3 of the Weirdest Things I've Done for (Self) Love |
Self-love ain’t for sissies. I would know, because self-love has made me her bitch these past few years.
Improving the relationship I have with myself is one of my constant missions and privileges in this life, and it's now something I get to work on in-depth with my coaching clients as well.
As a result of this pursuit (the pursuit of loving & accepting oneself so friggin deeply), I have had to lay down the sword I sometimes hang over my own head and admit that oy - I am so not perfect, not even remotely.
I've had to face the fact that I will screw up and struggle and sometimes make the same mistakes over and over again...
That I can be mean and judgmental. That I have the capacity to be cold, un-forgiving, begrudging, calculating, shallow, weird, wicked...I am so many strange things. We are all so many strange things.
But I am still worthy of love. We are all worthy of love. Because it is our "birthright", as so many acclaimed self-help authors declare on book jackets and blogs. Amen to that, right?
Today I want to share some of the strangest, most surprising things I've practiced to strengthen the (now pretty stellar) relationship I have with myself. Since self-love has become a priority, I sometimes still pick up the sword, but I know how put it back down pretty quickly.
Here's three of the wackiest things I've done for some good old-fashioned self-loving (no, not that kind!):
1) Listen to intense love songs and imagine they were written and performed by me, for me.
I was a little tipsy. It was a gorgeous evening. I was strolling home, listening to some perfectly curated Pandora station when Sugarland’s “Fall Into Me” popped on.
“Fall Into Me” is this warm, gooey, sweeping song about committing to being really there for someone, like, loving them no matter what, through thick and thin. It’s good. lovin. country. SHIT.
Naturally I wanted to change the station and cry a little because at the time, I didn’t have anyone in my life to relate said warm, gooey, love song to. I was aloooone. Siiiiingle. I HAD NO ONE TO FALL INTO.
I felt myself spiraling, approaching “woe-is-me-I’m-single-womp-womp” status with radical speed.
But then this very unexpected, coach-y thought popped into my brain:
“What if I imagined that I was singing this song…to myself?”
OR FUCKING GENIUS?!
The answer is D: All of the above.
I re-started the track and tuned into Mrs. Sugarland’s gorgeous country twang.
I imagined that this was my song to myself. I quietly, drunkenly connected with the lyrics and let the music move me:
Fall into me
My arms are opened wide
And you don’t have to say a word
‘Cause I already see
That it's hard
And you're scared
And you're tired
And it hurts
And I wanna be the one you reach for first
And here’s the thing, y’all.
Sometimes, IT IS HARD.
AND I AM TIRED.
AND I’M SCARED. AND IT HURTS.
AND I REALLY DO WANT TO BE THE ONE I REACH FOR FIRST.
This is a really tough concept for most of us to connect with, but you can always be present to your own hurt and struggle, and not say a word and just like, acknowledge that something sucks and you’re still there for you. Sugarland on repeat helped me realize this. I can fall into myself, like a giant, self-helping goober.
We're never alone when we have ourselves. Boom. Tweet that shit.
Other great tracks for some you-on-you loving?
Adele - Make You Feel My Love
Jason Mraz - I Won’t Give Up
Shania Twain - You’re Still the One
Go ahead, make that sweeping, love-filled playlist you want someone else to make for you…and gift it to yourself, boo. You might cry (I’m not joking). And it might be weird, but it works.
2) All kinds of bizarre-o energy work and crystals and past life shit.
There’s a certain motto I prescribe to when something just isn’t working in my life, and I don’t know what else to do, and I feel like I’ve tried everything, and traditional methods don’t seem to be cutting it anymore…
I WILL THROW ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF AT MY STRUGGLE.
We’re talking reiki healing, shamanic cleansing, past life regression, weird subliminal napping yoga…I’ve done it all.
And guess what? At some point in time, something really worked.
I don’t know if I feel lighter, easier, and better about (and with) myself because stuff actually got energetically cleared and moved around and now I’m like, free? On some deep, intense, cosmic, soul-level?
Or maybe I’ve just been paying for an extremely effective placebo effect??
Either way, I DON’T REALLY CARE. If it helps, it helps!
Early on in 2016 I declared this “The Year of Full Woo-Woo” and decided to stop being so judgmental about crystals and oracles and healers, and to just dive into the deep end and experiment with all of it.
Here’s the annoying truth: I’ve never felt better.
So if you’re toying with the idea of energetic cleansing or any kind of “out there” method for healing, I have to recommend that you go for it.
What do you have to lose besides your tight-ass judgments and snooty-patooty attitude? You only live once and experimenting with bizarre, other worldly options for healing is the new black, as far as I’m concerned. It might be weird, but it works.
3) Sit with myself in horrific, ugly moments of shame and embarrassment.
“So you’re eighteen, you’re sitting in your dorm room, you’re hung over, you just got the text message: he doesn’t love you, he doesn’t even like you, he doesn’t want to see you again, you completely embarrassed yourself…”
We were exploring a sticky situation from my past that I had extreme judgment and shame about, and my magical, amazing, fairy godmother of a coach Megan Jo Wilson was walking me through a visualization with my former self.
I’ll spare you (and my ego) the gory details, but just know that I was a freshman in college, fresh off the boat in NYC, and alcohol and poor decision-making was involved. And boys, oh yeah. Stupid boys.
So there I am, sitting on this coaching call a decade or so later, still feeling intense guilt and embarrassment. Like, mascara-streaming sadness and shame.
Over the sluttishness! And the unforgivable drunken escapades! And the mistakes, MY GOD! THE MISTAKES!! I wanted to bury my eighteen year old self somewhere dark and cold and forget she ever existed.
But Megan Jo made me sit in that junky dorm room with 18-year-old me, and see how lonely and scared and sad she was.
She helped me notice how much 18-year-old Amy just wanted acceptance and love (from anyone, honestly).
How embarrassed and ashamed and self-loathing she was, and she was just a kid. A stupid kid! With electric blue eyeliner! And good lord, she was being so hard on herself.
So how could I condemn her (me) in that moment? How could I be so resentful, embarrassed, and judgmental of her (myself)? What kind of monster was I??
I do visualizations like this with my clients very frequently and it is always massively healing. When we can be present to past pain, shame, guilt, embarrassment, and just be with it, it's like calling up your best friend in your toughest moment, knowing you can say anything, be anything, and they'll hep you through it.
When we can forgive ourselves for who we were (or are), for anything we have done, when we can empathize with ourselves, and understand ourselves, and love ourselves in our messiest moments, holy guac. Magic. fucking. happens.
I mean, it might be kinda weird? But hell, it works.