The other day I was at a homeschool event held at a local gymnastics gym. It is fun and laid back with an emphasis on chaos and noise. The kids, of course, love it. I spotted my handsome little 3 year old man as he stood behind a cute as a button two year old girl by the foam pit. With a cock of his head, he straight armed that little darling right in to the pit. I saw the moment of comprehension roll over his face. I think he was just being very 3 and impulsively wondered what would happen. Well the result was bigger than he imagined.
I fished the wailing child out of the pit and found her mother. Now this woman is absolutely a genuinely nice person. I explained what happened and apologized. She immediately accepted my apology. But then continued to reassure me....and continued. She almost became hysterical trying to convince me that it was fine and I was not a bad mother. Then the truth came out....because that is what she would think of herself if the situation was reversed. I calmed her down and assured her I was okay.
You see, she was absolutely wrong. I did NOT think I was a bad mother nor did I care what any other parent in that place thought. My son did a very 3 year old thing. I made amends and dealt with my child over the situation. There was no need for self recriminations on my part because I have pretty much silenced that self loathing, constantly criticizing, let's us just be honest, bitchy inner voice. Yep, she doesn't talk to me hardly at all any more. Why? Because I love myself dearly and deeply. I honor myself and my needs because they are worthy of my time and attention. I give myself great respect and love. And I will tell you the coolest thing, I am a better person because of it.
Huh? Isn't all of that selfish?? Wrong??? Dear goodness gracious what will the neighbors say????
None of the above.
Self love is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, your children, your husband, all your loved ones, and really, the whole world. We treat others how we feel about ourselves. Think about it. When you are down on yourself, do you really treat those around you with the love, respect, compassion, and patience they deserve? You see that person spreading hate and derision wherever they go? I guarantee you they have a deep self of self loathing to go along with that misanthropic demeanor. Our actions and words to others are a direct extension to our soul and how we truly feel about ourselves.
My friends will tell you I preach self care like it is my job. I constantly encourage the women around me to acknowledge their needs and honor them. I do want to see these women achieve greater happiness and satisfaction. I want to see them experience deep and resounding joy. But I have more subtle motives. ( I feel like I need to twirl a sinister mustache. ) I want the world to be a better place for me and mine. Since changing some long held beliefs and experiencing a paradigm shift, I have found the world full of beauty, love, and laughter. I really have. But I want more. I want there to be more peace, more joy, more love. I know the best way to encourage such amazing growth is to encourage more people to love themselves.
When we love ourselves our heart softens. When we stop the internal berating, we become more patient and considerate of others, including our partners and children. When we realize that we are worthy of a deep and reverent respect we can begin to understand that all life should be held with the same depth of respect. When we understand we are truly and eternally beautiful, we will begin to experience the beauty of life permeating everything.
So basically what I am saying is if you want to build a better world and a brighter tomorrow then you need to realize you are pretty awesome just the way you are.
Much love my sweet friends.