I keep getting these little insights into the fact that I am parenting – and learning to love – myself, the way I was parented. (Not solely, but the foundations of what I witnessed growing up, are there. And of course they would be. That’s how it works. But it’s also what changes, and is changing slowly…and rapidly.) Something I have also noticed is that I am treating myself as I watched my parent treat or love themself, in the process of their role as a parent. In other words, motherfucking destructively. And stressfully.
Today’s little insight?
I don’t have to be fucking perfect. In other words, I don’t have to try to love and look after myself by doing everything perfectly.
And, more – or perhaps just as – importantly: love comes before action. And love is not always shown through actions.
This whole time with my back I’ve been desperately trying to parent and look after, and love, myself perfectly. So perfectly that it ends up being destructive. It ends up being too much. It ends up that I do so much I cannot keep up with it, or piss people off that there’s so much washing up, and I end up collapsed – burnt out and sore, in agony, my discs singing for forgiveness and gentleness.
I can show my love for myself with just breath. With gentleness. With calm. With choosing the option that’s less, that’s slower, that doesn’t ‘accomplish’ or bring as much. I don’t have to make all the different teas, hot water bottles, ice packs, food.
Other times, I can love myself through offering myself breath and one of these things – not all of them. I can cook myself dinner and only do half the things I was going to do. That way I don’t have so many dishes, I don’t throw my back sideways just through cooking, I don’t end up mind-blowingly stressed and anxious just so I’m not feeling the pain that’s burning away.
In other words – I can love myself by not doing. Just by loving. By offering my compassion, my gentleness, my mindful awareness. My mother showed her love – when it was being shown – to make up for her abuse, by giving. By stressfully doing, and then ALWAYS resenting. Always. Always. And what I watched, when love was being given, was not actually – what I’m learning now – a healthy kind of love. What love actually is. In her eyes she was giving a love she knew, but in my eyes now I see that that love isn’t true. Isn’t healthy. Isn’t me. But it just makes sense that the way I look after myself would mirror what I watched, witnessed. And now I get to filter out what I want and what I don’t. And most of its the latter, because what I want is gentleness and health.
Love can be given in so many ways. Just as giving can be done in so many ways. We don’t have to do in order to give. We don’t have to give in order to do. By just loving, we are giving enough. We are being enough. We are enough. And the way we show or give this love varies from person to person, and from moment to moment depending upon what we are able to give – emotionally, physically and spiritually.
In my case right now, the less I do the better. The less I do, the more I am giving to myself. The more I am loving myself.
That’s pretty fucking beautiful. Lets hope this realisation continues. Lets hope the stress head team stays at bay a bit or simply just that my love can outweigh them in what I choose to do. What voice I choose to listen to.
Tonight I choose to listen to the voice, and breath, of love and gentleness.