Over the course of the year, I think I've been pretty clear on my feelings of inadequacy about my body - or my inability to accept that my body is changing for the better. I know that this is a common feeling among many of us. What I did not know is the following:
"Other cultures do not seem to share our false dichotomy. The way the Hebrews and Jesus spoke, they already assumed a strong self-love. The Christian apostle Paul made the same assumption, at one point saying, 'After all, no one ever hated his own body.' This conclusion was logical at that time and in that culture."
Runkel had a very important point in bringing this self-hatred, this cycle, to light:
There! That was the point from my other post! Why does it have to feel selfish to take the time to love ourselves? I have managed to do it, but just barely. Over the course of several months, I slowly took more time for myself in the morning, even while feeling guilty for asking my husband to watch the children before work. First, it was just fifteen minutes every other day. Then, it was thirty. Soon, I had a solid hour booked for myself EVERY SINGLE MORNING.
Sometimes, I feel ridiculous. Seriously, my husband arrives at work anywhere from 10 A.M. to 11 A.M. just so I can have free time to run, do yoga, shower, and get dressed for the day. I feel absolutely ludicrous most of the time, especially as I'm centering myself with slow yoga breaths, grasping my "intention" (okay, so there are a lot of things that feel silly about yoga, but I still deeply enjoy it).
Am I just trying to escape my family? Hiding myself away with the iPad, and maybe sneaking a few extra moments to hang some clean laundry while I'm alone in the closet anyway?
No. I am taking my requisite time to myself before I start the day. I am having a retreat.
I felt so validated reading that! THAT was what I was doing! I finally had permission - and from a parenting book no less. My morning routine is my retreat (though I do love my young adult romance novels). That is my chance to love myself, so that I am more prepared to go out and love my family.
[All quotes from ScreamFree Parenting, Hal Runkel, 131-134]
There you have it. Love yourself so that you can truly be there for everyone else. In the last ten months (only two more to go!), I have carved out that time for myself that now feels hallowed. That time (and the use of endorphins) has allowed my to feel a deep sense of contentedness, well-being, and control. It gives me the ability to smile at my children like I mean it, to kiss and cuddle them, and to say yes to requests that are going to take more energy than I really want to spare. By putting myself first for that one hour, I gain the emotional strength to tackle the rest of the day.
Please learn how to love yourself. That love will pour out and uplift others around you.