February has come to a close, and as we march ahead (pun intended) let’s stop and take a second to reflect on February’s theme of love so that it can carry with us. Valentine’s Day and Family Day are wonderful opportunities in February to show and receive love from others, and we hope you felt all the love on these special days! But what about the other 26 days in February? Love is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts; it is a choice to open ourselves up to every day, whether it’s choosing to love others or ourselves.
If you’re not sure where to start in order to be moving loving, a good question to ask yourself is, “How can I be more caring to this person?”
For me, I will be honest, February was a bit of a rough month. I had all these goals set out in January and I was failing almost all of them, slipping into my old patterns. My self-confidence fizzled away more and more and thoughts like, “I am such a failure”, “I’ll never be able to reach the goals that I set”, and the awful “I hate myself.” Not surprisingly, these thoughts just kept me further and further from my goals because they drained away my energy, self-worth, and motivation, preventing me from taking action or even caring about my goals anymore – which only made the thoughts stronger and more powerful and created a downward spiral I couldn’t break out of, until I realized how very un-loving I was being towards myself and how much this was hurting me.
I was not showing myself compassion for the fact that I was not perfectly meeting my own expectations. I hadn’t tried to understand, with empathy, why I had been messing up – which would’ve allowed me to assess what was happening and problem solve how I could move forward in a positive direction. Instead I adopted a negative outlook towards myself which led me to take care of myself less and less . Then I just felt worse, physically and mentally.
It was miserable, and certainly not a shining example of self-love for ICD’s February theme!
Fortunately though, I was able to turn things around slowly but surely within the last half of February. I’m sure the bout of sunshine we got helped, but what was most powerful was making the choice to love myself (even though my mind had plenty of disputes!) I asked “How can I be more caring to this person [i.e. myself]?” and came up with a few answers.
The first was to stop listening to the internal dialogue. When a thought about why or how much I hated myself came up, I let it go by not agreeing with it and allowing it to take over my actions. The next was to stop abusing my body by mismanaging my diabetes – I actually had to pretend I was the parent of the child with diabetes. I knew my mother would always do whatever it took to make sure my diabetes was taken care of because she loved me so much no matter what. So, because I had made the choice to love myself, I had to act the way someone who loves someone would act.
Choosing to love myself made such a difference. Though it isn’t easy – sometimes my mind is very powerful with its reasons why I am not worthy of love – I know it is one of the most important choices to make for my life and health.
What were some ways that you were loving towards yourself or others this past month?
Are they any steps you can take to be more loving and caring this upcoming month?
ICD’s door is always open for discussion 🙂
Lots of LOVE,