“I ain’t that scarred when I’m covered up”
Leave the Light on. Beth Hart.
It starts with you, the choice is yours. The story is yours to write. And yes all of these things are true but what if you woke up and today is not quite what a Richard Curtis movie may have suggested (I for one am still hoping Hugh Grant might yet run for Prime Minister)
What if in spite of every self help book & positive podcast you’ve inhaled, in spite of the social media cleanse you’ve performed and the body positive campaigns you’ve signed up to it all still feels an effort to like yourself let alone contemplate loving your self.
What if the idea of Self love were just another marketing tool to keep you buying into the latest trend set by an Industry called Wellness.
What if algorithms tracked every twist and turn you made on your computer searches, what if for every message spreading positivity there were messages reminding you that your ‘Best’ self is just a click away whilst at the same time telling you that you are just perfect as you are.
It is hardly surprising then that when it comes to the idea of self care we automatically think of things we should be ‘doing’ and if your to do list looks anything like mine that list just gets added to my existing one and before I know it the idea of self care & self love becomes one more stressor in an already congested mind.
So here’s a controversial question, How about instead of working out how to do more we accept its simply not possible and that sometimes we need to stop.
I can already hear the protestations, but the truth is, there really are just 24 hours in the day. And your body is a living breathing example of survival at its best, we are conditioned to fixate on what we and others can see but what if we took a moment to consider what’s bubbling along beneath the surface, not just when something ‘fails’ or goes wrong but long before then, a scar doesn’t have to be a reminder of something regrettable it can stand testimony to our survival and ability to heal.
The truth is your body requires not just calories but nutrition, I hate to break it to you but you are are not a unique human able to run your body on black coffee & sweeteners alone, and if you are trying, the body is keeping score.
Your brain, mind & thoughts are dependant on the fuel you provide it, and yes that means carbs along side a healthy dose of fresh air and as many deep breathes as you can fit into your day. You are not failing because your concentration is challenged and your thoughts muddled having skipped breakfast and lunch, you are not winning because you think you can run on nothing (and then go to the gym) As I said your body is keeping score, when exactly are you going to take notice of the score you are likely already losing?
So my hope for you this St Valentine is that you remind yourself that every scar you wear, whether they are inside or on the surface reminds you that your body & mind are on your side, that even if you cant quite gather the energy to even like yourself your heart will still beat, your blood pump. That every time you stop, count to ten and take a breath you are committing to an act of self care, that every time you take even five minutes to sit and drink a cup of tea instead of drinking it on the go you are taking care of yourself.
These things wont get you likes or improve your Google ranking, they are however, gentle reminders that we are worth these moments and perhaps in these moments we might realise that when we care for ourselves, the world around us benefits, Love actually might be not only all around but also within.
With love & kindness,