the wounded vs. self love -a code of conduct

Colleen's picture

As a young woman I wanted more than anything in the world to become a professional ballerina. I was too short and volumptuos to be considered for this.  As a young woman I learned to compare my body to others. My thoughts were constantly measuring my worth in external ways. I loathed my petiteness and everywhere I went people commented on how cute and tiny I was.  I hated these compliments, I felt they were both teasing me and demeaning me like I was an adorable piece of dollhouse furniture.  I learned to hate all comments on my appearance and began to question why it was that woman are so examined and evaluated for their appearance and not on their abilities.  This was the begining of a deeper self inquiry and societal inquiry about our intrinsic worth as humans. I got over this completely by changing the way I viewed myself.  It wasn't just through Yoga that I did this.  In truth I had come to many of these conclusions before my practice really deepened.  Through the practice of self love I pulled myself out of this debilitating mental habit. This was a practice I first cultivated in working for social justice.

I think for many self love is a resting place located somewhere in the future, the feeling of worthiness will be attained when we acheive a certain set of health/fitness goals, relationship status, or income, etc.  Ironically self love has nothing to with the external.  I began to view myself through a completely different lens.  

I have a certain code of conduct I adhere myself to.  Here's my code:  

~I will respond with love.

~I will face challenges with dignity and grace.

~I will not intentionally hurt the earth or the creatures on it.

~When I have wronged someone I will quickly make ammends.

~I will treat my body with kindness and respect.  

~I will do whatever I can to help the earth and it's inhabitants, no exceptions.

~I will practice moderation in all ways, even moderation in moderation ;)

~I will adopt the mindset for seeing and being firmly rooted in reality.

~I will do all of the above through a practice of relentless self inquiry.

The more I extended myself to those around me in charitable ways, especially when no one was looking the more self worth I gained and the easier it was for me to choose self love in all the extraneous ways that make diet an easy backdrop habit that is but one aspect of a whole lifestyle choice. I feel that self love is a decision.  A decision that is made solid by a code of conduct that we bind ourselves to.  

Here's an example of this in practical application, if I can't afford to buy cheese or meat that is not organic, local, and free range I don't eat it, if it's in plastic I rarely buy it unless I have no choice... then make sure I recycle it. So when I start falling astray from dietary practices that best serve this body and the earth.  I slow down and do more loving self care, for me it's generally a formula that goes something like this; a walk in the woods (reconnects me to the earth), a warm cup of tea, a cozy book nook, meditation and/or a best bud connection and a good belly laugh.  A cook book search for great new healthy recipes that re-inspire, then a trip to the health food store to stock up.  An epic adventure always does the trick, as does being present for those we love and sharing our bounty.

I re-connect with myself, my values and goals through journaling and blogging, over and over again. 

Finally, I am super kind to myself and others, there's no need for perfection just basic integrity. This temperance comes from a recognition of how easy it is to fall off the path.  Failure has made me more humble.  I've messed up many times but have learned something from each departure. Food and diet has become a lifestyle affect born out of a philosophy of love, respect and compassion. Self love is a conscious decision that I make every second of every day, which requires constant re-alignment. Respectfully, notice how it feels from moment to moment from the inside out in everything you do, that is the first step.