What is (self) love?

Self love is super important. I feel like everyone knows that to a certain extent, but actually realizing that truth in it’s rawest form is something else entirely. Fate has a strange sense of humor. Just when we feel like we are getting our rhythm, life throws us a curve ball and we are knocked back down to reality. (Or at least I am, anyway)

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I woke up Tuesday morning with a plan: I was going to ride my bicycle before anyone else woke up so that when my husband woke up for work, I would be able to give him a hug before he left for the day, thus setting a good precedent for the rest of the day while allowing myself a few hours of leisurely alone time before my daughter woke up. So, at 4:15AM my alarm went off. I got dressed and I hit the road.

No one was awake. The roads were empty, and while for some that may have caused a sense of unease, I was at total peace. There was a light breeze, and the air felt just right. It truly was heaven. Yes, my legs were pedaling hard, and I had to push to keep going, but that is part of the challenge. When I am riding against the wind, that is an added bonus to this experience for me. It’s incredible to see what the body is capable of. It is even more awesome to realize how far mental strength can get you. Just when I felt like I was about to quit, I learned that I was able to keep riding.

So, I got home and celebrated my victories after a quick shower by bragging to R about how great the ride was. He was ecstatic to see me so happy. I curled up into the couch to watch a bit of the morning news, something that I hadn’t done in so long. I did some chores around the house, planned the day, and just reveled in the fact that I was able to accomplish so much before six AM. I was going to nap after a fantastic morning to ensure that I had enough rest for the full day ahead. As someone with PCOS and chronic fatigue, I wanted to be prepared for any outcome.

The day went well, for the most part. My friends Eugene* and Rapunzel* picked up A and me so that we could join them for lunch and then walk around their local mall. We had a wonderful day outside of the house, which doesn’t happen often because I don’t have a car. Everyone was in good spirits by the time we got to Tangled’s* house. We all settled down to play some video games, and tried to relax. Eventually, there was a tangible shift in the mood. My daughter started to act out and I kept having to remind her to be responsible for her behavior. I hate nagging, and it honestly hurts that sometimes she just won’t listen. Every parent knows that feeling of helplessness. I try explaining why to my daughter so that she understands the reasoning behind my choices and why sometimes I have to say no. Alas, after such a great start that morning, Tuesday was not the day for fruitful efforts.

R met up with us at Tangled’s home when he got off work. We all settled around for a delicious dinner that Rapunzel made. Still, something was off. We were all rather short with one another and generally kept missing the mark in our communication. It happens, but it wasn’t the most fun. Shortly after dinner, my family piled into R’s truck and headed home. Once we got home, I couldn’t shut my mind off. I am such a sensitive individual that even minor things feel big to me sometimes, and I am so perceptive, that I can almost taste the mood around me. So, I sent Rapunzel a text giving her a full apology for the disconnect at the end of our day together. We had a really good conversation about it, and while that should have been enough closure (being adopted I pretty much always need an abnormal amount of assurance and closure), my brain would not stop. Racing thoughts abound, I knew I was in for a long night. I tried everything: Meditation, music, laying down and being very still, reading, writing my worries out, watching YouTube videos about mundane things… all to no avail.

It was a very long and rough night. I will just leave it at that. I finally fell asleep and when I woke up this morning…. well…

So, that’s where we are at. I am going to take it very slowly today and just chalk up my losses. I am determined to keep going on my 30 day challenge, but to avoid sounding insane, I may take it slow today. I would rather rest up for one day and come back with a bang, instead of wearing myself down and making things worse. It’s important to be kind to yourself. Recently I learned to always treat myself like I am my own best friend. If a friend came to you and asked you for advice, what would you say to them? In this situation, I’d tell them that things happen sometimes and it’s okay to get rest. So that’s what I am going to do.

It takes courage to learn that kind of self discipline. To learn self love. But through all the trials and tribulations in life, it is absolutely crucial to yourself and those around you.
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Hugs,

 

S

 

 

 

Remember to be kind to yourself and if you or someone close to you is in serious distress or simply needs to talk to someone, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

*To protect the identity of my friends and family (unless they give me permission to use their real names), I will use first initials (for my immediate family) or nicknames. Rapunzel is my best girl friend and Eugene is her husband, obviously together, I shall refer to them as “Tangled.”

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