Love Thyself

Love Thyselfby Debbie Peterson

Something I tell my clients over and over again but often forget to do myself is to be kind to myself.  I suppose that goes to show how much easier said than done some things are.  I have several reminders in places around my home and work telling me to do just this.  Some days I am good to myself.  Those are good days.

This past weekend, Wendy and I attended the TEDx Asbury conference.  There were three sentences that stood out for me and kept me thinking the rest of the weekend.  The first one was said by Jasmin Singer, a self proclaimed “tattooed, vegan lesbian,” who lost a lot of weight as a young adult.  In talking about her journey of finding herself, she spoke of the struggles of being the fat girl and the judgments that she internalized.  But what turned things around for her was her shift “from vanity to self-care.”  That was the phrase that stuck with me.

It’s a part of the “why,” that Wendy and I talk about with our clients as they come in to transform themselves.  People’s reason for coming to us MUST include self-care in order for them to be successful in their quest for wellness.  But, Jasmin put it so perfectly.  And it wasn’t until she made that shift in her mind from vanity–wanting to look better (for others to not judge her) to self-care–to feel good and learn to like and care for her beautiful self that she dropped the weight and became happier.

And then there was Mariah Fenton Gladis, an ALS survivor, motivational speaker and psychotherapist who rolled out onto the stage in a wheelchair along side her husband who served as her translator since she had trouble speaking clearly.  She was inspiring simply because she was there on the TEDx stage but also because she was first diagnosed with ALS in 1981 and given a two year life expectancy.  She said two things that stuck with me.  The first was that “we should treat ourselves like the treasured child we once were.”  We can be that kind.  Imagine that.  How would your life be if you did this?

While I was pondering this sentiment, she was closing her talk and had one last question for us: “If we were to walk together for a day and you shared every thought, would I have a good day?”

I have since asked a few family members that question and got varying answers.  When my daughter asked me the same question, I really had to think about it.  And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure you’d be able to say it was a good day.  Not necessarily a bad day, but, maybe not exactly good. So, I’m working on that.  I deserve it.  And so do you.

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