6. Self-love programme
The next day February 8 :-
It’s time for me to stop abandoning myself.
“No-one fully understands me, there’s no-one to fully believe in me,” was the old lament. (I can almost see the face of the violinist, over-acting as he accompanies this mournful refrain.)
It’s time for me to fully support and care for myself. How do I do that?
You know how people say flippantly, “Look after yourself”? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’ve been hard at it anyway, caring for myself because of the grief process I’ve been going through due to the major upheaval in my life. (Maybe I’ll call it the MUL from here on in.) I’ve had to continually discipline myself to keep my focus on what I need in any moment. Can I imagine the most loving person who is so tuned in and caring that they can look after me in the precise way that I need, without me even having to ask? I imagine that person who will do absolutely anything I need to support me in my grief. Well, here she is right here! She loves me! She listens, and she knows what I need.
I’ve been giving myself the gift of just being with the feelings that come up. It’s like being wrapped up in a velvet blanket with a dear friend or lover with their arms around me, and them simply and gently saying, “Yes, yes, I know… that’s it… let it out… yes, yes, I know…” After the shower has passed, I’m then asking myself, “What do I need in this moment?”
I’ll call it my SLP (self-love programme). It’s the very best kind of selfishness.
How else am I supporting myself?
I’m supported as always by my dreams, which are coming thick and fast at the moment. If I wake up in the night after a dream, I always write it down, as I will have forgotten it by the morning. I’ve been doing this for more than twenty years now, after I did some dream Gestalt therapy in my 30s. My dreams are like a gift from my subconscious, and they show me what’s really going on. Thank you Carl Jung for your discoveries.
Another weird thing is happening now; you just wouldn’t believe it. As soon as I support myself by speaking my truth, people seem to instantly recognize it for what it is, without me having to convince them! I see now that my past moments of trying to stand up and convince them of my truth was simply me not quite yet convinced of it myself—a fragile platform indeed. But I’d recently shared some of my radical insights about my recent big life-upheaval (MUL) with my friends (I’m not sharing about the book just yet) and there was an instant look of recognition, and comments such as, “Gawd, you should be a counsellor” and “That’s amazing that you have that perspective on it all.”
Another way I’ve been supporting myself is by blutacking quotes, affirmations and my drawings on my bedroom wall. I guess I’m reminding myself of my higher self. People who know about these things may say I’m raising my consciousness. Here’s a favourite quote I found from Blake Bauer’s book ‘You Were Not Born To Suffer’. I hope he won’t mind that I’ve paraphrased it to turn it into an affirmation for myself:
“I honour myself by following my heart into the unknown territories and experiences that await me. I no longer abandon my inner truth, but I break through my fears and self-imposed limitations to fulfill the purpose of my life.”
I swear to God he wrote that especially for me.
I’ve also been surrounding myself with lots of lovely smells, feeling the need to burn fragrant oils and candles in my house most of the time. By lucky coincidence I had received about five different scented candles for Christmas last year. At the time, I thought, ‘What’s with all the candles this year?’
So, surrounded by beautiful smells, pictures and affirmations, I’d been loving and caring for myself by a) allowing myself to grieve deeply and b) working away on the step-by-step publishing process, getting various bits ready as my publishing company required. Today’s the day I submit my manuscript.
It felt right, steady, very real and true.
My dream that night? Here’s what I scribbled in my journal : “Lots of different dreams all night – eggs hatching, family finding out, new babies, etc. etc.”