I can't believe it's already July. Where is the time going? It feels like the older I get, the faster time goes by. I turn 43 this month but it feels like I just turned 40 yesterday. The last three years have been a whirlwind of health related issues that seemed never ending. I will never forget the day I asked God why this was happening. I had no idea TMJ could cause so many scary symptoms. But even in the midst of it all, I knew that it was a sign for me to take better care of myself. It was the beginning of a long and very necessary road to self-love. And by self-love I mean taking care of my health with the right foods and exercise, nurturing my soul with creative outlets, meditation and yoga, finding a neutral person to talk to about stressful situations that (literally) attached themselves to my jaw and neck and staying inspired with art, books and photography.
The art and practice of self-love
Like most women, I thought I loved myself just fine. But did I take care of myself the way I would my son or a loved one? Did I make sure to eat right, get sunshine and practice all that I preached as a mom and daughter? Did I prioritize my own creative outlets? Was I in tuned with my emotional and mental health? Did I pay attention to the warnings signs my body was giving me?
Nope. None of the above.
If I wasn't caring for my mind, body and soul then how can I say I truly loved myself? Sure, I loved who I was but that's not the same thing. I was happy with me, my quirks, personality and had no qualms with what God gave me from my crazy curly hair down to my big calves. But was I practicing the art of what it means to truly love a person? No.
It took a physical trauma for me to realize that my soul had been neglected. And when the soul is not being taken care of, the body follows suit. Once that happens it takes a lot of TLC and self-awareness to get to the root of what's really going on inside, if you're willing to do the work. The work isn't always pretty. It doesn't always feel good. But I'm glad that I found the courage to explore the depths of my soul to heal old wounds. That is what I call practicing the art of self-love.
Related post: My TMJD story
Every decade has a story, doesn't it? This one started off with some very interesting twists and turns, but without them I can't say I would have had this awakening, nor would I have so much knowledge about my well-being. I received the answer to my question, why is this happening and it's now up to me to do the work.
So, here's to another birthday month. I'm ready for you!
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