How to embrace self-compassion and self-love in everyday life
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week it’s February and February is known as Heart Month. It has been labeled Heart Month for as long as I can remember. I think it’s to give us awareness of our heart health. There have been so many studies to help us live longer. Personally, I follow the Blue Zones and it speaks of areas in the world where folks live to over 100 years old and it shares about diet, lifestyle, daily movement, having good community, being huge factors in longevity and good heart health. There are things we can do, but there are deeper layers when it comes to our heart.
I recently started rereading a book by Louise Hay called You Can Heal Your Life. After just a few chapters, I am relearning that our heart health and our overall health is really about self-love, self-talk, and self-compassion and forgiveness. This inner journey is a whole lot harder than walking every day and eating whole foods.
Forgiveness – I think the first thing we need to do is forgive ourselves for all of what we think are bad decisions, all of our should-haves. Sometimes they just keep circling in our memory, all the words spoken we wish we could take back.
Well, you know what? We can forgive ourselves if we understand that at that specific moment in time, we were doing the best we knew how in that specific moment in time. We have to give ourselves credit for now, being older and wiser and having more wisdom and knowing not to make the same mistake. We can forgive ourselves with self-love and compassion. I’m not sure why we’re so hard on ourselves. I wish I would understand that better. Maybe if I keep reading, I will find the answer. There are these obligatory rules out there that we must do, or we must be. And you can fill in the blank…
But these rules can be from our family, from society, from anywhere. But our self-love and compassion, really all that is, is this very moment. It doesn’t matter what’s going on. We can accept ourselves with all of our bumps and bruises right here at this moment. And that is the first step of self-love and compassion. I’ll share with you that I hold my bumps and bruises and unkind words in my gut. At times it’s almost like my head and my toes, there’s nothing in between. And I consciously, very consciously work on connecting my body. When I eat and I’m out with others, or when something comes up, I’m practicing almost like a shield and especially to my gut. So whatever it is that comes up doesn’t stick to me. So having some kind of awareness of where these emotions sit in our body, that’s a huge piece of the learning.
So our action item is to think about and sit and spend time with figuring out where do we hold our emotions? Where are all these bumps and bruises? Because this is the first step in just having the awareness and being able to process and protect whatever it is. So February is our heart month. Yes, we can laugh more, we can eat better and take our daily walks. But our first step is to love and forgive ourselves, and then we can move on to the others in our life.
And so my word of the week is Heart.
The H is for Heal. There are so many layers and until we are willing to sit and listen to ourselves, we’ll never be able to peel away the hurt and begin to heal our heart.
The E is for Eat. We know all the studies that eating whole foods is much better than eating processed foods. When we are out, we need to make good food choices. When we cook, we put our love into the meal and then we get to share it with others. So one step at a time, one choice at a time. Eating well for our heart.
The A is for Activity. We all know we need to move every day. We will feel better when we put fresh oxygen in our body and have moved our emotions out. So move. Get outside. Be in nature and breathe.
The R is for Rest. It is healthy to rest. We tend to get busy when we have life to process, thinking that it will go away if we don’t give it any attention. Well spoiler alert – the it – it will not go away. It is there as a lesson and a teaching and a continuation of our journey. It is here to teach us, to make us stronger and better human beings. And so we need to rest and let the emotions come through, and then process them and say goodbye. They no longer serve us because when life gets overwhelming, we just need to stop. Our heart will thank you.
The T is for Time, our time for this life. We have an expiration date. So why not make it a healthy and happy and heart wise journey? Let’s take the time off. Let’s be with family and friends and activities that bring us joy. If we understand our time and understand that it’s precious, we will only fill it with fulfilling activities. Find what brings us joy and fill your time with it. February is our heart month, but I think every day is our heart day. Let’s love ourselves. Let’s forgive. Let’s have compassion for ourselves. Then we can turn to everyone else in our world and we can share a happy, healthy and loving person. Have a wonderful week everyone!