Day 3 - self love
So today's page in the self love challenge book is all about unravelling the misconceptions about self love and why we don't deem ourselves to be worthy of self love yet. Again it falls down to comparison but also to our belief that we need to be deserving to warrant us being self loving. It suggests self-love is something to be earned.
"I am too difficult to love"
"I am not enough to be loved"
"I am too fat/too skinny to love"
"I am not beautiful enough to be loved"
Does this sound familiar? Seeking the ways we believe we are not yet ready for love, we set our bar so high that it becomes unachievable, not only unachievable but also a bit of a painful unsupported struggle until we get there, wherever there is - not able to love ourselves until we do.
Do we feel others have to be perfect to earn our love? Sometimes it is the individual quirks about a person that makes us love them the most. Remembering them for the funny way they would put their beans next to the toast, so it wouldn't go soggy-or would nag us to tidy our socks away which at the time annoyed us silly, but in hindsight was something wonderful and individual and a voice we remember with affection. Would we call these quirks perfect? Does it stop us from loving these people? So why is it we feel the need to strive for perfection before we nurture our own existence with self love?
Also it is sometimes when a person is deemed less deserving that they might need our love and support the most, to help them to grow and if we are willing to do this for others what makes it such a hard thing to do for ourselves on any given day?
For myself I am most kind to myself when I celebrate successes, achievements and accomplishments. It is then that I will reward myself with a self-loving gesture - the glass of wine, bubble bath, evening takeaway date with Gerard Butler in "P.S. I Love You". etc, but on other, deemed less deserving occasions, I will keep working well in to an evening or early hours, even if I am exhausted, until I feel I have "earned my rest" by completing every item on my sometimes quite overwhelming and overflowing to do list, instead of being kind and self-loving and listening to my body.
It is hard to realise sometimes in striving so hard we neglect the self love until we are worthy and thus burn ourselves out before we can even achieve that.
I read a very interesting post on the power of love which actually didn't have anything to do with being deserving but showed the power of love and how it is imperative we love ourselves at all stages, even before we can claim to be "perfect." It spoke of an experiment conducted on rice in water, in 3 separate jars over 30 days. They were all exactly the same, the only difference was the amount of love and loving talk they were given. The first was spoken to with words of gratitude and love and fermented to a sweet mixture, the second was spoken to with insults and verbal assaults and grew black mould whilst the third was completely ignored and by the end had rotten completely.
If we wait until we are perfect to self love we will rot?! Definitely food for thought. Do you want to rot? Or grow? Possibly celebrating ourselves and loving ourselves at all stages is the only way to accept what we do and don't like or want whilst also allowing ourselves to grow.