For The Love Of Me

For The Love Of Me

Coming into the twenty-second year of two thousand, I find myself reflecting during this season and time of year. I like to look at the past with a bird’s eye view, since it is all in hindsight after all. It’s helpful to develop an ability to see your life from a bigger, wider, and more distanced perspective. When you’re IN the moment, it can be hard to see it from another angle, because you’re probably consumed in the moment. But after time, with more space in between the emotions of the moment, and a clearer and more open mind, you could see things in different ways. Being able to link my present moment with some historical patterns from the past, personally, allowed me to really choose what I wanted to do moving forward, and make changes for my life that helped me to find the peace and contentment of heart that I really wanted my entire life.

My husband asked me a question one day.

“It sounds so simple to say, ‘Take care of yourself, first. Love yourself.’ You make it look so easy, some people talk about it, and it sounds so simple. But what does that mean to take care of yourself?”

I immediately grasped his perspective and agreed, that it sounds “simple” or “easy” but it’s not! Looking at it in hindsight, it is challenging and complex, and it’s one of the hardest things to do sometimes. But taking care of yourself—to really show that you LOVE yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit—is about your day-to-day life choices.

  • Do you have a deeper inner knowing of your emotions?
  • Are you constantly moved by what everyone else is doing around you?
  • What are some of the things that ground you and help you come back to a place of peace and calm?
  • What are your needs?

It’s so much more complex than just doing things to relax, and it really is more about coming to know yourself and choosing to do the best for your overall health. In a world where people pleasing is the focus, where we consume drugs, tv shows, food, drama, gossip, and instant gratification indignantly, we can get lost and forget about what matters most.

Have you ever been so caught up in something that you forget to eat or take care of your bodily needs?

I have! One too-many times. My body has SUFFERED, often in silence, out of love and dedication for others, all while I was undermining myself and my needs. If I ever complained, it was on me anyway since I put myself through it, so I was never even considered. And it is what it is! So I just stopped doing the most, when I was considered the least or when I was close to burn out.

So I told him what I chose to do for myself, to avoid burnout, for self preservation, and wanted to share it here.

  • Stay hydrated! You would be surprised to see how much better you feel when your body is hydrated! After all, our bodies are made up of mostly water, so it is absolutely pertinent to your mental, emotional and physical health. Drink your water and don’t forget the electrolytes.
  • How am I feeling? Every day, I rise with an open heart, and first thing, I listen to my body. What do I need in that exact moment? If I am feeling exhausted or tense, I immediately force my body up, and take a shower. I spend a few minutes allowing my body to steam for a bit. (I make sure I take note of how hydrated I am, because my body gets dehydrated if I steam too long).
  • Remember to do what your body needs. I take care of all my bodily and physical needs in a way that isn’t stressful or high pressure. I treat my body with respect and do what is best for it every day. For my first meal I usually opt for oranges, apples, pears or any fruits. I also love yogurt (black cherry chobani is my favorite) or some grits. I also love to drink tea first thing, to relax my body and set the tone for the day. I tend to carry tension in my body more often so I prefer tea in place of coffee.
  • GET YOUR MIND RIGHT! I meditate and set intentions for my day and week, and I take it at my pace every week. I don’t push my body beyond its limits. NO BURNOUT! Steady pace wins the race. Make sure to take care of your thoughts and patterns and do what is best for you.
  • Take regular breaks. If my body is tired, I listen and take a break. I make sure to stretch and get outside at least 2-3 times a day. Sometimes fresh air or a nice break is all you need.
  • Treat yourself with kindness. I speak kindly and gently to myself and speak affirmations to myself daily. I also remember to be disciplined and speak firmly to myself so that I am always accountable and growing. As a child I was constantly reprimanded and yelled at, and it didn’t work nor did it help me get things done. Now as an adult, I make sure I speak to myself and treat myself in ways that help me to do things from a space of inspiration and not fear.
  • Cultivate joy! I do one thing every day that makes me laugh or feel safe and comfortable. Joy is important to cultivate on a daily basis to combat all the negativity.
  • Inventory check. I make it a point to take inventory of my life on a regular basis and make sure I clean house when necessary. As a very generous and forgiving person, I have put myself in positions where I have been taken advantage of and left to felt used or empty. Because of that, I take a different approach when considering where I invest my time. If I feel I am not getting what I am giving back in some capacity, I reevaluate my investment and choice of time spent in that space. When you are generous, some can get into the habit of expecting you to do things for free consistently, not considering you and your obligations. Set the ‘price’ (the standards) early on, so nothing gets lost in translation. Your peace of mind comes from the way you deal with these challenges. Never get too attached to an idea of how life should be. Remember to adapt and do what works BEST!

That is honestly only a snippet into the large and complex world of a deeper loving relationship with yourself. To love yourself, to practice the true care of self means being committed and dedicated to yourself and your growth journey. It means doing what needs to be done, so that you are at your best. Loving yourself requires you to be the center of attention in your list of priorities, remaining disciplined and doing the things your body and soul need! That means anger management, if you struggle with anger; therapy and community support; behavioral adjustments and conversations of accountability. It’s not just about pleasing yourself. It is a choice to do things that are difficult but efficient in the long run.

Too much of anything can cause harm.

Whatever the choice, do what makes you feel complete and whole. I find peace and true hope in God, relationships, nature, and deep conversations. I choose to do things that bring joy to my life and also challenge me in the best ways. I stay away from things that I don’t want to reflect or become.

Taking care of yourself is imperative to a life of fulfillment. No one is coming to save you. In life, we have to choose to grab the tools and save ourselves. Love yourself first! Everything else will flow after that.

Warmly in love, Daniposa.

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