A candle waves its deliberately pleasant balm around you. Lavender is known to soothe, right? Your palms absorb warm exhalations from a mug. Elaborate herbal teas are said to heal, aren’t they? You will be cleansed during a bath and you will stroll off any problems on a walk. Oh, how assumptive it can be to go through the motions of these rituals we have tagged to be ‘self-love’.
Of course, choices meant to care for you do support you. Many on little sleep barely function, let alone reach their potential. Yet, what is fundamentally happening inside? Walking that tightrope of a hyphen between the notions of ‘Self’ and ‘Love’, which like to bicker, sometimes fight, can be precarious. Are you backing yourself with balance needed to continue doing that?
Having your own back, well, how thoroughly do you know all that is held up by your vertebrae? Are you a supporter of your spine? Close your eyes, envision yourself where as lake-water lies on its back, its midriff rippling out in glitter, orange segments of playful sunlight move in murmurs underneath your eyelids: a kaleidoscope of carefree calm. Backing yourself enables. It is to have a fun, forgiving, feistily fortifying understanding with yourself.
It is being able to flick through your insides like you would vinyl disks in a record store, each smooth packaged square tapping on the next: checking, knowing that you have all there within you to breathe, move, live through the ambush of what’s next. It is the hugging dressing gown of mercy and the buoyancy of salted seafoam lacing every tossing wave. When a flare of apprehension crawls frantically in circles in your stomach, it’s the menthol, the blanket, the warmth you know how to use. It is the chuckle, the full laugh chiming all throughout within you which you can release to face an embarrassing mistake. It is knowing that, perhaps, drinking wine will make you nauseous unlike other alcohol, or maybe you cannot stomach any at all. You may come to realise that engaging with that person drains you of your momentum, like letting a leech settle and then suck at, on, your arm. Maybe you produce your best work after dinner, when many have ‘called it a day’, or, you are propelled at your greatest when waking early is there to stay.
Actually, it does not matter. What can matter is what you choose to do. Do your choices coincide with what you know is best for you?
Having your own back feels like possibility. You are at as much peace as possible when things are falling, raging down the gutter, and you are saturated with as much zeal as possible when things are ringing with the sound of bliss. As much as candles, teas, baths, walks are beneficial; backing yourself has you all the more resilient to ‘this’.