If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves, to treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend, or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it”
― David Foster Wallace
David Wallace says in his quote that we need to learn to love ourselves the way we love the most treasured and beloved people in our lives. He says we must treat ourselves this way on the understanding that we do it because we are valuable human beings. Nothing more. Each of us, valuable human beings. David Wallace believes it is possible that we can learn to do such a thing. I agree with him.
It is my experience that life will give us the opportunities and challenges to practice self love and self care, over and over until we sort it out. Life is a patient teacher. We can practice getting to self love for exactly as long as it takes us to get there.
Loving ourselves is a choice, it is a commitment, it is an ACTION. Self care is not a philosophy, not an intellectual pursuit, not an airy fairy hippy ideal. It is work. Our work.
Loving ourselves is about consciousness and awareness and the willingness to pay attention to ourselves. Maintaining this level of awareness is also work. The busyness of our lives and responsibilities to others can mean that turning inwards is unimaginably difficult. Struggling with the weight of family estrangement and other personal/interpersonal problems takes us away from our center, rocks us from our pivot point, strips our emotions bare and keeps our minds racing.
We need space and time to think about what is important and meaningful to us. So often things we think we need or must have (including relationship things) we really don’t need. Many of the things we think we want, don’t necessarily create the happiness or satisfaction we are certain that they will.
We heal when we stop ruminating and running and we instead start paying attention to ourselves.
We heal when we love ourselves and care for ourselves the way we do, those we love the most.
The past cannot nourish us. We cannot eat our hurt and suffering. Our bellies will grumble and our hearts will go hungry. We know what we need. We can trust ourselves.
What do I need to do to look after myself right this minute?
What is preventing me from doing it?
When will I start?
That is all.