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The Twenty Month Season Part 3: Self Love and Self Care

This effort is already challenging me more than I thought it would, but that’s alright. Here it is, the middle of March and I am writing what I should have done in February because I am struggling to put all the pieces of reconstructing a different me together. That became a problem. Problem being….

Before I could be different, I had to better understand what I am. And as I am finding out, that is not easy or comfortable. My objective is to re-imagine myself for the sake of meeting this new world. Just waiting for the world to go back to the way it was. That world drove us to this one. We do not want to pick up where we left off.

As I have said many times in my work, genuine self-assessment is rare in our society. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but it would not surprise me if it were the same everywhere. In the U.S. at least, we do not put a great deal of value on introspection. If we do, it is done as lip service. Before we can change our national body, we need to know our individual mind and grow out from there.

Long story short... Know thyself. Accept thyself. Love thyself. Connect with others.

Then make the same is true for others.

Trying to accept others where they are is the foundation you should start from. This does not mean you have to like where they are.  This does not mean that you put up with the worst and ugliness that some will embody.  People need to be held to account for their behavior. But they, just like you, are human beings.  They are not demons nor are they angels.  They are caught in the struggle just like you.  I have always believed that people at their “worst” struggle with how they express their pain or confusion.  Some have a narrow view of the world that you may help them to broaden. Some… are just straight up jerks.  Some are sociopaths. But I believe most are just hurting with no healthy way to deal with it.   Keeping this in mind when dealing with them (as long as you keep yourself safe) may gift you an unexpected outcome.  At the very least you will find your courage and humanity growing with each encounter regardless of the outcome.

As far as I go….

I have needed to face the fact that I am physically and emotionally out of balance. Overweight. Not eating or sleeping in healthy ways. Allowing the constant push of my day-to-day life to erode my esteem to the point where little seems good enough. It all becomes a downward spiral. The realization hit me that I have been spiraling for years. I know this impacts how I deal with others. It has to.

The last 10 months or so have been an effort to improve elements of my short comings, but only in the last few weeks have I tried to tie them all together and build a behavioral construct. I am talking to a therapist. I am meditating. I am getting more involved with my church. I am eating healthier almost every day. I am exercising almost every day. I’m practicing sleep discipline. I feel better.

I know everything I have listed are common sense things that we are all told to do; yet… here many of us are.

The February gap was filled with the fog between knowing and doing. Doing was and continues to be harder than just thinking about it. As I said, I feel better, I know there is a lot more better to dig into. Putting it all together is still hard. Some days are better than others, but I have to keep focused on the “why” I am doing this.

I recently came to the realization that for as much as I am willing to put my best self out there in the name of others, some part of me can’t seem to build the same type of drive when it comes to me. It’s a hard thing to face. Self-worth and self-love are essential to loving a bigger world. Without it, you are trying to fill the world with a broken vessel. At worst an empty one.

Now. Most every morning, before I set about trying to change the world, I remind myself that I am worthy of the person I aspire to be. He is far from perfect so he deserves patience, time, forgiveness and most importantly love.

I know he will do great things in the world.


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