Participating in Life through Self-Love
I am taking care to slow down to discern.
I am taking care to slow down to name... my fears and my desires.
I am taking care to slow down to feel the pushes and the pulls, the discomforts and the openings.
I am taking care to slow down enough to sit with questions of what is actual care/love, what is toxic empathy, what is transformative, what is patterning?
This is applicable in every area of my life- showing up most overtly in areas with louder learning edges/perceived risk, which also are rich with growth opportunities for vulnerability and connecting to well-beingness. Yes, this is what’s going on with my family of origin (many of you know my mom had a stroke a few months ago)- my mom, my brother, my aunt. But this is larger and smaller than that- with lovers, work, friends…
How this looks and feels is not necessarily warm and fuzzy, nor easy and comfortable. It is often messy, sticky, awkward and tiring... and it requires great devotion on my part to stay aligned with my purpose of being a servant of Love. Because of my trauma history my patterning is to almost constantly want to close down, pull back, separate when there is discomfort and conflict.
It is my practices (read more here, here, and here) that allow me to STAY IN LIFE, when so much of me wants to fade out. It is my community of practice who help me to STAY IN LIFE when I want to retreat behind the heaviness of discomfort and go into pretending and hiding, where I spent most of my life. Disconnecting and separating myself from life mimic'd comfort and safety for so long, but there is nothing safe or comfortable about it. AND I don't need to do that anymore because of the practices and community that are here with me now. For me, this is the practice of self-love. It is self-love allows me to be in life. It is self-love that allows me to participate in life.
Participating in life is important for me. Self-love allows me to do this in lots of ways: through activism, in my 1:1 trauma work with people, in groups and courses I lead, in parenting, in relationships, and in quiet time.
It came to me that culture often looks at self-love differently, and in doing so may accidently help us to dissociate and disconnect even more from ourselves and from life.
Self-love (and practices of self-love) is/are not centered upon living in such a way as to keep yourself apart from life.
Self-love is not about keeping yourself from experiencing... difficulty, pain, discomfort, failure.
Self-love is not about keeping yourself from experiencing... joy, pleasure, depth, satisfaction.
Self-love is learning to love yourself fully- to be IN Love- no matter where you are, no matter what is going on around you, no matter how you're feeling.
If you've bought into a self-love protocol that has made your scope of living smaller, less inclusive, more narrow and more limited- that's not self-love. That's a refined utilization of control and is likely a trauma response.
We can learn how to engage in purposeful self-love that nourishes all parts of us, and which allows us to be in life. Reach out if you’d like support!