Self-love and Self-care

December 19, 2018

A woman looking serene off into the distance.

I wrote this is in April 2017 when I was recovering from being raped.

Our societal conditioning can make the practice of self-love and self-care a conundrum. I remember that when I began to even consider that I could be worthy of loving myself just for existing, it was a revelation. I did not need other people to inject me with the love that I so lacked from myself. I usually relied on male love interests to do this for me, which was a sure path into love addiction (if you think you may be a love addict, look up Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and check out the self-diagnosis questions). Upon this revelation my mind got looped into a tight spot of unhelpful, repetitive thinking which swung between:

I can’t love myself because I don’t deserve it and loving myself sounds really selfish, even narcissistic.

Healing ourselves with our own well of love after a body blow like sexual assault or rape, can be an opportunity for tapping into a love for ourselves that we have never accessed before. In times of recovery from trauma like these, we are forced to. I feel like my soul is calling for it. Even if we feel undeserving, unworthy, selfish, arrogant, weak and ashamed, we can love ourselves. At this point it feels like all I have.

A woman looking serene off into the distance.

Untitled by Serena West

Everybody’s experiences vary. You might love the idea of self love and compassion and feel it is a path of healing that calls out to you. Or it may sounds like an out-of-reach, lofty, trippy idealism that does not resonate with you. That’s okay. However I cannot emphasize enough that your recovery and healing will benefit from being kind and patient with yourself.

These are some things I am finding helpful as self-care ideas:

  • Self-compassion meditations. Kristin Zeff’s are beautiful.
  • Journaling to help unload your brain.
  • Bathe in Epsom salt.
  • Walk in nature.
  • Dance slow and easy or like a person possessed.
  • Eat the good foods, foods with chi.
  • Sleep and take all the naps you need. Talk to your GP if you are missing lots of sleep.
  • Make time for friends.
  • Limit your time around people who drain your energy. Honor your self enough to not be around people who deplete you for long periods of time.
  • You deserve support. See a therapist or healer to help you hold and move through the grief. But there is no rush.
  • Talk to yourself like you would to a friend.
  • Exercise. Yoga is great for moving trauma through and out.
  • Acknowledge your strengths.
  • Get Vitamin D from sunshine or supplemental vitamins.
  • Pray. The universe loves you, even though that idea might seem ludicrous right now. Try it when it feels right for you.

2 comments:

  1. Benjamin Eisenstein

    December 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

    You inspired me to purchase some Vitamin D @Sarah-Wheeler but I noticed that there are different kinds. You’re talking about Vitamin D3 right?

    Reply
    • Sarah

      December 20, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Ben, glad you got inspired. It’s whatever is the vitamin D found in natural sun light. I’m not sure of the exact name. Ask your doctor to be sure. X

      Reply

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