“A man standing next to me on New Year’s Eve casually asked what I did for a living. I told him I managed my mom’s psychology business, to which he replied, “Do you know there’s one answer to your clients’ problems? It’s simple: have a love affair with yourself. But don’t tell them that, or you won’t have a business!” He chuckled and wandered off. Committing to memory his words, I took the fleeting encounter as a signal to live out the coming year differently. I resolved to make this a year in which I practiced the art of self-love.”-From “The Gift of Self Love”- Huffington Post
A rainy day can make way for much introspection. It can also force a person to slow down and put aside plans for garden chores or cardio walks. This rainy morning caused a lingering between the covers, lying in bed listening to the peaceful sound of showers from above, in the absence of wind, or thunder or other rainstorm dramatics.
It felt indulgent not to get the kettle on and force myself to attention, but I did it anyway.
Following my very slow emergence into the day, I decided that listening to “This is Bruno Mars” was what needed to happen next, and so, at 10:30 am I was dancing (and singing LOUD) to Uptown Funk, (still no kettle on!)
Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, a looping film runs of all of the productive things I could be or should be or want to get done. Instead I open the wrapper of a Dairy Milk chocolate bar that I friend gifted me with last night and dance as it melts in my mouth. Well, here it is, 1:43 in the afternoon, and between the chocolate bar and now, there has been no kettle whistling, no making lists, rather, there has been a concocting of the perfect rainy day outfit, then a walk through the village to display it.
I am “LOL’ing right now as I write this, because it sounds so damned silly, but, we women just do not know the meaning of “kicking back” like the guys do. Our idea of a “me” day is driving around shopping for necessities, or getting pedicures and haircuts that have been put the bottom of the “To Do for Me” list until it is nearly embarrassing. Self care is keeping things shaved and the clothes clean. Extreme Self Care is being ok with saying today is mine with no advance notice, then without guilt saying no to a friend (who we love) who wants to meet us for coffee, disappointing a colleague who wanted to brainstorm, buying the flavor of ice cream that is OUR favorite, instead of always buying everyone else’s favorite, or just leaving the laundry until tomorrow.
If we treat our “selves” the way that we treat those who we love the most, and practice self love and extreme self care everyday, then those whom we most love will be loved even better.
I’m on a self love soap box.
I’m an evangelist for caring for ourselves first, and knowing that doing so is a caring and loving thing to do for others. Somewhere between selfless (the martyr) and selfish (the narcissy) lies a place where we love and care for ourselves in such a way that we are happy, healthy, helpful and never a cause of worry to those who love us and whom we love. A place where they appreciate that we have shown by example how to be wholly loved, starting with the love affair we have with ourselves, and as a result we are surrounded by a tribe who are capable, functioning, self loving and self sufficient beings.
I’m not anywhere near done with this topic…I’m just getting started.