By Kim Jackson
Love Hard Or Go Home
Sometimes my life feels as though it is moving at nothing short of an effing break-neck speed. And today I hit a brick wall.
I am trying not to be my usual mean self, waving my finger and saying, you should know better. As much as it pains me to give any airtime to my inner meanie, she has a point because I know that the weeks leading to my birthday are like a minefield of triggers.
My birthday is my new year. So the weeks leading up to it can be tumultuous as I set intentions and goals, make choices about what to let go, make changes, and start taking action. I spend weeks in a state of near panic because I know what I am working on and planning. I know what I am about to spring on myself.
As we all know, letting go – change – can be frightening even when letting go of the old and useless. I also know that when I am in this place my fear triggers all kinds of old behaviors.
And so I redirect, distract, create drama, involve myself in others dramas, drink like a sailor, avoid, have encounters with strangers, get spangled, swing from chandeliers and drink pink drinks.
Having hit the brick wall, feeling all the feels, coming down from an anxiety cycle that has left my skin feeling weird and harboring an overwhelming urge to run down the street shouting and waving my arms like a banshee, I am smiling. I am smiling because I know, now more than ever, that self-love is a practice, a habit. It doesn’t happen overnight. There is no magic wand waving, there is no skipping the messy shitty bits.
Teaching myself, self-love is like my yoga practice – there are positions I can’t get into yet, binds I cannot reach yet, moments when I lose my breath and my balance. And there is also calm. There is a want, a desire for inner peace. There is a kindness and gentleness as I move and twist my body. There is humor as I knot myself and land on my butt. Mostly, mostly there is respect and trust as I listen to my breathing, as I listen to my body, as I connect to the part of me that is love, a sense of knowing that I am exactly where I need to be and that I am unfolding exactly as I should.
And so, with kindness and patience, with joy and respect, with a deep sense of knowing I love myself hard through these days of crazy, wild uncertainty, I love myself hard as I let go of that which no longer serves me. I love myself hard as I choose differently. I love myself hard as I embrace my own power. I love myself hard as I lean into fear. I love myself hard as I recognize patterns. I love myself hard as I change my inner dialogue. I love myself hard when I make a choice out of fear. I love myself hard when I cry out of sheer frustration. I love myself hard when I can’t seem to make sense of things.
I love myself hard as I swim towards clarity. I love myself hard when I am vulnerable. I love myself hard when I reach goals. I love myself hard when I don’t.
I love myself hard when others around me are not kind. I love myself hard when I open myself up, because I know I must open and open and open. I love myself hard when I stand in my truth. I love myself hard when I feel shame. I love myself hard when I am authentic. I love myself hard when I am too afraid to be. I love myself hard, unconditionally, every day.
Because I know without a doubt that I am worthy of this kind of love.
As I reconnect to my own inner peace and go deeper and further over the next few days, into my new year, I know that I am getting better at recognizing my triggers, at sticking to my self-care plan, at setting boundaries, and remembering that people’s behaviors, opinions, and reactions have everything to do with them and very little to do with me. I get better at being disciplined, at owning my voice – I set my intention and point my ship in the direction of my best year.
And as you get better at recognizing your triggers, owning your voice, loving yourself hard, so will you set your intention and point your ship in the direction of your best year.
What an adventure it will be.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.