I read so many different articles each day about how to take care of yourself, how to love yourself and how to treat yourself right. This article from Tiny Buddha that I read recently inspired me to write this post, the idea behind this “love yourself article” is that you don’t have to be perfect to love yourself.
Wow! What a concept!
It seems that these days everyone is trying to fit the exact mold of being the smallest size, the perfect mom, best wife and all around great person, and the whole time announcing on various social media outlets how wonderful their life is or how perfect their children are.
Well, I am here to tell you that most people are not perfect, I know for sure I am not. I admit I did have a pretty amazing year last year and I wanted to share it with family and friends, but we have also had some shitty times too, which we will share equally as well. The point of this is not to boast in how great we are or all our accomplishments or all the amazing places we have gone, but to remember that life has ups and downs and people and places will come and go, but the one consistent thing in each person’s life is their Self. Which is why it is so important to love yourself in good times and and in bad. It is helpful to stop comparing yourself to those you see on TV or on your social media feed and start focusing on yourself.
Love your thighs, love your boobs, love your messy house and love your crazy children. Yes, you might yell some days and eat chocolate for each meal, but you are still awesome and you are the only You there is, which is why you need to take care of You and love You with all you have.
I have written about this in the past and I have even tattooed this concept on my arm for a permanent reminder that I need to love myself and be kind to myself every day of my life. The word I have on my arm is Maitri, (also known as Metta). Maitri (“my tree”) is a Sanskrit word meaning “unconditional friendliness towards self which radiates out to others.” Practicing maitri is an antidote for habitual self-hatred and fear. This is a good post that is also speaking to the concept of self love.
The idea is that you need to have unconditional love and friendliness for yourself, before you can care or radiate that love to others. It is similar to the concept on airplanes when you need to secure your air mask first before you help those around you. You can not take care of others and those you love unless you love and care for yourself.
I am writing this article a week before I head out on a 3-day yoga retreat with my wonderful yoga teacher and friend at an amazingly, beautiful getaway in the mountains. This is one of the ways I love to care for myself, taking a weekend away with friends, move in my body, relax and enjoy what is around me and focus on what nourishes me most and put my needs and wants first for at least 3 days. My family is usually pretty supportive of these get-aways because the idea is that I will come back refreshed, I get the chance to fill my cup up and then I will have more positive energy to take care of those around me who I love. In our society, it might seem selfish to put yourself first, but I recommend it to everyone, take some time each day for yourself. Whether it be for meditation, exercise, a pedicure or just a quiet moment alone. Make time to fill your cup and you will feel refreshed and ready to take on anything that comes your way.