Two weeks ago I wrote to you about An Application of Love. How at the core of each wound is a deep need to be heard, held, and loved. Since it’s been a few weeks, have you had a chance to try this? Find places or pieces of yourself that hurt and hold them with compassion? If you did, were you able to find the truth that you are not the sum of your wounds? Was your worth warm and welcoming when you arrived at the wound with love? I hope so. You’re wonderful darling.
As a clinician, I’m pretty sure I’ve given (and written) about self-care and putting your oxygen mask on first. I’m also confident I’ve written about different modalities of self-care letting you all know that self-care can look different for all of us. Some of us reset with friends, some of us need alone time, others find glory in the morning sky, and others love a red wine paired with a good soak. How self-care looks for each of us is vastly different. What I’m not so sure I have written to you about is how we choose how to care for ourselves in the external world. It begins with first listening to our own wisdom. Many call this wisdom our intuition, I believe our intuition is our raw love for ourselves that when accessed we can extend to others. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about others today, we’re talking about you.
Finding The Space
So how do you find this deep wisdom? This mother (or father, or non-gender binary) presence that lives in all of us and wants what is best for us? Well, to start there are two things that I recommend. The first is to learn how to become quiet in your own mind. The great Glennon Doyle writes in Untamed she found her own knowing by slipping into a dark closet and sitting with herself each and every time she didn’t know what to do. I think she might have actually written her book from that same closet that is now changing anyone brave enough to read it. Other spiritual leaders like my favorite, Tara Brach, teaches us the importance of meditation and how our mind is a trance of thoughts, or a virtual reality as she puts it. In the end, both of these women, among countless other thought leaders, are pressing the importance of stilling your mind. In this stillness is a quiet presence, a quiet presence full of love for you and the world.
I know firsthand how challenging it is to quiet your mind. Trust me, I’ve got a busy crew of women up there chatting non-stop at me. In learning more about family systems from Dr. Becky I’ve begun to assign each voice an emotion as its name to identify it. I do this to acknowledge that the thoughts are simply trying to process my reality which allows me to disconnect from the thought more easily. I don’t know about you, but in my busy crew, there is one voice that can lead the rest of my thoughts into incredibly unkind territory. It’s that voice inside of me that believes if it criticizes me, it’s correcting me, and if it’s correcting me I’m going to be safe. This little voice might feel as though it has good intentions, but it doesn’t, this voice wants to separate me from my knowledge and worth. This voice led me down some dangerous roads of trying to find my worth outside of myself. I’m sharing this with you because quieting your mind isn’t as easy as slipping onto your yoga mat, burning some incense, and becoming one with yourself. I mean, that’s the end goal, but in the beginning, starting to notice your thoughts are separate from you is extremely helpful.
Identify Your Inner-Self
The second thing that I recommend is to assign an identity to your wise self that you can call upon for comfort. I’m not talking about the white clouded, big bearded God, or hot Jesus in sandals. I mean, unless that does it for you. It’s hard sometimes to find, or summon, a deep love for ourselves (please see the boss bitch that I’m sure lives in us all). For me, making a vision of a truly loving presence that wants what is best for me allows me to become still and welcome her love in. In my own practice, when I need to apply love to a wound, I imagine “future Jessie”. Future Jessie smells of Jergens (like my own mama), has silvering hair, and is soft to the touch from her aging. Future Jessie knows that life is full of hardship and that the Jessie of now needs compassion and care to forage her way through life. I imagine her as a wise mother who can apply love to any wound that needs care and attention so that I can live a life where future Jessie is living in true harmony with herself. By imagining this future me, who wants what is best for me, I’m able to see beyond the now and into the life I want for myself. A life beyond pain, fear, and doubt. A life lived in grounded confidence.
Between these two practices, the quieting of the mind, and welcoming in a loving presence I’m able to feel my worth glow inside my body. I’m able to see that love has always been there and anything in the material world dividing me from love is not worth attending to. I’m able to heal my wounds and set boundaries that allow me to sink closer into my own wisdom. The wisdom that guides my decisions in the world.
This week, why not give it a try? Name those ladies or gents at your inner table? Disconnect from the chatter of fear, lean into your wise mother (father, or non-gender binary), and allow your wisdom to wash over you as you navigate this crazy life. Remember, darling, you are wonderful. I can’t wait to see what you find in the stillness of your own presence and love.