Updated: Dec 16, 2020
We have three selves.
Past, present, and future.
When we talk about self-acceptance, love, or having any sort of relationship. with ourselves, we usually talk in the abstract. What is self-care? A bubble bath? Not in my opinion... Having a relationship with yourself seems simple, but we need to cover all the selves.
Our past self is the story we tell ourselves about our past. How do you tell your story? Is it a tale of hardship, overcoming painful moments, and unjust occurrences?
Or is it amazing? Do you tell the story of being loved by your parents so deeply even if they showed it in their own way? Do you paint yourself as lucky?
Do you feel grateful after telling your story, or a little bit upset?
These are really important things to ponder. Loving ourselves, our full selves, means accepting what has happened and framing it in a way that doesn’t make you resent it. Resentment breeds stories about our present self claiming we “just are” a certain way. This stifles growth most of the time.
Our past self got us to where we are. How will you tell that story? I choose to believe that everything happened for me. I choose to believe I had the most perfect childhood I could have possibly have, because it led me to my present self.
Now, the present self is your thoughts and feelings about you right now. Thoughts and feelings are your present experience at any given moment. If you tell that really upsetting story about your past to your present self, you’re likely to feel bad, because you’re reliving it. If you tell yourself you are lucky in a way you believe (and not just because you “should” feel lucky), you’re likely to feel gratitude and abundance.
Our present self has thoughts, feelings, and acts a certain way to create results for our future selves. If we don’t have a good relationship with our future selves, we aren’t going to look out for them.
If we don’t believe we are going to be able to accomplish our goals, and we just assume it’s not worth it anyway, we tend to self-sabotage. This can be subtle or this can be obvious.
If we don’t actively think of our future selves in a positive and loving way, we don’t have any reason to stick to new habits, maybe not drink those extra cocktails, or not eat that thing you know will make you feel sick later.
Having compassion and a desire to take care of yourself contributes to self-love, and it will create different results for your future self. When people say “take care of yourself” this is what I take it to mean. It is almost as if I am parenting myself sometimes, but it’s nice because I always know what I need to hear to be comforted, consoled, and loved.
This may sound hokey but it sure does feel like a super power to me. The more I take care of myself, the less I expect from the people around me in that department. It is freedom. When I show up for myself, it feels good.
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