It starts slowly with breath, an awareness of being. Here I am, this is all there is, just me in this body in this space, heart beating, lungs expanding and contracting. It’s a glowing, warm sensation bursting forth from the centre of my body. With this awareness blossoms intention; intention to love this body, this heart, this mind (the three now hand in hand – body, heart and mind).
I build on this foundation with tender loving touch. Fingertips gently running over skin. I hold my own face like I would my lover’s and caress it tenderly. Tears run down my cheeks for how good it feels, for how much I have missed this without even knowing what it was. I kiss my arms, wrists, and hands. I wrap my arms around me, squeeze tightly, whisper ‘I love you’. My critical mind picks at this action from a distance but I push it away defiantly.
In this space, at this moment, I am on my own – but for once in my life I do not feel to be alone. I am with myself. It feels foreign but familiar. How has it taken me twenty-six years to start doing this?
I start to cry because I remember how harshly I’ve spoken to myself in the past. I didn’t deserve the cruelty. I’m so sorry.
My mantra is ‘go gently’. I encourage myself, praise myself, tell myself how much I love me. I talk myself through things and comfort myself as best I can. I speak to myself as I would a small child. I allow myself room to feel whatever it is that I am feeling in the moment – let tears flow, laugh, and embrace whatever lies beneath.
From here I consider my basic life staples – sleep, food, exercise. Get enough sleep, eat good nutritious food, exercise regularly and move this beautiful body. Stretch, bend, run. I walk for hours, being present and talking with myself. I am a dear friend now; it’s nice.
Where do I live? Who do I live with? Where do I work? Do these things satisfy me? Support me? Do these things serve me? Many questions arise as I reframe the vision of my own life.
I create spaces in which I feel comfort and peace – light incense, feng shui things to my liking, decorate with beautiful objects, keep only those items that have a positive bearing on my life, expel the rest. I have a warm fluffy blanket that feels good on my bare skin; I wrap myself up in it and whisper loving words to myself. I love to dance and roll around on it; it feels so good. And if it feels good, do it – a tenet of self love. This is how I am starting to build a life that supports me.
I bathe myself in rituals that are grounding. Every morning I meditate, clear my chakras, draw a Tarot card, drink a cup of tea and eat breakfast. This feels very ‘me’. This ritual is my own and it sets me up for my day, no matter what nightmares sleep brought forth.
There is trauma in me; I go gently to avoid further harm to this beautiful self that I inhabit, and allow myself space to heal. From this space I build relationships with others that are nourishing and rewarding. I don’t need to cling or be needy, I don’t need to push or pull others to fulfil my needs; there’s enough to go around. This awareness is an ongoing process – I’ve had an attitude of scarcity my entire life when it comes to love. It will take some time to undo. Through self-nurturing, I persist and encourage myself while pursuing an attitude of abundance. This takes time.
I can see a future where self love is the norm and life is joyful and abundant. Where my love for others is as pure as the love I hold for myself because I don’t grasp at them to fulfil me – they just bring me extra joy and love, and I give them the same. Out of this space, addictions are broken and dreams are born. I dream about the things that bring me joy. I’m a ball of light pursuing passion and expression. I am free.