a man with HIV wearing a radiating heart t-shirt lays on a radiating series of hearts, surrounding himself with love

Loving Through the Pain

The responsibility of maintaining one’s health can be a taxing one. There are always appointments to manage. Remembering to take your pills and medication.

There can be chronic aches and pains that never really go away. Some nights may even be sleepless, on top of the daily stresses of going to and from work. Picking up the kids after school. All of these things can weigh on your spirit after a while.

It can be difficult to see the big picture on the hardest days. With all of the burdens of everyday living, finding a moment to see the LOVE in your life can be difficult. But it is through creating these intentional moments we are able to find peace.

Practice self-love in everyday life

We can practice love every day of our lives and it starts with love of self. I always like to look up what words mean in the dictionary or etymology webpages to get to the root of unfamiliar and words I hardly ever lookup.

Today, love was on the table and to love is "to have a deep affection or intimacy with or for something or someone". When we learn to love ourselves we are doing things that give us time to become intimate with ourselves. We are developing a fond affection for all the things that make us unique.

Time to check-in with ourselves

When we choose to take a slow bath instead of a shower, we are choosing to take the time out, relax, and get to know our bodies. Self-massage also helps develop new relationships with your muscles and bones in a context outside of the aches and pains they usually cause. Self-massage is self-love in that it requires you to develop intimacy with your body.

Self-love can also be just recognition. Wiggling my toes sometimes is that little reminder I need to check in with my body. I find it helpful to find at least one intentional moment in my day to remind myself that I love myself. I find gratitude in all the amazing things that being in my body allows me to do.

Impacts our relationships with others

By acting with love toward myself with intentional moments of self-care, I am preparing myself to act with love and compassion towards others. The act of loving oneself is one of the most intimate things one can do. By showing gratitude and compassion for myself and my current condition I strive towards a personal peace. It is a type of peace that is felt by others we interact and hopefully makes their day a little brighter.

Love is the gift that keeps on giving

Taking the time to look at ourselves, getting to know our bodies, and minds are tools to open up vulnerability with ourselves. Accepting our imperfections as perfection. Accepting our journey as meaningful and fulfilled as anyone else's. Practicing love cost us nothing, and yet we have so much to gain from the pleasure of loving oneself.

What things get you in the practice of loving yourself? Share in the comments below.

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