We are, at best, complicated, aren’t we? The weight of contradictions both in the way we think, feel, and behave is enough to make a sane person crazy. Or is it just me? My invitation this month is for you to fall in love with you, again. What does that have to do with health? Nutrition? Exercise? Everything!
Sick self love, as we know, is Narcissism, where as healthy self love leads us to a place where we know and believe that healthy people will make healthy choices- we don’t want to miss the connection. The happier you are in a deep and meaningful way, the healthier you and your choices will be and vice versa, the healthier you are, the happier you’ll be.
If you are lucky enough to have come out of a healthy home and you were parented well, there is a lot you were taught along the way. For some of you a restoration of self love will simply mean glancing backwards to remind yourself of the good you already know. Life can be challenging and sometimes we lose heart and forget what is most important. Others of us did not have such a great head start and have had to figure things out along the way. It’s a longer, different journey to either find surrogate parents or mentors to teach us, or to have to parent ourselves and do the hard work of learning truths that were not taught sufficiently in our original homes.
Self confidence, security, and the ability to feel comfortable in our own skin can be learned or relearned at any stage of life. We have to be honest and brave to know ourselves, to stay in tune with our genetic propensities, our talents and desires- connected to who the “best” us is and pursuing the optimum level of satisfaction with that best version of self.
In the process of fearless self examination, which perhaps leads us to making small or large lifestyle changes, we have to be clear about why we would be willing to adjust our lives to make these changes. Loving ourselves enough to desire a clear and fresh vision of the healthiest, happiest, most ideal version of us that is age relevant, genetics honoring and sustainable will steer us away from punishing ourselves to try to achieve what may seem culturally pleasing, but is not really “us.” I want to be me. Don’t you just want to be you?
Good self parenting will motivate us to look into our own eyes and say, “I see you! I love you! I’m proud of your efforts! Let’s try again! No, no, that will hurt you!” We want to know what we’re aiming for and why it’s worth it to us to go there. Feelings of self loathing, punishing ourselves for failures, jealousy and competition, societal or peer pressure are not healthy motivators. It’s essential that we be honest with ourselves and our feelings- what do you most often say when you look in the mirror? Let’s change that dialogue if necessary.
Emotions are drivers- they do take us somewhere, so in our health journey we have to pay attention. In the process of self correction, there must also be self forgiveness when we have crossed our own boundary lines or lost heart. Finding out what we love to do and eat, loving how we look and feel, choosing activities that are fun and bring us joy, now that’s healthy motivation for us to pursue with grace and a vengeance that absolutely unique and wonderful person we are the most comfortable with and proud of. Us.
Falling Back in Love with YOURSELF will lead to healthy choices!
“…and love your neighbor AS you love yourself…” Old & New Testament
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is authenticity.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it maturity.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it simplicity.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is love of oneself.” Charlie Chaplin