Why do women find it so hard to take care of themselves first?
Three reasons. Guilt. Control. And Lack of Trust.
So first on guilt… It’s like women have a DNA pattern that says take care of everyone else before you take care of you, and if we try to buck that patternby actually taking care of ourselves, we can’t help but feel guilty or like we should be doing something more productive. It is in our cells passed down from generation of woman to generation of woman, and it’s this generations turn to shift that by rewiring the beliefs we have inside our head (like the one that self-love is selfish or the one that says you can only play after you work).
On control… whether we want to admit it or not, most of us are control freaks because control gives us some sense of security and importance. So we over-do and take on more responsibility than is needed, and it fills up all the space that we should have open for ourselves. We feed our egos with beliefs like, ‘we are the only ones who can get it done, right.” How many wives redo something their husband has done, when truthfully no one would have died if they had just left it alone?
On lack of trust… we ultimately don’t believe that things will be taken care of unless we are working all the time, unless we are doing something to make it happen. Women today stink at relaxing, are moving all the time, and feel like if they let one plate fall to the ground, all the other plates they are spinning will crash. We
have to learn how to trust that if we walk away and stop doing all the time, there will be support that comes along to help. We just need to accept it when it shows up, and not control it.
2. Women seem to view PMS as a nuisance and a negative part of their lives...how do you see it? How can we see it in a more positive light?
I think it goes much deeper than that, I think women today have been forced to see their menstrual cycles as a burden. We are supposed to be able to put a tampon in, take a few pills for cramps and then go on with our busy crazy lives as if nothing is happening with our bodies. You know there was a time, during the time of the red tents and in Native American cultures, when women would go off together when they got their periods – which they called their Moons because the moon regulated their cycles together (isn’t that so much better sounding than ‘the rag’). They would spend a few days being together, relaxing and being in the space that their bodies asked for. Now I get that we don’t have days to lounge in red tents, but I do think we owe it to ourselves, to our bodies to reclaim the sacredness of what our moon cycle means. For me, that looks like on the first day of my cycle, I take it easy on me. I do what I need to do from a place of rest, I drink really great tea for women, and I wear comfy clothes that make me feel beautiful. It’s my modern day version of the red tent. I think every woman should create her own ritual around her moon cycle – why not?
3. An important part of self-love is acceptance...Some peoples reaction to acceptance is that it means giving in and letting go of your motivation to improve yourself. What would you say to that?
Self acceptance is loving yourself for who you are right now even if you didn't change a thing, and that is a big part of self love for sure. Too many of us think that we will only be happy when we get that job or that house, or we fix some flaw inside ourselves, and truthfully that pursuit for happiness is what makes us unhappy. But that doesn't mean that you stop wanting to become a better person… life is about growing and changing forever. It’s just that your motivation for becoming that better person has to come from a place of love and compassion for yourself. It’s all about the energy of where the motivation to grow (and I choose the word grow vs. improve on purpose) comes from.
Thank you Christine for taking your time to answer some Radical Hateloss questions as a part of your blog campaign for the movement. Believe me, I hope and pray with my whole heart that your movement changes many many lives. I myself will be celebrating Madly in Love with Me Day this year! My women's group will be having our own celebration on February 9th. I also will be writing my own self-love manifesto (which i will post on Radical Hateloss of course!). You can recieve your own Madly in Love with Me kit for ideas to do solo or with friends.
"Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting."
"It’s no secret that all women want to be loved. The problem is that they are looking in the wrong places. The real secret is that the love and relationship you crave starts with the love and relationship you have with yourself. Choosing ME before WE means knowing yourself, being honest with yourself, loving yourself, and trusting yourself FIRST. Then consider HE and WE. But never settle for less than what your heart and soul desire. "
Being so madly in love with myself (yay!) I went shopping. Pushed through the guilt about spending money on myself and bought clothes that fit. For my whole life I shopped for clothing by choosing simply what looked best, not what I actually liked. My radical hateloss has transformed my life, including my body. I now am able to wear things I never could before. There are so many more choices open to me. I look forward to developing my very own sence of style grounded in self-love.
Also I'd like to proudly announce that I am now able to do pull-ups with only the black band (a goal I set for 2010!) by kipping (using the moment of swinging to get my chin over the bar). I am continuing on working on how many I can do in one work out, however a new goal is in order. My new goal is to move to the blue band for workouts by the end of the year. What the hell am I talking about? There are large rubberband that can be used to assist in doing a pull-up. They vary in thickness, the thicker the more help you get. The thickest is black, then green, then blue and then something called "mental floss!" One day I will do a pull-up unassisted! In this moment however I embrace my current abilities, and celebrate the amazing accomplishments I have made because i dared to love and accept myself!