Unconditional Love Holds No Expectations – Day 91 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is reminding yourself that love is not dependant on meeting others expectations

love has no expectations.jpgDuring my recovery from addiction and mental illness, I have learned that a large part of my anxiety is caused by guilt. I have historically struggled with a high need to please others, and when I perceive I have let others down, I can quickly spiral into guilt and high anxiety.

Overcoming this has mostly been in realizing my own worth and in knowing that those who genuinely love me, do so not on the condition of me meeting their expectations.

This does still surface for me on occasion, as it has this week. I have two people I love who each have the same birthday, my Mum and my boyfriend. Mum has dementia, and so I had come to terms with knowing that actually missing her birthday would be OK. I would see her afterward and instead travel with my boyfriend to his hometown to spend his birthday with his family and friends.

However, I have had a bit of an emotional crash this week, my new boyfriend and I are going through early relationship teething issues, I have surgery next week, and I just did not feel that going away was the right time, I thought I needed a few days to be with myself and rest.

It was a tough decision to miss his birthday, it shows a tremendous amount of self-growth on my part to risk the disapproval of someone I love. Even more important has been my boyfriend’s reaction to this. He went out of his way to drive over to hug me and tell me it was OK before he headed off and we’ve had numerous video chats over the last 24 hours which have been full of love and understanding.

This has been a beautiful confirmation of how, when we love and respect ourselves and know ourselves of worthy of love, we attract people that treat us as such. Someone that genuinely loves you unconditionally will never hold that love hostage to meeting their expectations.

 

 

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Listening Patiently to Your Inner Self – Day 86 – 90 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #354daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is learning to let our inner-self speak in its own time, rather than forcing answers

the answers are inside you.jpgSince arriving home from Truck festival, I’ve had a bit of an emotional crash. This isn’t unusual, Festival comedown is a common phenomenon! Its so lovely to be out of the daily grind, lying in the sun, listening to music, laughing with friends. Who in their right mind wants to return to reality!

It’s more than that though. This week away, while being one of the best festival experiences I’ve had for a while, has also been very emotional and I can feel the tectonic plates of my inner self, rumbling and shifting.

Before I went away, my new partner and I found ourselves rubbing each other up the wrong way. It’s likely new relationship teething problems, but then, whilst I was away,  there was an obvious emotional distance in our messages. It brought me back to reality with a bit of a painful bump and I started to wonder if we were not going to last the distance after all.

On returning home, my partner and I have sat and talked, and both of us want this to continue, but we do need to do things differently. Namely, having more time apart.

I’ve spent this week feeling quite lost and confused. I feel like something is happening under the surface at the moment, which started by revisiting Truck festival (see my last post) but I am not quite sure what it is.

I think I have a lot of things accumulating at the same moment. Realising my sexual attraction to men is not just a fantasy, 10000000000% enjoying sex for the first time in my entire life, giving up part of my independence to enter into a committed relationship and preparing for what will hopefully be my final lower surgery in my gender transition.

I am really feeling the difference between my actual age and my developmental age at the moment, and I have a feeling that this is something I need to somehow work through. There is likely a bit of grieving and acceptance to do alongside these new beautiful changes. I’ve found this has happened a few times in my transition. To be honest, I think everyone goes through this as life changes, but for us trans folks, it’s often more complicated and pronounced.

I’ve learned that not knowing what is going on is OK, if I just sit with it, it will all make sense and when it does it will be another one of those incredible leaps forward in self-growth and self-awareness.

Overwriting Bad Memories – Day 85 of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is healing from bad memories by making new positive ones

make new memoriesI’m sad to be heading home from Truck festival today. I never like leaving but this one has been particularly special and particularly hard to leave.

It never ceases to amaze me how life presents you with just what you need at just the right time, even when you didn’t realize what you needed! I almost didn’t attend this festival, having surgery canceled meant I could attend after all and it turns out I really needed this time here. I’ve been reminded of something I learned early on in recovery from a friend in the AA fellowship. That is to rewrite your bad times by revisiting old places and making new positive memories.

I had forgotten how healing doing this is. I thought I had done all the healing I needed from my previous relationship, which ended over two years ago now. However, being here has shown me that I still had some things to let go of. Truck festival has always been special to me, I’ve attended it since its 10th year, and it was also the first festival I returned to sober and clean. To come back, to spend time with friends here, to laugh, to dance, has allowed me to reclaim this space as mine.

When we can return to a place from the past and imprint new, positive memories, it is such a powerful catalyst for healing and forward growth.

 

Take Time To Unplug From Life – Day 81 to 84 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is taking time out from life and getting back to basics

Break from the grind.jpgIt can be so easy to get stuck in life’s routines and forget about the simple stuff. For me, festivals are a great way to escape daily life and just get back to my roots for a while. I realise I am unusual, in being a sober festival goer, but for me, they are like a spiritual retreat. I love not worrying about what time or what day it is, sleeping under canvas, dressing in ridiculous outfits (optional of course!), listening to music, dancing like nobody is watching, laughing with old friends and connecting with new ones.

It’s so important to take time out, to unplug from the world and get back to basics in whatever way nurtures your soul.

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Learn To Cherish Your Own Company – Day 80 of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is learning to enjoy quality time with yourself

LOVE YOUR OWN COMPANYI have had a lovely day today, mooching about, buying random flamingo sunglasses and various blow-up toys ( get your mind out of the gutter its festival stuff), buying myself lunch and then having a pampering bath evening.
I absolutely love my own company, which is something l once could never have imagined myself saying! I actually miss it now when l go too long without me time.

Being in a new and exciting relationship, it can be all too easy to neglect to spend time with yourself. I’m guilty of this lately and l need to get a better balance because l actually miss myself!

The Truth Shall Set You Free – Day 76 – 79 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcare challenge

Self-care is remembering that telling lies to other people , is the same as lying to ourselves

Picture_20180717_110647853.jpgBefore recovery, l was pretty much incapable of being honest. I lied to others and to myself about my drinking and using. I also avoided telling truths to people, for fear of u losing them.

In recovery, l learned the phrase “To thine own self be true”. Applying this to my life allowed me to be honest with myself about all my defects of character which in turn helped me to become, and stay, clean and sober.

Where l still have difficulty applying honesty, is when doing so risks upsetting others. I have to always remind myself that staying true to myself means also being honest with others. If l am not, then l am effectively lying to myself.

Fall in love with Caring For Yourself – Day 74 -75 Of #365daysofselfcare

This blog is part of the #365daysofselfcarechallenge

Self-care is loving how good it feels to take care of one’s self

fall in love with taking care of your mind body and soulA lot of folks ask me how to start practising daily self-care or how to stick to the habit.

My answer is to think about someone in your life, who you care about and enjoy doing things for or spending time with. Then cultivate that exact same attitude towards yourself.
When we fall in love with the way it feels to care for all aspects of our body mind and soul, self-care becomes second nature.