May you love yourself enough to actually love yourself
I've been working lately on what it means to truly take care of myself. I have some deep design habits of over caring for others that are rooted in an old way of caring for myself. It used to work. Caring and giving to others even if I didn't have anything to give was a way I survived. And I even made a couple of careers out of it. And although I have been slowly melting through this layer of self-sacrificing behavior for well over a decade, recently I feel like I have come to the very center of its being. As I have sat with my body over the past year or so, it has slowly begun to trust me enough to ask me, "will you love me first? But like, for real this time? Like all the way?" Because the truth is that when I take care of anyone before I've checked in with myself first, I am telling that part that it is in fact not loved enough to be cared for. I re-affirm the conditioning and belief that my value lies in what I can give others and how much I help. And in doing that, the truth of being inherently and innately valuable and whole is lost in the process. Subtly lost, but lost nonetheless. So I've been watching and witnessing the pervasiveness of this habit and how it sneaks its head into my life and interactions in the most subtle of ways. Moving out of the way for teenage boys walking down the street. Getting tongue tied when trying to ask for the slice of pizza I want. Texting back even though I don't have anything to say or I'm too tired. I can say I love myself all day long (and I do) but actions speak louder than words ever can. And if my behavior is out of alignment with what loving oneself truly looks like, then I am not actually loving myself after all. And don't get me wrong here; I'm not preaching that you have to boss bitch it all day or quit your job or get massages every week (although that sounds like heaven). I'm saying be brave enough to love yourself just one level more. Put just a little more action into what that means.
Love yourself enough to actually love yourself in action.
What I've come to realize is that in order to do the work of caring for myself, of loving myself first, I have to be willing to upset other people. Which means I have to be willing to tolerate the discomfort of someone else's possible response vs always tolerating the discomfort of my own suffering caused by giving over too much. And that scale has shifted as I've become more aware of myself. And because of the pandemic and the way it intensifies everything, this awareness has also grown more intensely. The way I feel within myself has shifted to be an intolerable experience when I betray myself. That doesn't mean I've got it all down. It just means that I am finally aware of that automatic process of self-sacrifice when I have even the slightest hint that I might (possibly) let someone down. I say "possibly" because it is very possible that many times, my perception of what others need or want from me is completely inaccurate.
So this full moon with its kind Leo eyes and it fullness, I am offering out the wish and casting the spell of loving oneself in a kind of way the reflects the fullness of the moonlight.
Tonight's ceremony is simple.... spend some time in contemplation or journaling and ask yourself these questions:
How am I overextending myself? How can I love myself instead?
In what ways do I betray myself? Name specific examples.
What are 3 things I can start doing now to better care for myself?
Now lay down or sit down in a quiet space and put your hand on your heart.
Call in the little one within you.
See her face. What are they wearing? Get a good clear image in your mind.
Tell her/him/them that you are going to take care of them. Tell them that you are going to protect them. Tell them that you will do what is needed to let them shine as brightly as the moon does tonight.
And now let them shine. Let yourself shine. Feel your radiance.
You are worthy of this love.
You shine just because you exist.