TCBP – Self-Love

Love is an infinite thing.  It cannot be used up, like a cup of sugar, and if you nourish it, it multiplies like a rabbit family.  A soft, cuddly rabbit family, with floppy ears and adorable feet…

Okay, let’s try this again without the rabbits, shall we?

When it comes to love, I find it much easier to think about in abstract than specifics.  Even though I believe it is endless and exists in myriad varieties, the truth is that I am not really with being on the receiving end of it.  I know I am loved by various people, because they tell me, and I know I love several people in different ways but, in truth, emotional entanglement is a minefield I prefer to try to avoid.  I’ve broken off relationships numerous times when my partner declared they loved me because I didn’t want that sort of emotional entanglement, and it is why I try to stick with platonic friendships and friendships with sexual components (if things move in that direction.)

That’s not to say I don’t let every relationship find its own level, and (all evidence to the contrary) it doesn’t contradict with the way I practice polyamory.  For me, poly- includes the love of friends, and the love of friends-that-are-chosen-family, and I have much more of that in my life than the romantic kind.  In fact, currently I have romantic love for two people (my husband and my on-again/off-again partner of 26 years), while I love at least a dozen other people as either friends or chosen family and I really do prefer it that way.

Having said all of this, what of self-love?  Well, I find it as difficult to love myself as it is for me to fall romantically in love with someone.  While I know other people find me lovable in different ways, it is hard for me to see myself as a deserving recipient of those feelings, and even harder for me to comprehend allowing myself to love myself.  This roadblock means that my Dark Flame work does not come naturally – I have to work at it every single day.  Every baby step I take, every self-love or self-care goal I reach is hard earned and takes an amazing amount of control to do.  I prove how much willpower I have every time I brush my teeth, or wash my hair, or go swimming because none of it is effortless for me, no matter how I joke about it.  I constantly battle myself over tiny acts and almost never feel that I’ve won because it doesn’t get any easier.

Since self-care is such a big part of my religious practice, I’m basically doing all of the acts without believing that I am worth them being done.  It’s -praxy rather than -doxy; I care for myself because it is necessary on my path, and not because I believe I deserve the care itself.  As I continue, I hope to one day get to the point that it comes naturally.

This, from the woman who hasn’t brushed her teeth in three days.

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7 responses to “TCBP – Self-Love

  1. I can empathize, with what you are writing. I am finding self confidence and believing in myself hard, after being knocked down emotionally. But I am curious, why do you find it hard to love yourself?(I recognize this is none of my business and very personal)

    • There are a number of reasons, some of which I’m not comfortable sharing at this time. I can, however, give you two that weigh heavily on me.

      The first one is that I have Major Depressive Disorder and my default state is one of “not worth it, not worth it”. Medication and therapy both help (a lot!) but when life conspires to throw other things on top of the MDD, I end up living in Despair Land.

      Second, I lost my job in November 2013 in an industry I’d worked in since 1997. I was good at my job, and lost it because my contract ran out and the company I was consulting for merged with another one and there was, simply, no business reason to hang on to their consultants. I, however, have not been able to find another job in that industry and so am, effectively, out of work. While I have a part-time position now, and am still looking, I am a person who identifies very strongly with what I do for a living and without a job in my line of work I am adrift and floundering emotionally.

  2. I recognise some of this. For a while I was doing a self hypnosis thing to lose weight and part of it was to visualise someone who loves you and then see yourself from their eyes and feel their love for you. I found that section almost impossible to do because although I understand intellectually that I am loved, it makes no sense to me at all.

    My only advice is fake till you make it! Good luck 🙂

  3. Pingback: TCBP – Self-Love | TC Test Site

  4. Pingback: Caring About Self-Care | The Twisted Rope

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