Today is about self care. About love, awareness, tenderness, acceptance, and kindness towards yourself. I want to show you the ways I learned to nurture my body and soul, and how I realized putting myself first doesn’t make me an egoist, but a grounded human being.
We all need a ‘time out’ sometimes. We aren’t superheroes who don’t need sleep, or run on caffeine and screen lights. We need rest, lots of it. But already at a very young age we are taught to wake up early, go to school, come home to have a quick lunch before our gymnastics training, and when we return home from that at 7pm it’s time for homework we got at each class that day. We later on continue that pattern through high school and university, and by that time we can’t imagine a life without such a ruthless routine. We feel like we need to get everything done so we can make the most of our day. But are we really making the most out of it? Are we really doing stuff that matters?
What matters is not that we spend our time doing something. It is what we are doing that determines if we spent that time with quality. And that doesn’t mean doing only things you like, but doing everything you do with a positive attitude. We all have to work, and never stop learning. Knowledge is the key to freedom, and attitude is the lock. But when we get caught up in a cycle of negative thoughts (about our teachers, coworkers, bosses, friends, partners, etc.) we are heading straight for a disaster. That’s why it’s so important to always choose to see the good in people, the positive in situations, and the light in life. There is no good without the bad, and both live inside us. What matters is the part of us we choose to nurture, feed, act on.
So our life routine does not need to be ruthless after all, you see. Life happens not in the whites, nor in the blacks. It dances through the greys, wonderfully wild and unpredictable. We can choose how we’re going to live our lives. The only ‘obstacle’ is the fact that freedom takes a lot of courage and faith. Faith in yourself, in your creativity and capacity to always make the best out of a situation, and to continue, no matter what.
The first step towards a positive life is putting yourself first. That means loving, respecting, accepting, and listening to yourself first, only then to the rest of the world. With the way you treat yourself you’re showing others how to treat you.
I cannot tell you how to love yourself, but I can promise you are worthy of your love. I cannot teach you self respect, but I can show you mine. I cannot make you accept yourself, but I can welcome you into my life. And I sure as hell cannot make you listen to yourself, if you are busy listening to everyone else first. I can only show you it is ok to be alone, it is ok to be busy reading books, it is ok to cancel your date to take a bath. It is ok to take time you spend only with yourself, listening to what your body is telling you because trust me, it is full of words you don’t hear over the noise of the day. It is ok to switch off your phone, and it’s ok to go to a vacation alone. Go spend time with your mind, paying close attention to every place it’s taking you to. Go spend time with your body, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, accepting the gift of feeling pain, pleasure, taking time to heal. To recharge your batteries, so that when you want to do something you can give it your 100%.
The second step towards a positive life is compassion. Doing all the things you just read and feeling good about yourself, knowing you are worthy of it. That’s compassion - being compassionate about yourself shows you are humble and grounded. It shows you are aware of your power, and yet are choosing to use it for good. And all these things you feel for yourself; love, acceptance, compassion,.. tend to have a strong glow. Kindness births kindness, remember that.
Putting yourself first is not selfish, it is an act of kindness towards yourself. And with that you let the kindness inside you grow, so one day you have enough of it you can share that pure love with the world. And the world needs love and kindness, just as much as you do.