I have been thinking about self -love and self-care and why others have such a hard time with it, sometimes . Lately, in the pandemic, I’ve been way too busy. I’ve been a caregiver for parents, I’ve been a mental health therapist, I’ve been a concerned friend. But I haven’t cared for me , like I should. I’ve placed others’ needs above my own and thought less of mine .
When the racial protests happened I felt bad I couldn’t walk with them, because I was trying to be safe from the Corona virus. I compared my suffering to that of others and thought about the consequences; feeling guilty I was not as involved as a activist for social justice issues like this. Yet then, I realized as long as I had a voice my voice would matter , my sharing and transparency mattered, and so did my attention on friends who were suffering the same.
“Even our pain and hurt should not be compared and ranked .” (Brene’ Brown)
These were Brene ‘ Browns‘ soothing words while experiencing crisis. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a range of emotions during this ” stuck at home time.”
Brene encourages is by saying: “Don’t ration love.” We need to up the ante on self-love. Self-love is not something I often think about ; but oh do I need more of it!
Though it’s hard sometimes, I find the need to just stop, slow down, and take morning baths. Why? Because morning baths are soothing, relaxing and set the tempo for the rest of my day.
I also read on self- development and how to be my best self, take notes and meditate on learning points through the week. Why? Because knowledge is always present , and I am ever- evolving. And I need this meditative , contemplative part of me to be a sanctuary for a sound mind.
I have other self- soothing tips during this season. But self-love is an ‘acquired taste’ for me, and it takes thoughtfulness , meaning-making and time to pause.
“We need to attend to our own emotions, so we can be also present for others.”
I am not certain I’ve been very consistent with this. There are times I didn’t want to even think about how I felt. Being numb and not thinking much, just felt safer. But then I realized “there’s safety in a multitude of counselors.” (Scripture) And this safety is wrapped up in the arms of those who comforted me and believed I wasn’t alone. With them in my life, life is just better.
We should never compare our suffering, emotions or affect with other-suffering. We should not deny or double down on our feelings. This invites shame, says Brene’ Brown.
Listen in to the Unlocking Us Podcast with Brene’ Brown, here.