RADICAL SELF LOVE
This is a bit of a foreign-concept for me. For a long time now, I've lived in a space where “self-love” has to equal “acceptance”. That in order to love myself, I have to also accept myself, and be content to stay where I am. That self-love is another word for giving up, or complacency.
My thinking has turned around.
I am determined to use this year to see self-love as a tool to combat complacency and instead become the human who I believe I am capable of being. This page is an attempt to lay out my thoughts and fears about doing this, about what my goals are and why I believe Radical Self-Love is the answer above all else. This will be broken into the areas of my life where I feel I am either struggling to grow or focus, and where I believe a change in strategy will ultimately bring me success and happiness.
What is Radical Self-Love?
My perspective is this. The practice of Radical Self-Love is one where I emphasize the journey over the destination. It's one where speed is not a factor in that journey. It's one where I celebrate daily victories, instead of being bogged down in the weight of the finish line. I want to challenge myself to focus on long-term sustainable growth, rather than short-term patterns of behavior that contribute to stress over productivity.
What is radical about it? The novelty. The fact that self-love is not a new concept, but that for me it is an entirely new practice. That makes it wholly radical.
Really, all of the following categories stem from this one, because this whole concept is stemming from my mind, isn't it? A great therapist I had once helped me think about improvements I wanted to make myself as instead reacting to ways that I thought about myself. I have learned that I have an absolutely abysmal inner critic. She is really just the worst. And really, she must be female, because this is some severe misandry and woman-on-woman hate going on here.
I gave myself a practice to write out many of the anxieties and stresses that were overwhelming me one weekend, then sorting them on a matrix. The Y axis showed the category of anxiety they were in (house, self, family, etc) and the X axis was a grade between TRUTH and LIES. All the little things that were stressing me out and bogging me down went onto the matrix and, shocker, most of them were lies. The true things were ones I decided were worthy of my attention (and, slightly, my anxiety).
I haven't repeated this exercise since then, but it's a small mental process that I go through when I'm experiencing something internally that is stressing me out. Was that a truth or a lie?
The lies are coming from my inner critic. They surely have a deeper root, like my mother, or my schooling, or T H E P A T R I A R C H Y, but at the end of the line is my own inner critic.
Fortunately, I now feel empowered to tell my inner critic to shut the fuck up.
This is t