Today is February 13 – International Self-love day.
To celebrate this day, I made a commitment to start a blog in February and to post something regarding self-love. In one of the many email lists I am subscribed to I came across an email and website by Christine Arylo www.chooseselflove.com and www.madlyinlovewithme.com and I felt compelled to join the organization and sign up as a Love Ambassador.
I made a commitment to share the message of self-love and what it truly means throughout February on Social Media, share a blog post, and host a self-love circle. I have been posting on my Facebook site (www.facebook.com/SusiesInsights/ ) every day in February a message of self-love.
I also started reading Christine’s book Madly In Love With Me. In her book, Christine talks about a utopia world of love, where every girl born on this planet is born in love and stays in love with herself – not in an egotistical way, but in a way where she does not judge herself by external standards. Instead she feels safe, loved, cared for, more than enough, just because she is who she is. With this mindset, eating disorders, and tolerating abusive relationships do not exist, as those girls become women who take care of themselves first, without guilt or obligation, and they know that in order to give, they must also receive, which includes self-care.
Christine later explains her view of self-love can be seen in the form of a tree. There are 10 branches to the self-love tree: acceptance, awareness, care, trust, esteem, compassion and forgiveness, empowerment, expression, honor and respect, pleasure, and the roots of that tree are self-worth.
Aside from my commitment to blog about self-love, I am drawn to comment on this utopia and the self-love tree. My utopia extends this ideal to all human beings. But sometime I feel as the late John Lennon wrote and sang … “maybe I am just a dreamer, but I am not the only one…” but I acknowledge it all starts with ourselves, and thus me. When I looked through this list of the components of self-love I realized there were several of these that could use a little more attention, and some that were in good shape.
‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ – Mahatma Gandhi
I recognized that I needed to make some changes in order to start on the path towards this utopia, and it started with me. Self-acceptance rather than seeking acceptance from external sources is a big one for me that really came to light over the past 2 years. All of my life I compared myself with others around me, especially my sisters, who are phenomenal athletes. I worked really hard at everything I did, and was good at pretty much everything I took on, but I was never ‘the best’ at any one thing. In the circles I was in there was always someone better. I witnessed my sisters being celebrated for their various sporting accomplishments, and I am very proud of them. But I wanted that recognition and celebration for me. So I worked harder, pushed harder, trying to be ‘the best’. Because of this I did not celebrate my accomplishments, or take notice of all the things I was good at. In my mind, being the best was celebrated by everyone – everyone took notice of who was the best. But I have come to realize is that being the best is short-lived, and doesn’t not mean anything if you, yourself are not enjoying the journey or the accomplishment.
When I took stock of all that I did and accomplished when doing so much, it really was an eye opener for me. When I started to accept myself for who I was and took the ‘yeah, buts…’ out of the internal conversation, and really recognized my accomplishments and felt them, I was softer and kinder to myself, proud of myself. Now, I continually looking for those reminders enjoy what I am doing in the moment, and I am so much happier. I still work hard looking to improve, but I have made a vow to me to enjoy what I am doing, even while pushing myself.
I have discovered that there is one thing that I can be ‘best’ at and that is being me. No one else can be better at being me than I can. I have decided to stop trying to be someone else, and to accept me for who I am, while still pushing to grow and become a better me.
I am sharing this, not for the recognition, or even for the commitment I made, but to help others, even if it is one other person. Review the self-love tree that Christine has presented, and identify for you what branches may need some little extra attention so that you can grow to be the best you that you can be, and enjoy the journey along the way. There will never be another you. Enjoy you with all your heart.
If this sparks some interest in you, go to my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SusiesInsights/) , like my page and share your comments on how you are treating yourself today.