Years ago when I was first sober, as a single mom with a baby, I struggled so much. I was depressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes I couldn’t even figure out how to do the dishes or order pizza. I learned a very valuable lesson that helps me even today.
I had a mentor that would tell me to just wash one dish.
Usually after washing just one dish would wash a few more, sometimes even all of them. I would feel a bit better and less overwhelmed. She taught me that willingness isn’t a feeling, it is an action. If you are willing, you do the thing. If you wait until you “feel” willing, you may never do it.
Love is similar to willingness. It is an action.
If you don’t “feel” loving toward yourself, you can begin to love you, by taking care of you. The feeling of self-love comes after taking action. I recently heard a quote by Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers), “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring, it’s an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person the way he or she is, right here and now.” This applies not only to others but to ourselves. By accepting who we are, letting go of the guilt, shame, and self-hatred, we are free to love ourselves. By accepting who we are, we can see our true needs and begin to “Love” ourselves.
I define self-care as any intentional, loving action one takes to improve well-being- physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The path to loving ourselves is a practice in accepting and caring for ourselves impeccably.