on the gifts of my friends and other lessons in self-care

April 19, 2011 Candace Morris 7 Comments

This morning, as I prepared tea for my ill-fared husband, the gifts people have sent me descended from my thoughts into my soul.  Lovely herbal tea sent with a letter, a terrarium waiting for me on my back porch, new earrings I won in a friend's blog contest...my home is full of reminders that I am loved.

seasons of discontent


earrings of leaves

kitten cuddles

I have heard my head saying to me in the last few weeks that I am slipping away, drifting from people's grasps and out of their thoughts.  Not so much forgotten as unattainable; not so much unloved as under-prioritized.  I am a capable girl, in need of little from people, and feel as though sometimes I forget what I do need.  I feel distant, lost in the fog, uninspired.

This morning, as I opened my eyes unto the relationships I've poured myself into, I realized how loved I feel and even more importantly, am.  The reality of why I feel that way has more to do with how I feel about myself these days than about how others feel.  The truth is, we can never know how anyone really feels about us, how much they love us, are committed to us, respect us, or want to be around us.  All we have is the words from their mouths assuring us of their love.  We can either believe it or not believe it.  Love is faith.

It does still amaze me however, this power we have of projection, of creating our own realities based on our psychological deficiencies.  I am in a strong period of self-doubt, even self-hate.  It surprises me, honestly.  I thought I was over this, that I had climbed my Everest of self-care.  Alas, it turns out there is more and more to uncover as we dig deeper and deeper into our souls.  I guess I turned a corner, found a rather big boulder, looked under it and found more self-hate cleverly hidden and set aside for later.  In this time, however long it lasts, I will engage myself honestly, but I admit that it's been a lot easier to blame my negative feelings on externals - family, friends, my husband.  In the end, I confess - it's me that dislikes me right now and the projection of that onto people who have committed to me isn't helpful or accurate.  Furthermore, not a single living person can love me enough to make up for my self-love deficit.  It is unfair and unhealthy to place that upon people.  This is a job for myself alone.  They do get to be a huge part of it (because honestly, I do believe that one needs to have a certain amount of love from others accrued in order to begin the process of loving self and loving others - and that without this, one cannot thrive), but they cannot be the sole source of my soul's love.

Therefore, I will open my eyes even more to see the love surrounding me...the thoughtfulness of friends, the chore-interrupting kisses of my husband, the emails from my family, and the cuddles from my feline.  I believe in the altruism of their gifts.  I will have faith that their love is true.

Today, I chose to believe that I am loved.  That I am thought of.  That I am desirable.  I chose to believe the words that come from those I love.  Perhaps then will I return to a place inside myself where I can hear my own words saying lovely things...and believe them. 

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