I am blessed: the art of learning how to love yourself

Posted on September 7, 2014


I really am blessed. I think we lose sight of that sometimes. We focus on what we don’t have. And we genuinely forget that we really are lucky people – even on a basic level, lucky to have our lives in the first place. Our health. Our homes. Our families.

Our mere existances.

And I don’t mean lucky to just have a roof over my head and my relative health. I have so much more, and it’s crazy that I don’t spend too much time thinking about this. I have a super loving family who care so much about me, great friends who’ve withstood the test of time. And amazing new ones i’m so lucky to have perpetually coming into my life. Exciting career prospects, and people who want me to work with them, or for them.

I might be in between contracts right now, and I may be in my overdraft and have no savings to my name – but i’m sat in a beautifully curated garden, by the loving gentle hands of my Mum. The sun is shining, I’m sat in a gorgeous leather chair facing outwards through their conservatory and I’ve been eating fruits and vegetables from their garden – green beens, cherry tomatoes and courgettes mostly . The biggest courgettes you’ll see! Yesterday I cut one in half and roasted it, then stuffed it with couscous, cherry tomatoes, courgette, onions, garlic and bacon and popped it back into the oven till it grilled to a crisp. And it tasted so good.

I’m thinking about becoming vegetarian but not sure if I really want to give up chicken. But I like the idea of being vegetarian, I wander if putting meat in my body makes me feel worse? All that bad energy can’t be doing any of us meat eaters any good. I say this chomping away on a parma ham filled pitta bread, that tastes pretty frickin amazing. With goats butter, my new favourite thing.

But I am going to cut back and then I think eventually give up alcohol. Slowly slowly of course. I haven’t drunk since last Sunday (one whole week now) and so what harm would it do to just carry on till the end of October? And then maybe carry on into November? I think i’ll probably need a glass of wine by December, but that will be a good few months of clean living.

I don’t like the idea anymore that I could be addicted to something. I wanna take the control back of my body. I know I have an addiction to food, most of us do – it doesn’t mean we’re secret eaters, stuffing greasy polystyrene boxes far down the recycling bin. But when it comes to saying no to certain foods, I do have a hard time with that. My mind says one thing, but my bodilly cravings say another.

Perhaps with alcohol out the way maybe I’ll have the headspace to tackle that one head on.

The point i’m making here is, I am blessed. To have these choices – to wake up in the morning and say ‘hmm do I fancy coffee or tea?’ or walk into a restaurant and choose pizza or steak. Or salad. It’s our choice. And not everyone has them.

In Kenya, everyone I met ate the same food every day. There was very little choice. Ugali (maize starch – like eating a brick), maybe mutton or if it was a special occasion goat; then either beans, lentils, rice/chapati and greens.

And elsewhere around the world, other people are running from bombs, maniacs with swords, dodging bullets.
So I am blessed for this life.

I know what it means to be loved, and I am lucky to have met people who aren’t family that I unconditionally love. Some people have never experienced that. That’s special.

I have just stated reading this incredible book by Osho, the spiritual teacher, philosophist, guru, who has inspired so many others. ‘Love, Freedom & Aloneness’. He tells you to stop condemming yourself.

He says that to love yourself is the first step to enlightenment. “Love yourself, says Buddah, and you can transform the whole world”. And then ‘watch’. That means meditation, it’s the Buddah’s word for being present, sitting still, and not thinking about anything in your head other than what is right in front of you. The plants, the sounds of the cars on the highway, the birds in the trees, crickets, sound of your own heart beating or stomche churning. Your breathing. You focus on your breath, and think only of your breath. You realise how amazing your body is when you do that. It’s incredible what it’s capable of, really.

It took me a really long time to get there though. I was initially sent on a mindfulness meditation course by work, which forced me into a situation I knew nothing about. And when I learned that your thoughts don’t have to dominate you, that you can control them, put them in a box, not think about them. Everything fell into perspective. It was a real eye opener.

And gradually, over time, after reading a lot of books and going to a lot of specialist therapy, I started to love myself.
I really am blessed.

Posted in: Journal