You know the days when you’re high on life and eager to spread it around?
How many of those days have you been having lately?
The other night when my husband came home from work, I’d been having one. I talked a mile a minute, telling him about my new barre class, cute things the kids had said, and a handful of small things I felt so very grateful for—like the plants I’ve managed to keep alive in our home and the fall-scented candle in our bedroom.
I barely stopped to take a breath.
Later that night, I thought about how few of these days I used to have. It may have to do with my stage of life; my kids are on their way out of the exhausting baby and toddler years, and we’ve moved to a town and a home we love.
But—on the other hand—many of my usual stumbling points are still there, as strong as ever: a tendency toward depression, a high noise level (thank you, little people) that doesn’t mix well with my personality, a husband who sometimes drives me crazy (just like I’m sure I do to him!), the juggle of parenting, career, and church service…
You know the list, because you’re living it too.
What’s different now is the way I hold my self.
I’m quicker to shake off guilt; I’m slower to turn to foods and practices that won’t satisfy. I’m quicker to draw a bath or pull out my journal when I know I need to re-center myself, slower to beat myself up when I have a down day.
I’m quicker to pile my kids into the van and head out to explore a patch of sunflowers. I’m slower to yell, and I’m warmer with my husband. I feel more alive.
When we are handling ourselves with care, we’re more engaged with our spouse and more sensitive to our kids’ feelings.
We’re more likely to feed our bodies foods that make us feel healthy and strong.
We’re more likely to pull in our neighbor’s trash bins and to take a moment to look into the cashier’s eyes.
Self-love is an energy that doesn’t want to be bottled up; it spills out all around us.
Have you felt this too? How does loving yourself make your life better?