It may seem quite an statement to make, but truth be told, we have grown up to abuse our bodies pretty much every single day, from the food and drinks we eat, the way we sleep, out thoughts about ourselves or how we talk to ourselves, each other, the way in which we exercise, too much, not enough, how we dress, the relationships we have and many other things.
A big ouch for me, because one of the things I really hate is how people don’t care for each other, is that when we allow ourselves to get run down, exhausted, tired etc, we are part of the lack of care we so hate. So really I can’t complain or judge as I’m part of that.
Self-love takes care of the care we so crave.
And why is it, we pretty much only start to considered or look at ways of caring for ourselves, and our body when we get ill? Why don’t we care for ourselves all the time, so we aren’t exhausted?
Truth be told, it is out lack of self-love and deep care for our bodies and ourselves that leads to all the discontent in the world, disharmony in relationships, our bodies and to us being ill in the first place.
I was speaking with a psychologist friend the other day, and we were chatting about how we think and talk about ourselves, and it was startling to see and feel how hard I was and am on myself, and I am sure many other people will connect to this. But I was pretty brutal and harsh with the thoughts about myself, like there is no way I would speak to a child like that, or allow anyone else to speak to an adult or child like that, I would not allow friends or my partner to be that way with themselves, so why is we are so hard on ourselves, so self critical and negative.
At what point in our lives were we taught to criticise ourselves so much? Where have all the pictures, ideals and beliefs come from that we are not good enough? Or we have to be a certain way?
It’s actually scary to see, and something I’ve really noticed in schools this week, from a mixture of ages, as young as age 7 upwards ( and I’ve heard it from younger) is the constant self criticism of not being good enough, or work not good enough etc. Where do kids get this? Where do we get it, because we aren’t born like this, when we first start to colour in etc we don’t give ourselves a hard time for colouring outside the lines, or putting yellow all over the page, so where does this barrage of negativity and not being good enough come from?
Why and at what point ion our lives to we decide to stop loving ourselves, to stop caring about ourselves and think we are not good enough, or have to do more, prove more compared to someone else, to be accepted, liked, or to never meet that never obtainable picture? And, how does this affect our health?
This is not to beat our selves up, because that’s just continuing the unloving cycle, but to simply be honest, and be really honest about how we are with ourselves, being honest is one of the keys to truly self-care and healing, and beating ourselves up, pushing through and being critical isn’t.
We’ve all heard the old saying you can’t take care of someone else, if you don’t take care of yourself. This is so true, for how can we offer another true care and support to others when we have a body that is so exhausted and depleted of care and love ourselves. No matter how we might try to avoid it, we cannot escape the very humbling truth and fact, that, everything comes back to our body, to deeply caring for, and loving our body and ourselves.
So what are the starting steps? For each one of us this may be different, it is about simply beginning to listen to our body, honouring what we feel, acting on it, being responsible, open to making mistakes, our body speaks very loudly when we listen. And not beating ourselves up if we stuff up. Being open to seeking support if we need help, be that speaking to friends, or seeking medical support or help.
There is much more to self-care, the more we apply a few simple things, making the focus about our bodies, listening to our bodies, the quality we move and do things in, the more our body will speak loud and clear. There is no hard and fast one rule for all, in fact there are no rules, it’s about getting to know yourself, your body, and listening to your inner wisdom. And with everything self-care constantly evolves, so there may be something we did a while ago, that now doesn’t feel right anymore, so instead of continuing to do it, it’s asking our body to deepen, what’s next and where do we move on to from here.
For me it’s learning to apply one thing at a time, I’m a bit of an all or nothing person, but a pattern I’m seeing is if I go ‘gun ho’ I tend to give up or get smashed physically. So for me it could be as simple as saying okay, I’m simply going to focus on being gentle with myself, this can be how I move my body, how I get dressed, the way I am with my body, for example drying my hands gently, not being harsh, the hands for me are a good marker if I’m being too rough with myself, to saying no to any thoughts that are not loving and gentle in how I think about myself. And only ones this becomes a solid part of my foundation, my life, do I introduce something else. Plus it keeps things simple and joyful too.
Now by no means I am out of this, or have I nailed it, as yet, I’m a forever learning and will always be a student. Currently I’m learning to heal exhaustion , to deeply love and nurture my body and at times let myself rest.
On a finishing note, when looking for a photo for this, I came across a few of me as a little child, and there was not one ounce of negativity, lack of self love etc just pure brightest, joy, playfulness and love, So if we don't have any of that as a child, and we are absolutely full of ourselves in the truest and purest sense, just simply happy being us, Where does it come from?