It is so easy to be so hard on ourselves, while being kind and gentle with others. I believe and hope that human consciousness is moving away from self-deprecation and abuse, and toward more self-love and gentleness. I am not saying it is easy. For myself, it has been quite a journey going from majoring in Self-Abuse at Self-Hatred University (SHU), and toward a more loving curriculum of my choosing at a different school altogether. Perhaps this could be called Self-Love University (SLU).
The journey from SHU to SLU has been quite a rocky road at times.
Being gentle with myself begins and ends with how I am talking to myself. Statements like, You are okay, It’s okay, You are doing great, I love you, All is well, Hang in there, You got this, I forgive you, I believe in you, etc., — all of these are great. The idea is to start noticing the self-hate talk, listening without judgment, and then start introducing more loving self-talk.
For the past 3 months, I have had a lot of negative self-talk going on in my head. Really hard to get past it. One night when I was sleeping, I woke up and heard this voice: Hey Danny, I know that there has been a lot going on in your head that isn’t loving. This is your voice of self-love. I want to add my voice to the conversation, and let you know that you are okay, that all is well, and I love you.
It was like a huge committee, our board meeting, was going on in my head and all kinds of nasty bastards were sitting around the table talking about everything wrong with me. But that night, another voice sat down at the table and started saying loving things.
So when there is a lot of self-hate going on in the head, perhaps its time to have a more loving voice join the chorus. All the other voices can continue to shout and blab, but at least there will be a voice of self-love mixed in. This will help start to shift things.
Physical gentleness toward the self
Placing a hand on the chest and giving myself some loving energy helps as I am talking to myself. I can combine that with loving self-talk. Often times, this inner tenderness just wants a few seconds of being heard. When I feel the ache in my chest, I can choose to ignore it and turn on the next episode of whatever I am watching on Netflix, or I can take just a minute or two and place my hand on my heart and tell myself that I am here, that whatever I am feeling is okay, and that I love myself.
Just a minute or two of self-love can make all the difference.
Doing what I love
I big part of self-love is taking time to do what I love, what brings me joy, and what I am called to do. For me, it is writing free form and letting thoughts and energy come through the words that I write. For others, it could be knitting, or painting, or singing, or whatever. The point being: if I am taking some time each day to do what I love, I am being gentle with myself.
Those blasted mistakes
Self-forgiveness is really, really hard for many of us human beings. Speaking for myself, it has been exceptionally hard. Especially with the medium to large sized fuck ups. It takes tremendous courage to say, I forgive you, You are human, Time to get up, when I crash and burn. Then get back on the self-love train, even if I have scabs on my ass.
Even the little mistakes have been traditionally hard for me. Forgetting stuff. Dropping stuff. Missing dates. Just every day human errors are opportunities for practicing self-forgiveness.
I definitely don’t have it all mastered, but I am getting there.
I truly love this quote by Rumi:
“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi
It tells me that, no matter what, I can get up again and return to love.