I took a little time away from writing. I took a little time away from a lot of things. Some of them were due to a minor injury: yoga, running. Others were due to a general feeling of overwhelm (partially because I was missing the yoga and running), and that general feeling led to a general “hands in the air” approach to self care. As this blog is essentially dedicated to self love and self care, I found myself up the proverbial Shit’s Creek. And I chose to chuck my paddles overboard. So I was stuck. In the shit.
So this week I re-enter my life. The one I want, that is. The one where I take care of myself in a way that ensures that life’s stressors – of which there will always be many – don’t catch up with me in a way that can make me shut down. Prevention is the best medicine, eh? And when the illness to avoid is feeling like crappola physically and mentally (is that a scientific term?), I think the prevention is pretty critical. I want to avoid that domino effect that culminates with me spending 3 hours every night watching mindless TV, just waiting until it’s not too embarrassingly early to go to bed, then lying there, dreading the morning. Because in the morning my brain switches on again. And it’s time to wait until bedtime.
Not the life I want for me. Because I do actually like me. Love me. And if someone else I loved was feeling this way I’d have all sorts of great advice. So this post is dedicated to me. Promises, to me. A love letter to me, from me. And also to you. Write a love letter to you- really do it, pen to paper. You don’t have to publish it online if that’s not your jam. But whether you’re in a good place or a really dark one, try treating yourself like someone you love, because you should be. And I recommend this as a person who has to remind herself to do the same every day.
You deserve to be really, completely, blissfully happy. I want that for you. You are a good, loving person, and, as the only creature in this world who is truly responsible for your well-being, I’ve let you down. Over and over again, to be honest, but we’ve taken strides toward making our peace with the past, and will continue to do so forever. Lately, in particular, it’s been a little rough, and I need to make a commitment to be better. So we can get past this hump, too.
I promise to take care of your heart every day. I will say nice things to you, and when I catch myself saying not nice things, I’ll try to notice quickly and change my words. In the morning, I will feel gratitude for waking up, and at night I will thank you for the day.
I will move this body because I feel better all over when I do. I will do yoga and walk and run and do all of these things gently for awhile so I don’t get a hurt back again. And if I do, I won’t curse this body for being stupid or weak, but thank it for being strong and resilient and I’ll treat it very nicely until it feels better. And when I am able to these things, I’ll make them a priority. Even if the mind says watching TV is easier, I’ll remember that moving is so worth getting off the couch. And I’ll feel grateful that I’m able to do so.
I will write. Whether or not I publish what I write, I will write because I have things to say and sometimes my conscious mind can’t work out what’s in my subconscious mind without putting it on paper. And we all know that communication is the key to a good relationship.
I promise to fill up this body with good, clean food, and lots of water. Vegetables will be king, and I’ll make buying and preparing them a priority, because that’s what makes this body feel best. I can’t promise not to eat pasta and sweets and too much hummus occasionally, but I can promise that when I do, I won’t beat myself up about it, but enjoy every bite. I will drink water with lemon in the morning because it’s soothing and just feels like a nice deep breath of air.
I will take nice, deep breaths of air. Fresh, when available.
I will absorb all the positive energy I possibly can. I’ll read books by Glennon Doyle and Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ll listen to music that makes me feel grounded and weightless at the same time, like Ong Namo, and everything by Dar Williams. When I watch TV, it’ll probably be mindless, to be honest, but it will make me smile and laugh and never cry.
I promise to make time for the people in my life who lift me up, and to make sure they know I love them. When I feel like I don’t want to speak to anyone because I’m struggling, I promise to let them know I’m ok and let them support me.
I will stop letting fear ruin entire days. Whether it’s fear about money, health, the past, or the future, I promise to catch myself when I’m spiraling and take those deep breaths. Hop into a downward dog. Go for a run, eat a vegetable, call a friend. Do all the loving things, because fear is not going to make life any richer, but those loving things absolutely will. And all that really matters is today, anyway.
So, Self, I promise to love you like I love my family, and my friends, and my dog. To forgive you just like I would forgive them. And I do forgive you- I forgive me- for not always keeping these promises, because I’m just going to try harder every day.
And that’s a promise.