spit on a girlfriend with criticism and judgment? Hell to the no.
So let’s stop doing this to ourselves. Please. (I’m talking to myself here, too.)
Kristin, who is currently getting her graduate degree in counseling, said a good test to see if we truly love ourselves is in the moment of a screw-up (you name it):
-Do I treat myself as I would treat a friend, my child, a dear loved one?
-Do I give myself grace and say to myself, “It’s ok, I’m ok, I can do this, I can begin again?”
-Or do I just hear THE VOICE saying, “You suck, you’re so lame, you blew it again and you are a terrible human being.”
We sit in compassion with others, so why not choose compassion towards ourselves?
I found this quote I must put on my bathroom mirror:
“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”
So how do we not swing the pendulum to the other side where we end up selfish or self-absorbed?
Kristin said we know that we have gone way too far, when we begin to shift blame, rationalize (bad, or unwanted) behaviors, and when we do not take responsibility for our words and actions. In other words, you treat yourself better than you treat anybody else. You always save the best for self.
It’s all about me. Yuck.
We want to be women who say to ourselves:
I am worthy. I am enough, just because I breathe. This day I choose to love myself.
And say to others:
You are worthy. You are enough, just because you breathe. This day I choose to love you.
Mamas, Go hug yourself, right now. I’m hugging you from afar. xo