Self love – no, not that kind, the other kind – is one of those things that falls way down on the ol’ daily to do list when you’re a busy mom. You know, somewhere after grocery shopping because there isn’t a single lunchbox snack left in the pantry and finally washing that grungy old blanket the kids used last month for their backyard picnic and then forgot to bring in from the tree house.
Who has time to say nice things to themselves? To take a moment to give themselves a bit of praise and encouragement? It feels self-indulgent and time consuming and, in any case, the dog needs a walk, so I’ll get around to it later.
What’s funny is we always seem to find time for self-recrimination and self-criticism. No trouble multitasking those with other chores. Lament your increasing wrinkles while putting on makeup. Give yourself a hard time about the cookies you ate in front of the TV last night while pulling on a slightly too snug pair of jeans. Criticize your parenting as you put a hyper-processed snack in a lunchbox…. they come all too easily and with zero effort or forethought.
I even berated myself as I cracked open Cheryl S. Bridges new book Me, Myself, & I – 28 Days of Creative Self-Love, because, really, who was I kidding, as if I had time to self-indulge in something so fluffy and whimsical?
But I did it anyway, because these days the self-recriminations and criticisms are coming faster and meaner than ever, and if I don’t take time to be nice to myself every once in a while, who will?
Cheryl opens with these words
“We’re here…to learn how to be open to the possibility of loving ourselves. We aren’t gonna shoot for totally unconditional self-love and 100% self-acceptance. No need to cut the thread of hope we’re dangling by! We’re just going to consider it’s possible to add a teaspoon of self-love to our hearts every day. “
So I did. I jumped to the chapter on fear (because I’m a rebel and apparently I like to jump into the deep end), and I spend a rather uncomfortable but enlightening moment with a pen in my hand pondering fear, what it meant to me, and how it was holding me back.
I’m sorry to say that angels didn’t sing and revelations didn’t miraculously appear about how to deal with my own particular brand of fear, but I did find a little ray of kindness shining from my journal page.
I’m hard on myself, harder than on anyone else, and really, I need to knock it off. My fear isn’t ridiculous or worthy of contempt. It’s real, it’s tangible, and it’s worthy of acknowledgement.
It’s not much of a revelation, but it’s a something. A teaspoon of self-love. A start.
As we head into what is universally known as the hardest and most stressful season of the year I invite you to show yourself a little compassion, a little kindness, a little self-love. If you’re the kind of person who needs a helping hand, consider downloading Cheryl’s book or following the #CreativeSelfLove hashtag on Twitter to see how others are finding creative ways to be kind to themselves.
Please note: While I was not compensated for this post, I was gifted a copy of Me, Myself, & I for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions contained in this post are mine and mine alone.