Self-Love and Cookies
I’m sitting here reflecting on the true meaning and application of self-love.
But I think about this a lot. In fact, I’ve dedicated my life and career to the exploration and implementation of self-love, coming from a foundation of not having any.
Truth be told, it’s rare for any one of us to have seen self-love and compassion modeled in our childhoods. In fact, in many cases we’ve received decades of messages that self-love is actually self-ISH.
Or, we were taught that our ability to be loved was based on other people loving us!
For me, I spent years chasing others’ approval. I felt amazing if you liked me, included me, or were impressed with me. I felt like shit if you rejected me.
Back and forth. Back and forth. Bouncing between acceptance and anxiety. For years.
I personally began the journey and study of self-love about 20 years ago.
It came from this place of never being OK. Always feeling not enough. Lonely. And with the most wicked inner critic in my head all the time. (Maybe you can relate).
I remember in my early 20s when I was a brand new business/IT consultant. There weren’t many women in the IT biz and I was soooo intimidated by the much older men I was competing against and working with. I was terrified they thought I was too young and had just gotten lucky, and terrified I was one step away from being dropped off the current project.
I was constantly terrified that my clients would get negative feedback and be ashamed of me that I would bake cookies and take them to my clients as just a “Hey, out of the blue I wanted to say how much I appreciate you” gesture. (That’s likely where my love for cookies came from. I mean, #CookiesAreLife, man!)
God, it embarrasses me now to think about this.
But my self-worth, self-love, and self-advocacy was practically non-existent at that time.
Now, I have such unwavering compassion for the young adult I was back then, likely because I’ve worked so hard on having unwavering compassion for the 49-year-old imperfect woman I am now.
It’s been hard won. But my journey has shown me that I am deserving of love, and capable of giving it to myself. By doing so, I am able to give to my family, my clients, and the world from my overflow.
I still bake cookies for my clients – but as a gesture of “good job! well done!”. 😉
What has your experience been of self-love? How do you define it? And how to you apply it – or not — to your life?
I’d truly love to hear…