Love yourself first,
With Valentine’s day just around the corner, February is that month in the year when our thoughts turn to love, kindness and romance. Whilst there will be many blog posts encouraging you to bake heart shaped cupcakes and throw rose petals paths about the house, this isn’t one of them. Mind you, both those ideas are fun and I do encourage you to try them at least once in your life.
To kick off this month of love, I’ve decided to talk about loving ourselves. We know the quotes about loving oneself so others can love us. About the happiness which comes from accepting and loving ourselves and how with renewed confidence by loving ourselves we can achieve anything we set our minds too.
As someone who believes in using any tool to assist in raising self-esteem I actively encourage everyone to love themselves a little bit more today than they did yesterday. And then a little bit more tomorrow until your love meter is brimming with self-appreciation and respect.
To often we wrap our ideas about love in being about the cuddles and “awe” moments shared with those special people in our lives. Yet when we pull back the white lace curtains we can see that love really stems from the respect and admiration earned from actions.
This is an important revelation, because far too often we refuse to admire ourselves. Instead believing people will see it as a sign of a self-centered personality full of ego.
For the past six weeks, although not the toughest moments in my lifetime, I have struggled to deal with the life changing impact of an injury.
After a period of denial, I finally accepted something was seriously wrong. Seeking help I discovered there is no fix and instead a plan of “behaviour modification” supplemented with pain medication is the answer.
The changes I need to implement are radical. Learning to us the non dominate hand at times proving humiliating, especially when my once beautiful handwriting looks similar to my toddlers. (“Look Mummy you can draw a sun with that grass” … I’m guessing it didn’t look like my signature after all …)
Simple things are now done in the most awkward of ways; buttering a piece of toast, using a fork and even sipping that cup of coffee I love so much. I have become eternally indebted to my Keep Mug with its lid. Not only can I fantasize that it projects the image of a super busy person (albeit addicted to coffee), having a lid means I get a full cup to drink and not wear!
Not being able to carry the pot of spaghetti to the sink for draining left me sitting dejected in the kitchen feeling useless one evening, until I decided to use a big draining scoop right there on the stove. Not really conventional for this Aussie Italian family and certainly adds to the dirty dishes but who is going to count when it becomes about regaining independence.
I have called upon those special reserves of strength and courage buried deep within as I’ve battled “it’s not fair” outbursts fit for any DIVA. As emotions of fear, anger and pain swirled around me I demanded from those who surround me the right to be selfish. Realizing that this was all in the process to finding the functional me, I finally forgave the tears and temper tantrums. (and hope most everyone else has too..)
I share all this not for sympathy for I know there are people in far worse situations than me. Instead I want to show the journey of emotions I’ve recently walked and the peace I finally found once I placed myself first on that list to show love too.
Being the dependable strong solid one for my family and friends, step one was the confronting task of letting down defenses and accepting the help others so wanted to give. Step two was achieved by acknowledging that a physical flaw should not and will not signal the end of a productive and successful future life. The March start of university study is already well ahead in planning and I’ve managed to teach myself how to type within my limitations with the typo’s decreasing each day. Confirming this blog does have a productive use other than just capturing my ramblings!
Step three came about when I found myself actually admiring and even getting a laugh or two out of the creative ways I have adopted to do things I love (or don’t love, like laundry).
I’ve worked out that as long as I continue to be surrounded by love, from within myself and from those around me, then anything life throws my way will eventually always be conquered because when it comes to love we simply do not let go.
So today as you look in the mirror, give yourself a big hug, and remember we all deserve to be admired and loved and that process needs to start within us.
Always with Love, PB xx