I'm a romantic. Light me a candle, write me a song, cook me a meal, buy me chocolates. I'll have stars in my eyes in no time. So what could be more romantic than self-love? I don't need another person to fill my tub, pour my wine, put on my face mask, or read my book. I can romance the crap out of my life, I can turn any day into a rom-com.
I'm also realistic. In reality my life isn't all candle-lit, serenaded, waiter-served romantic. In reality my life is a lot of me lighting a candle, making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, and listening to a playlist Spotify made me.
I've always wanted to go on a yoga retreat, a long week of sunbathing, stretching, long walks, deep talks, and exotic foods. Some people have asked me since I've been back from Level One Baptiste Training how my retreat was... well the truth is it wasn't a retreat. Yes, there was sun, I felt it during my long walks, I ate exotic foods, and I stretched. It had all the components of a retreat and none of them at the same time.
Self-love has a really romantic image right now. It's all the glam, all the glitter. It's the yoga retreat you can have in your house. The realistic image of self-care isn't as pretty to look at as the romantic one. In reality sometimes I don't need a break from life, a hot bath, and a glass of wine. Sometimes I need to turn up the heat, have the hard conversation, look in the metaphorical mirror and see what's there.
Level One was a realistic view of self-love. It was looking at the ugly parts of me, my judgments, my complaints, my anger. It was having the tough conversations, and cleaning up the messes I've made. It was literally turning up the heat, sweating, crying, doing the work that needed to be done.
I came home and had a bath, did a facemask, drank some coffee (my version of wine), watched some TV, rested. I'm now doing the work again, making the commitments, eating the foods that make me feel good, sitting in meditation, practicing yoga.
Both of these things are self-love. One of these thing is easier for me than the other. So I continue to do the difficult one, to turn up the heat, to get real with my life. Because the more real I can be about myself, with myself, the more real I can be with others. The more I can see where my inconsistencies are, my faults are, my lies are, the more I can show up and love myself always, not just when I am romancing myself.