The river runs fast and with power,
carrying with it all the debris of the things gone wrong with it – away!
Though dark and gray the afternoon sky
There is a fresh new hope building,
as I know that after the darkness light follows!
Today was a long, enlightening, fulfilling day. The entire day was filled with doing things to take care of myself. The entire day. I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, I prepared and enjoyed healthy foods, I went to Pain Clinic (which is 3 hours of intense therapy) and then had my first visit with the psychologist and my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) session. I also came home and did an online SMART Recovery meeting. All for me.
For the last year or so pretty much everything I have done has been an concentrated effort to love myself and take care of myself. Many view selfishness as a negative thing. I know I used to. Today, I know that to love myself is the only way I am going to heal, and that is the only way I am going to have the life I deserve and desire.
It feels good. I don’t do it perfectly. I have probably said and done many things in ways that were less than ideal during this time. Yet, I am evaluating it all and making every attempt to learn from it.
So what things are included in my selfish life? What are the activities of self love?
- Caring for my body by being mindful of what I put it in. Plenty of hydration, the best food I can get with the resources I have available, resting, being mindful of anything that isn’t food or water and is it going to cause any damage. It takes time and energy to create healthy foods to eat.
- Meditating has been a lifesaver. I spend at least 10 minutes in the morning and fall asleep each night while meditating. I purposefully choose to meditate to sleeping meditations due to a long history of insomnia.
- Getting fresh air has helped in so many ways. Getting out, even if only for a 5 or 10 minute sojourn to the front porch connects me with nature. Nature is a natural anti-depressant.
- Exercise. See above. Getting in touch with building my body back to health and connecting with the knowledge that I have a part in my health gets my mind straight. I have begun walking 4 out of 5 days for at least one mile distance. However long that takes is how long it takes. I also have been doing an exercise program for 10 days now. It also is 4 out of 5 days taking approximately 15 minutes.
- Mental health therapy is allowing me to process some extremely difficult situations, thought patterns and coping mechanisms as well as teaching me new tools to manage physical and emotional pain. I currently have 2 therapists and am getting filled up with new understanding.
- Community. Finding folks to hang out with and then spending time with them takes courage and time and energy. I need to connect with others who can show me that I am not alone, that can help me with things that I can’t manage on my own and bring me a sense of belonging.
- Reading and learning. I spend 30 minutes a day at the minimum to learn about something I am interested in and that will improve my lot in life or the life of another.
- Being of service. Ha ha. How is that selfish? It is selfish in that it gives me so much joy and satisfaction that the more I do, the more I want to do. Sharing encouraging words, finding the answer to a health question, giving support to someone struggling make me feel a part of.
- GRATITUDE: Spending time each day being grateful for what is in my life at the moment is so selfish. It is realizing what has been provided for ME!
These activities are all self care. It is an act of love for self and a desire to better live within my circumstances that is giving me hope.
Today, I really went out of my comfort zone and did something I have been afraid to do and have never enjoyed, but felt inspired. I jogged. About 100 steps is all I managed, but it felt AWESOME. I felt so empowered and capable and strong and free. I had pain while I did it, in my feet and hips, but I have been learning that pain is what it is. Doing something like jogging 100 steps is not going to make my pain any worse. In fact quite the opposite, I felt liberated! My heart was working in more ways than just pumping blood.
The river and the pond were so dark, as was the sky, but my heart and mind and spirit felt invigorated and encouraged by that. Light is coming. Spring is around the corner. I have seen evidence of it in many places on my walks. A rebirth is occurring. In the world, and in me. Being selfish, I am enjoying every step of the way!
If anyone wants to join in the actual process and participate in your own journey with a group please come to my new Facebook Group called Healthy Habits at Ladybug Lane where myself and others share tips and tools for reclaiming life by changing habits into ones that serve to promote health and well being. It is one thing you can do for yourself! Come on, be selfish for a while! You might find you love yourself that way.