With Valentine’s Day just past, it seems relevant to write about love. Self love. Self compassion. How can we make incorporate the self love habit into our daily lives?
The Self Love Habit
While I have written about self care several times here, I’d lie to stress that taking care of and loving oneself goes way beyond having regular spa days!
Making self love a habit requires us to work at the level of minds in a focused way. I can’t tell you the number of times in a day, I find that I’m talking down to myself. Berating myself for forgetting to do something. Being upset at myself for saying something. Not forgiving myself for making a mistake.
Learning Self Compassion
I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself. Here are three simple ways that I’m attempting to do this:
Questioning my perceptions/assumptions.
Both my parents were perfectionists. They were also really good at being kind to others often at great cost to themselves. It was hard for this dreamer to try to live up to their standards. I’ve had to question my ideas about what standards I should have of neatness, for example. I’ve had to ask myself, if being super critical of my ‘bad’ habits was a way to grow. I’ve had to question my ideas of what constitutes selfishness and what is taking care of myself. Is it okay to say no?
Releasing oxytocin by using touch.
Hugging myself, taking time to massage creams, enjoying soaking my feet and rubbing them, demanding a hug from my husband, playing with my dogs, are things I’ve learned to do. Being touched releases the hormone oxytocin, which reduces stress and boosts the sensation of security.
Finding my own mantra/s.
Embracing All Of Me
We have to realize that we are full of contradictions and the self love habit is one that helps us embrace every part of us – the ‘good’ part and the ‘dark‘ side.
Here’s a lovely little piece from Leah Perlman that talks about self acceptance – embracing all of me/you.
There’s one in you who’s sweet.
There’s one in you who’s mean.
Can you love them both?
Can you let them both be seen?
Can you love the one who tries?
And love her when she fails?
Can you love the one who lies?
And love the one who wails?
Can you love your tears?
Can you love your worry?
Can you love your darkest fears?
Can you love your fury?
Can you love indifference?
Love the one who clings?
Can you love the vibrant one?
Love the one who sings?
Can you love your addict?
Can you love your thief?
Can you love your vanity?
Can you love your grief?
Can you love your inner child?
And your body as you age?
Can you love your wild side?
Release her from her cage?
Can you love the one fulfilled?
And the one who’s not?
Can you love the one who’s chilled?
And whose temper’s hot?
Can you love the weakling?
The one who’s sometimes sick?
Can you love the warrior?
Who fights through thin and thick?
Can you love your crazy?
Can you love your sane?
Can you love your foolish heart?
Love your scattered brain?
There’s one in you who’s bored.
And one who’s often stressed
Can you love them both at once?
And she who tries her best?
If the answer’s “no.”–Leah Pearlman
To some of the above
Then can you love the one in you
Who’s learning how to love?
Today, I encourage you to incorporate the self love habit into your life.
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