The start of the journey into radical self-love
As I approach my 40s, and find myself thrown into the first real introspection of my life, I’ve found myself asking why I have the thoughts about myself that I do.
Asking whether I even need to keep those thoughts.
Asking whether I would hold those thoughts about my son, my daughter, my husband, my sister, my mother, my father, or my closest friends.
The feelings that are coming up are uncomfortable.
Truth is, I’ve looked at myself inwardly only until now. Never from the outside. Never with the love or kindness or awe that I look at all of the people in my life that I hold dear. It’s been easier to be dismissive. Or negative. Or fearful. That’s comfortable. That’s known. But I think really I just never looked that hard at myself or my thoughts because it was easier to go with habit and focus on the external, intensely fast movement of life.
Truthfully it is terrifying to see oneself in reality and this feels like the start of a very long and painful process.
It is especially painful to, for the first time, be totally conscious of the thoughts I have held about myself for a very long time. Some of those thoughts came from what I believed to have heard from others. Some come from the world we live in and the messages that we constantly receive. Some of those thoughts have been moulded by myself out of smoke – out of things that simply do not and never existed. To hear them with clarity and in your own voice is not an experience I am enjoying. There is work to do.
But one thing has become so crystal clear to me. There is absolutely no reason, whatsoever, for me not to love myself wildly, without reservation, fully and with adoration and awe. It’s taking time. We don’t change our thoughts overnight. For now, I’m working on the shining glimmers of the things that make me, me, and feeling warmth and endearment for these rosy rosacea cheeks that burn when I blush, for the shape and look of my body and skin that have created and fed children, for the wrinkle in my brow built from years and years of deep critical thought in my profession. For being a hopeless interrupter, too impatient to wait for others to finish speaking. I’m going to love these things. Because I can and because I am kind to others, and so I can be kind to myself.
It is a work in progress. Working hard to catch myself in the moments where I dismiss myself, tell myself things that aren’t true, or default to diminishing my power. Instead, I imagine I am my best friend. Seeing myself as she sees me. And I smile and think, there she is.
I do hope you can join on a journey of what some might call radical self-love. You are worthy and capable of it.