Earlier in the year, I was diagnosed with Self-Like.
No, really. James and I just started going to this incredible new doctor– a swarthy mix of East meets West – a top-notch cardiologist, herbalist, healer all rolled into one. I believe the technical term is ‘Integrative Physician’ if you must know.
It’s healthcare based on the philosophy that you are in fact a whole being who needs to be treated with a mindful approach to all the areas in your life– physical, spiritual, emotional, sexual, career, family, and so on. This is very different from the ultra-specialized ‘let’s get in there and fix this one thing without looking at what could possibly be the actual root of the problem’ approach to medicine which our Western culture currently adheres to.
Treating the symptoms and not the cause of the disease. It’s no wonder we’re so messed up. It’s very temporary quick-fix thinking really. Says a lot about our culture these days– We all want that magic pill to fix whatever painful things are showing up in our lives, when in fact what it takes to truly root out the issue is some deep introspection, discipline, love, attention, time, consistency, truth, compassion… y’know, all the stuff we pretend we don’t have time for. All the stuff we ignore because it’s vulnerable and hard to look at. So we disconnect. And we distract ourselves with anything that will numb that pain– facebook, Instagram, twitter, drugs, drink, TV, pick your poison.
Mine is Pinterest. And chocolate. I could waste years of my life nibbling bars of dark chocolate with crystallized ginger and scrolling through pins of gorgeous locales. Fun yes. Healthy no. All things in moderation.
But I digress.
We were supposed to be talking about my Self-Like diagnosis. Okay, so my doc sits me down with all my blood-work results and proceeds to draw up a large pyramid of health and wellness tailored to me. (Amazing!) He divides it up into 7 sections and writes out all the things needing attention. Starting from the Bottom level going to the top: Diet, then Exercise, Addictions (any energy thief, i.e. family drama, TV, internet, Pinterest), Meditation, Hobbies, Anger + Resentment, and then way up at the top— Self-Love.
We go through each level, deciphering what I need in order to thrive. Less gluten and dairy as it turns out. But also more fun hobbies- so that’s cool. Pretty good with the Exercise and Meditation levels, but need to work on Anger + Resentment issues (interesting), and then we get to… Self-Love.
My doc says, “You’re getting close… but right now you’re at Self-Like.”
Uuufff. I felt like a semi-deflated beach ball in the corner of someone’s garage. In the middle of February.
I know all about Self-Love… don’t I? I’ve signed up for a billion seminars and retreats and online programs promoting the idea of Self-Love. I should be a Self-Love Ninja Badass by now. So, where is my damned Self-Love already?!
Alright, anger and resentment aside, it seems as though I like myself. And maybe if I would like to take this relationship to the next level, I need to profess deep enduring wild-eyed passionate galaxy-scorching love for myself.
:0 Heh heh…. that sounds so dorky and so completely awesome at the same time.
Okay. I’m up for it.
[I’m just imagining getting down on one knee in front of the mirror pouring my heart out to myself. Ha HAA!! Wow, in all realness, that could be a crazy powerful habit to get into.]
How does one fall in love with one’s Self?
I believe the first step is practicing the Art of Radical Acceptance. Accepting who you are, everything about you, without judgment or apology, right now. Including your thighs. And your chocolate Pinterest habit.
And therein lies the rub.
This first step is tricky. It takes balls, persistence, heart, stamina, and a little blind faith. But without it, the rest is toast.
Other falling-in-love-with-your-bad-Self steps may include:
Honoring your Beauty
Illuminating your Divinity
Respecting your Dark Side
Nourishing your Body
Nurturing your Wild Child
Listening + Paying Attention to your inner Wisdom
Laughing a lot
Sharing your Dreams + Building a Future Together
Giving yourself Gifts
Writing yourself Poetry
Taking yourself on long walks at sunset while gazing into your own eyes (hard to do, but not impossible)
No, but seriously, don't be trying any of that stuff unless you're doing that first step of Radical Acceptance. If you can do that first step, then the rest is gravy. But without it, the rest will leave you flat. Believe me, I've tried. In fact, that's the step I was avoiding throughout all those seminars and courses, and precisely why I've been stuck in Self-Like mode.
The good thing about Self-Like is that it’s 100% curable. It just takes some of that medicine that we pretend we don’t deserve, or don't have time for– The massive amounts of acceptance and compassion and forgiveness and love and time and presence that we ache for every moment of every day.
So, I’ll let you know what happens at my next doctor’s appointment. I plan on nipping this Self-Like stuff right in the bud. And while I may not be head over heels with myself by then, I’m definitely banking on upping my game and getting some crazy hot dates with my crazy hot Self. Holla!