This is what I have been discovering about self-love.
It’s different to self-care or self-responsibility. It’s not just the bubble baths, or affirmations, or eating well, sleeping enough, or creating down time. It’s about finding out what makes you happy, its about finding the softness in life, in your life, the moments of exhale, of sighing, of relief and wonder and joy.
It’s about not comparing yourself, your life, your choices, your priorities to other peoples. My daughter and I have gone without a lot, but we are rich in connection, love, respect, authenticity, integrity and honesty. I don’t need to be famous, I don’t want everyone talking about me, or looking at me. I just want to live my life aligned with my soul, with my inner being that KNOWS who I am and what makes me happy.
I don’t need massive achievements, or to even be a success with my daily to-do list. I want to enjoy the simple pleasures. A cup of tea in the morning, in the sun, with my cat. A laugh with my daughter at our favourite TV show. A well-made chai and a chat with someone I care about. Creating, designing and bringing more beauty in. A private spontaneous lounge room dance to whatever is rocking my vibration. A job that helps others connect to themselves and supports me financially with all that I need and desire….
It’s not much and yet it’s everything. It was the softness between that I denied myself as I was rushing, struggling, achieving and surviving. There was no time for it in the push against exhaustion and single mothering and getting ahead. It took serious illness to force me to re-evaluate life. To realise I couldn’t work harder than I had been and that there had to be a better way to find joy in life. I felt if I dropped the ball for even a second we would fail, I would fail. That if I stopped, I would crash and burn and so I just had to keep going. It wasn’t until I realized that I had already crashed and burned, but I just hadn’t been paying enough attention to that fact, that I finally got it!
I want ease, peace, harmony, gentleness, abundance, connection, love, support and meaningful relationships with everyone who is in my life. I want intimacy, soul stories and space to just BE in this life. I realized that if I was going to stay alive, then I wanted to be happy in it, because another decade, or two, or three of struggle, disappointment and survival, was just not enticing enough to stick around for.
I realized that being happy could only ever be an inside out job and that I had to prioritize my own happiness, my own pleasure, my own joy, because it really is no-one else’s priority. I get to choose what makes me happy and I get to do it. Regardless of whether others agree, disagree or couldn’t give a shite. Regardless of whether others want to call me selfish, weak or not good enough and that’s a big one for a mum. Most of us striving to put our children’s needs first, keep them healthy, happy and well adjusted. Sacrificing and compromising to give them what they need and want and then realizing that perhaps that’s coming at the expense of our own health. Perhaps we don’t need to do as much, give up as much, sacrifice as much….perhaps society has it wrong, perhaps the older generation that guilt trips us for wanting our own lives, for needing to pursue our own happiness outside of our children, has it wrong. Perhaps the best thing we can do for them, besides loving them and taking care of important needs, is showing them how to live a fulfilled and happy life. Not how to compromise and sacrifice yourself to death but how to love and care and nurture our own needs, wants and desires, because let’s face it, where else will they learn this self-love, if not from you? How else will they learn it, if not by seeing you live it?
Sending you all lots of love…