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You can go and love yourself

Today’s daily affirmation was, “I love and respect myself.” Though I have no idea how I got daily affirmation alerts on my phone, I’m glad I did. It’s actually inspired a few days of reflection, today being no exception. As I repeated that phrase to myself, it wasn’t because I’m going through a period of self-loathing, but rather because I was trying to figure out what that meant. How can I love and respect myself? What does that look like?

If you’re a gal with some extra time on your hands or someone to watch your life-barnacles, the first thing that pops into your mind would undoubtedly be self-care, pampering, shopping. But, I don’t have that much free time, and I’m trying to be a bit more conscious of how and where I spend my money since we’re in the US for an extended time and expecting another baby, so my options when it comes to indulgent self-care are a bit limited, thus forcing me to really think about how – right here, right now – I can love and respect myself.

Here’s what I came up with today: I loved myself by grocery shopping for the week so I don’t get take-out and feel like a bad mom with indigestion. I respected myself by taking some time this morning before the house woke up and doing some reflection on how I wanted the day to look, as well some time to meditate on what the month of Ramadan means to me and how I want to celebrate and honor it, for both me and Adam. I loved myself by getting enough protein, drinking enough water, nourishing my body – and the baby that it’s growing – ensuring that even after a day spent chasing a toddler, I feel great. On the other hand, I respected myself by laying down with Adam while he napped and basked in his sweetly sour “boy” smell while I drifted off to sleep for 20 minutes.

I realized that sometimes loving and respecting ourselves looks like getting adult things done in a timely fashion, or making and keeping appointments that we’d rather not, or holding down a full-time job that we are less-than-enthusiastic about to make sure our families are fed and well-taken care of.

I’m not sure if loving and respecting myself will look the same tomorrow; I have big-girl errands to run that involve government offices with the monkey (pray for me!), but I do know that whatever I do will be done with the same intention and presence that I had today.

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