Late last year my tribe and I agreed to spend some time prioritizing ‘self-love.’ We committed to share 10 things we loved about ourselves, once a week for a month.
This experiment was way out of the box for me, having been one of those who always has mistaken ‘self-love’ for being self-absorbed. I’ve never been one to brag. And I’ve never been one to brag about how I’m not bragging. But that also means I’ve never been one to stand up for myself, been proud of myself, thought highly of myself, or prioritized myself.
As a mother, we are called to be self-less. We give our bodies, we give our emotions and we give up our wants. Even on the hard days, the days we don’t want to, we still give. We even post, “I felt angry and selfish today…but I still gave.” It's a magnificent gift to our lovers and our littles.
But, I’ve recently had a change of heart about believing that being a ‘self-less’ mother means not believing in ‘self-love.’ Listing things I loved about myself in a safe place with women who love me shockingly didn’t make me some kind of raging egomaniac like I expected it would. It actually brought a lot of joy and comfort and confidence. I’m even keeping a little journal of self-love now, right next to my list of gratitude.
This lesson solidified in my heart when I read these words by Elizabeth Gilbert, speaking about living a creative life: “…often what keeps you from creative living is your self-absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgment, your crushing sense of self-protection.) The arrogance of belonging pulls you out of the darkest depths of self-hatred — not by saying, ‘I am the greatest!’ but merely by saying ‘I am here!’” (emphasis mine.)
Could it be that my determination to avoid self-love is actually more self-absorbed then putting myself out there and saying, “I am here! I belong here! AND I LOVE MYSELF! I LOVE that I’m a selfless mother. I also love that I am tall! And that I can sing! And that I’m becoming a morning person! And that I’m creative! And crafty!"
So now I strive for two new ideals in my life, a lot more self-love, leading to confidence and honestly a lot less self-absorption in my life. And I’ll strive to be a servant hearted mother more than a self-less mother, lest I forget this lesson, I don’t know…tomorrow.