With the start of the new year, we were all talking about what does Self-Love look like in 2023? We then asked some of our team to write up about what it means to them, or how they approach it. We are going to post a few to share with our patients and friends. Our first submission is below…
Self-Love for me comes in 2 forms. In Japanese ideology they say that every person has 2 faces (versions of themselves) that they show, one is your public face and who you are in a room full of people. The other is who you are when you are with only yourself and your thoughts. This was powerful to me because like all humans, my mood changes with the winds, and coming back to serving one of those two faces always brings me some form of good feeling I associate with self-love.
Outward/public facing self-love
Sometimes showing self-love isn’t about manifesting good feelings where there are none. Instead, consciously doing things that you know will provide relief from certain overwhelming feelings or remove them all together. An example I would give for that is reading. I am a voracious reader, and I don’t necessarily read to excite myself or evoke emotion of any kind. I do it because I feel more educated and worldly when I speak. I enjoy the conversations around books with other readers and discussing takeaways and concepts. It’s similar to prepping well for an exam. I feel prepared and full of value in conversation, rather than just a dull exchange of niceties. Back in grade school your day went so much smoother when you studied and had all the answers for the test at the end of the day. If you didn’t, you spend those 8 hours dreading that test at the end of the day. All the materials were available to you so by not showing yourself love and prepping, you put yourself in a frenzied state inherently. So, while reading doesn’t make me happy per say, not giving myself those dreadful moments of being ill prepared to speak or unable to accurately express my ideas is the benefit. The self loves comes back 10 fold because it is something that takes no skills or money, even if I never mention anything I read in a book I am still enriched in knowledge from its contents, and I feel as though I enrich or am more useful to others in general which makes me happy indirectly. Everyone feels good when they can be of use to a friend in a mutual way.
Inward/ private self-love
This is where it is hard to pin down just a handful of ways I show self-love. There are small little things I try to do daily like exercising, or consciously speaking to myself kindly throughout the day. I also enjoy giving a stranger a compliment to make his/her day. When it comes to a broader view, my favorite way to show self-love is food. When I am by myself there is nothing in this world that brings me more joy than putting on a game, and ordering whatever overpriced delicious takeout I would normally talk myself out of getting.