How does self-love work?

Dearest blog readers,

Happy Easter to all of you!

On time for Easter, spring has arrived New York City and it is blooming everywhere. It seems that the city has awakened after her long winter sleep. On Easter Sunday it is even 29°C (84°F)! For me that’s actually more like summer temperatures, but that’s how it is in this city. The spring is short and turns right away into summer.

I took some photos to share with you:

This blog

This blog means a lot to me. It is a chance for me to share about my life and express this through words and pictures. It is as well a chance to stay connected with you and to even meet new wonderful people. Each and every week I have so many great ideas on what I want to blog about, but because of so many responsibilities that I’ve chosen to juggle, I am not able to blog. And that makes me sad and frustrated. The desire to blog is there but how to juggle all those many balls is a different topic.

That’s why I find it easier at the moment to post on Instagram when I feel inspired to do so. If you have Instagram on your smartphone or tablet, please follow me there to have some in-between-input. I also share these posts on my personal Facebook, the heartfully done Facebook page and on Twitter. So feel free to follow me there as well. Whatever medium works best for you to stay connected. :-)

Less, instead of more

As a perfectionist I of course want to do everything in the best quality. I know that this will only work if I do less. Less things, but in a quality that I am content with. Somehow ironic that I live in a city like New York where options of things to do are never ending, so the idea of setting priorities gets to a higher level in this city than in any city before that I lived in. I remember the sentence „a 'No' to somebody else is a 'Yes' to me“. I am still figuring out how to imply that into my life.

Kind of patient…

Being kind and patient with myself is the biggest challenge ever. To take good care of my needs and to have breaks in between the many events and appointments. I guess my biggest fear is that if I were to take a break or stop that all the balls would fall to the floor. No more juggling. But is this true? Would the world stop turning when I stop with my responsibilities? No, it wouldn’t! So why then not just taking a break? Like the Nike slogan says „Just do it!“ Not do even more, but just do less, or nothing. Not forever, but for a little moment. Maybe 30 minutes, maybe a few hours or even a day or more. What would happen? I would probably start hearing my inner voice, the Holy Spirit, my inner hurt child, my physical needs etc. You name it. The above is what I would hear, God knows what you would hear or feel.

The fast and the furious

To be hard on myself and saying things like „you have to try harder next time“, „you must do this“, „you should do that“ etc. will not bring a solution. Working even harder and juggling faster and more isn’t the way to go. At least not for me on the long run. It would only make my situation worse. Being so strict with myself doesn’t show the best in me, but my worst. And like this I harm people that are close to me, like my husband Daniel. I am not kind towards him and patient and caring, but rough, impatient and hurtful when juggling too many things.

What is balance?

I often think on Jesus’ words „Love your neighbor as yourself.“* and realize that I can’t be good at loving my neighbor when I am not first good in loving myself.
Let's interchange the word „love“ with „care“. I can’t be good in caring for my neighbor, when I am not first good in caring for myself. If I am phyically and emotionally weaker, in 'minus', it’s quite difficult to give something to others. I long for getting back into ‘plus‘ and then to easily give to others and not in a forced way.
*Gospel of Matthew Chapter 22, Vers 39

How does this active self-love look like?

For me this means:

To have at least nine hours of sleep each night.
I know that sounds a lot, but that is really how much I need, at least if I wanna live well. I think it has mainly to do with the fact that I am a high sensitive person and living in a city like NYC takes lots of my energy away and I need to recharge it.

Time for myself to be in quiet, to meditate, to just look out of the window and enjoy the sky. Also time to talk to God. To learn what he thinks about my life and to understand my situation better through his eyes and wisdom. To get an idea of how that looks like you can watch the movie „The Shack“ or read the book with the same name from William Paul Young.

Quality time with other people. To share, brainstorm, laugh, cry, dream, be goofy and honest with them.

Healthy diet. I want/need/must stop sabotaging my body by NOT eating unhealthy, processed, sugary food 3-4 times a day. That is how I used to eat but I am improving (when we don’t count our vacation in Boston where I had some slips…gee, it’s not easy to eat healthy whilst being in vacation!). As a metaphor, when I think about a car, it is totally clear to me that I have to tank the right gas for it to run and to keep running for a long time. I would stick to that rule, but with my body I am not so consistent, and I am already recognizing symptoms because of the lifestyle of the past ten years (and probably from even before). I have to do something about it.

Moving my body, outside during sunlight hours. I don’t like to use the words „workout“ or „sport“. They sound so tortuous in my ears. I try to move my body and to do errands by foot, which is quite easy if you don't own a car or bicycle. There are also some days where I am not leaving the apartment (advantages AND disadvantages from home office working), but I recognize that it doesn’t feel good for me. That my body longs to move around and do stuff, get Vitamin D through the sunlight etc. but it’s a work in progress. In December and January I was on a roll with either going swimming or going to the gym but somehow now I can’t. I think it has to do with the following.

Personal Development and making peace with the past. That’s actually the most time and energy consuming part of my life at the moment. I started the whole process more than ten years ago. I got a lot better in the past decade. I even overcame my unhealthy relationships with men and am having a mostly healthy marriage with Daniel (besides when the hangry Mrs. Hulk shows up and kills poor pedestrians in her green anger). In this season of my life there seems to be a new development step that isn’t so much about the past, but more about to make final peace with my past and get ready to rise up and get rolling into the present and future. My good friend Felicia and I are doing an online program called "Rise Up & Shine University" and that is really moving lots and lots of things in us. We are our own little accountability group and talk the things through. It is an incredible course and I am so grateful that I am doing it, although it takes so much of my energy and time away, but I know it’s the best investment that I can make. An investment in my holistic health. When I love myself fully then I just have so much more love to give to the world as well. This program is only in German until now but I hope the woman that created it will also make an English version.

Surely there are many more things, but these are the most important ones for me in this season of my life. To NOT just say „I love myself“, „I accept myself“, „I am ok“, but love myself in an active way.

I also don’t want to have a partner who tells me „I love you“, but I can’t see and experience it in his behavior.

Today is Easter and the sun is shining so lovely outside. I am done with all my responsibilities at the church I work at the moment and so I will be kind to myself and allow this blog post to not be perfect, to be not as long and detailed as the German version of it and just say:

God bless you! In your life, in your self-love and in your love towards others.
Happy Easter and a big hug,

PS: If somebody came to your mind that might find this blog post helpful, take two minutes time and forward the blog post to them. It’s a small portion of your time but might help them to turn their lives around for the better.

This song just came to my mind and I felt important to share it with you as well:

Here I am once again
I pour out my heart
For I know that You hear every cry
You are listening
No matter what state my heart is in

You are faithful to answer
With words that are true
And a hope that is real
As I feel Your touch
You bring a freedom to all that's within
In the safety of this place, I'm longing to . . .

Pour out my heart, to say that I love You
Pour out my heart, to say that I need You
Pour out my heart, to say that I'm thankful
Pour out my heart, To say that You're Wonderful

Craig Musseau
1993 Langley Vineyard Music

I got the lyrics from here.

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