After my luxurious bath last night I was so keen to get a blog post done that by the end of writing it i was aware of how dry my skin was. I went to put on some moisturiser, especially on my feet. Practised the “I love you” mantra and found that resistance I was expecting. It felt a bit contrived, and got a bit of ‘yeah whatev’ going on. I didn’t let my inner cynic deter me. I moisturised my skin and even gave my sore limbs an extra rub, amplifying the self love.
As I write, I’m very present to how much of a wank this feels like. That part of myself that subscribes to the default self loathing mentality is really strong right now, it’s not interested in how I noticed that I was scrimping a bit with the lotion and overcame the scarcity crap, using more where I’d normally finish up with ‘good enough’ and not really honour myself. It really doesn’t give a shit about realising how much I gloss over taking really good care of myself, how much I cut corners and find other priorities, other than loving myself. So make sure you don’t read any more so that part of myself can feel powerful and have some control over how much I divulge and how much light I cast on this shadow.
The other thing that occurs to me is to love that part of myself too. Hmm. How do I love a part of myself that is presenting me with barriers to self love or at least to sharing it here? Of course there’s a message, something to learn, a gift from this part of myself to become known. It’s there for a reason. Probably wants to protect me from some pain or prevent risky behaviour. Of course! That’s it. Doesn’t want me to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is risky. Risks exposure, being seen as weak, wants to protect me from showing that part of myself that ain’t so capable and composed. There is a lot of my identity that is caught up in being seen as competent. Over-compensation for something, I’m sure.
Today I woke up with a positive regard toward myself and this challenge. I wondered what I’d do if I loved myself, I might be more diligent with self care stuff, like washing my face, using cleanser, I even found myself combing my hair. Not something I usually do when the only thing on the morning’s agenda is walking the dogs. I usually just put on a hat. It felt natural to do these nice things for myself. I was pleased that I was doing all the good things, felt really present doing yoga and in my meditation did what the book suggested, breathing in “I love myself” and breathing out anything else. At first it felt fine, simple, light. Then some cynicism poked through. Boring and pointless, yup. Thought again about loving that part of myself and then got distracted.
As I went through my day, I noticed more “If I loved myself” stuff. To the point where it became conditional. I could love myself if I did the right things, that massive list of things I could do if I had/made time or if I loved myself enough. Then a new challenge emerged. Love myself unconditionally! Love the part of me that is a bit of a task master, the perfectionist. That old chestnut. This one might take a bit. It might take some diligence and commitment. I guess that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?!!?