when i loved myself enough...
A couple of years ago I bought a little book entitled 'When I loved myself enough' by Kim McMillen. It's a collection of the author's reflections and musings on life and herself in the midst of life, and I thought it could be useful in any future counselling practice I might have. Of course we all need a little counselling from time to time, and the other day I pulled the book off the shelf to see if there was anything relevant to my situation.
When I loved myself enough I started eating organically grown food (except for those occasional fruit pies of course). Hmmm, yes I understand this, I identify, I am eating more and more organic foods myself.
When I loved myself enough I started treating myself to a massage at least once a month. Well I did plan to have massages more often after that beautiful massage last September, but somehow I still haven't got around to it. Is it a little too indulgent anyway?
When I loved myself enough I began listening to the wisdom of my body. It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers. We're on to something here. I ignored the wisdom of my body for most of 2008 and I am living with the almost burned out results. In 2009 my goal is to look after myself better, to nurture the bruised spirit, to feed the aching places. That means positioning a guard around my borders, being deliberate in what I choose to do or not do, being kind to myself and engaging in a little healthy protectivism. Ah yes, Kim McMillen has some things to say here too. When I loved myself enough I felt compelled to slow down - way down. And that has made all the difference.
I'm not personally good at the slow thing. I read a book on it last year, I know the benefits, might even know how to slow down, but I still struggle to do it. Life has so much to offer. So many delights call me to indulge, participate, enjoy. I have so much I want to do with my time! To slow down will mean a hefty effort to just. say. no. When I loved myself enough I learned to say no when I want to and yes when I want to. The trouble is I rarely want to say no!
I suppose there would be little benefit in making new year aims and resolutions if they were never tested - what would be the point, where is the challenge in a goal that is little more than a garden stroll? And so the testing came.
I have been invited to consider being a media representative for an upcoming event. What a thrill! Cecily in front of the cameras (is my hair OK?)! Oh so enticing. Of course there was more to this than the mere stroking of my over grown ego - I believe passionately in the cause, I dream of making a difference on this issue, I want to contribute to the better good of the world. All good reasons to say yes. Yes. YES!
Until I remembered my commitment to look after myself. Then I noticed the tension tightening up my stomach, the increased tossing and turning as sleep evaded me and I puzzled over how to fit this in around my other undertakings. Could I say yes and remain true to my promise to guard the ragged edges?
In the end I said no, but it was hard. Such an opportunity! What doors might it have opened? Will I be offered the chance again? At the same time, I feel peace and strength. I feel content I made the right decision for this stage of my life. There will be other opportunities - maybe not the same, but they will come. There will be other moments. For now, focus on healing. Hold onto the more calm, relaxed me.
When I loved myself enough I could say no because I needed to, not just because I wanted to. That surely bodes well for a year of gentle growth.