I wrote this is in April 2017 when I was recovering from being raped.
Our societal conditioning can make the practice of self-love and self-care a conundrum. I remember that when I began to even consider that I could be worthy of loving myself just for existing, it was a revelation. I did not need other people to inject me with the love that I so lacked from myself. I usually relied on male love interests to do this for me, which was a sure path into love addiction (if you think you may be a love addict, look up Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and check out the self-diagnosis questions). Upon this revelation my mind got looped into a tight spot of unhelpful, repetitive thinking which swung between:
I can’t love myself because I don’t deserve it and loving myself sounds really selfish, even narcissistic.
Healing ourselves with our own well of love after a body blow like sexual assault or rape, can be an opportunity for tapping into a love for ourselves that we have never accessed before. In times of recovery from trauma like these, we are forced to. I feel like my soul is calling for it. Even if we feel undeserving, unworthy, selfish, arrogant, weak and ashamed, we can love ourselves. At this point it feels like all I have.
Everybody’s experiences vary. You might love the idea of self love and compassion and feel it is a path of healing that calls out to you. Or it may sounds like an out-of-reach, lofty, trippy idealism that does not resonate with you. That’s okay. However I cannot emphasize enough that your recovery and healing will benefit from being kind and patient with yourself.
These are some things I am finding helpful as self-care ideas:
- Self-compassion meditations. Kristin Zeff’s are beautiful.
- Journaling to help unload your brain.
- Bathe in Epsom salt.
- Walk in nature.
- Dance slow and easy or like a person possessed.
- Eat the good foods, foods with chi.
- Sleep and take all the naps you need. Talk to your GP if you are missing lots of sleep.
- Make time for friends.
- Limit your time around people who drain your energy. Honor your self enough to not be around people who deplete you for long periods of time.
- You deserve support. See a therapist or healer to help you hold and move through the grief. But there is no rush.
- Talk to yourself like you would to a friend.
- Exercise. Yoga is great for moving trauma through and out.
- Acknowledge your strengths.
- Get Vitamin D from sunshine or supplemental vitamins.
- Pray. The universe loves you, even though that idea might seem ludicrous right now. Try it when it feels right for you.