This week-end, I participated in a session of purposeful socializing. It’s a zoom event where the facilitator asks specific questions that promote connection and we go to breakout rooms in groups of 4 or 5 to answer the question. I have attended 3 of them so far and I love those events. (Let me know if you want to attend, it’s free). This week-end the subject of belonging came up. That’s one of my favorite subject from the angle of human connection. What makes us feel connected to other humans and feel that we belong? I hear in books and courses that the feeling of belonging is an inside job. Is it the same for the feeling of being connected? I have had conversations with my mum where I feel connected and others where I don’t. I am starting to discover what the difference is between those conversations. I believe that increasing our self-love is part of that inside job necessary to the feeling of belonging.
In the lists of self-love practices, I saw the practice of gratitude. Six years ago, I did a gratitude practice of posting on Facebook every day about gratitude. At the beginning, not much was happening, but as I persevered, focusing on gratitude every day, I began to feel more joy and enjoy my life more. To help me in the daily post on Facebook, I asked Rolly to share with each other 3 things we were grateful for about our day. It also took perseverance to stay with it, and after 3 weeks, this practice took a life of its own. It increased connection between us. We don’t do it every day anymore, but 6 years later we still regularly exchange what we are grateful for our day.
A gratitude practice gives us joy and inner peace. It is an act of self-love like a gift we give to ourselves.
Today, I was looking online for ideas of self-love practices. One of the practices was to focus on what we need rather than what we want. Sometimes, I need to get something done but I don’t feel like it or I don’t want to. Getting up from the couch and getting things done even if I don’t feel like it is an investment in self-love.
Today, I listen to a video from Francis Gendron (https://solutionera.com/experts/francis-gendron/ pour les français) and he talks about how our physiology affect our mood. Harvard did a study where people would hold Wonder Woman’s pause for 2 minutes before doing an interview. They found that those who held the pause did better than those who didn’t (the control group). If you want to change your mood and bring a little fun to your self-love try holding Wonder Woman’s pause for 2 minutes without laughing!!!
In our Geotran call, we talked about the fact that I took on writing 365 posts on self-love and how I had to practice self-love each time I missed a day. The first time I missed, I was annoyed at myself, then I noticed that I was annoyed at myself. Since I am committed to feeling good about myself, I used a Geotran practice to restore self-love and forgave myself. After that when I miss, I notice but the annoyance is not there. In our conversation yesterday, one of the participants asked what it would take to include posting in my daily routine. I am still considering this question. I am seeing now that checking in every day to see were we are at in our amount of self love is an important practice to increase self-love. And the first thing to do with this check in is to agree not to judge ourselves no matter the level of self-love we have today.
Back to reading Brené Brown: in her Tedx talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0) she says: “shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection.” She also says that it is universal, we all have it.
The only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or connection. She explains that what forms the basis for this shame is the feeling of “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not blank enough, I’m not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough.”
Before listening to Brené Brown’s work, I thought I experienced very little shame. I thought it was because I had done all this work on self-love. But now, with this definition, I see that I do experience this type of feeling (not smart enough, not impervious enough). And for me, that’s were the self-love comes in: noticing what I tell myself and bring compassion to the way I talk to myself or see myself.
Brené Brown also writes in Daring Greatly that shame disappear when we talk about it with someone we trust.
Kim Morrison, in her book “The Art of Self Love,” defines self love as the regard for one’s own wellbeing and happiness. For me, self love is the ability to be kind to oneself, to talk to oneself and about oneself with respect, and to embrace the imperfection of being human.
Kim Morrison also writes that self love does not just happen by snapping our fingers. It is a journey during which we transform our relationship with ourselves. “The process of changing our attitude about ourselves is purely an inside job. […] The journey of self love involves discipline. It is a practice, an art, something that requires paying attention to […] what is required especially in those dark days.”
What does Self-Love mean to you personally?
I am still listening to Brenee Brown with her book Daring Greatly. It is so packed with stuff that I feel that I need to study this book. Its like the text book on how to bring wholeheartedness and true belonging to life. In her book she mentioned her first Tedx talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0). In this talk, she says: “Connection is why we are here. Connection give purpose and meaning to our lives … What we know is that connection, the ability to feel connected is neurobiologically how we’re wired. It’s why we are here.”
I noticed this sentence because I have wondered for a while, why is there people with whom we feel connected and others we don’t. Or even why some conversations leave us feeling connected, while other conversations with the same person leaves us unmoved.
I can not yet put into word how Brenee Brown explains that it comes down to courage, vulnerability, and self-love.
I am listening to several audiobooks from Brenee Brown. She talks about vulnerability and courage. She also talks about self-worth. I saw a few articles comparing self-worth and self-love and which one comes first. I believe they go hand-in-hand. And most importantly, as Brenee Brown says about self-worth, they are a practice. We don’t suddenly have self-love or self-worth unless we practice changing the thoughts we allow in our brain about ourselves.
I believe that one of the key elements of self love is to know oneself. When I know myself I can bring compassion to the part of me that are less than shiny and I can use my strengths to contribute to the world. Author Gretchen Rubin writes: “My first commandment is to “Be Gretchen”—yet it’s very hard to know myself. I get so distracted by the way I wish I were, or the way I assume I am, that I lose sight of what’s actually true.”
Today, I am reflecting on what I know about myself.