I had first mint tea when I was a kid in the mornings together with bread and butter and honey. My dad used to collect the mint somewhere close to his job and he used to dry it in the kitchen or on the balcony. So as far as I remember I thought the mint tea is from dry leaves.
Many years apart I started to travel the world and one day I arrived in Morroco and I felt a familiar enchanting my olfactory senses. I was happy with my cappuccino on a small outside cafe on the Marakesh market but i had to give up and have a mint tea as my mind refused to think or smell anything else. When the tea arrived i was suprised to find out that fresh mint tea leaves where jamming in my cup and not the dry black version that was popular in my country. I really loved the idea that something was different but somehow the same that I have decided to keep the habbit of having fresh mint tea.
Fresh mint tea is the tea that connected 2 of my cherished memories, one of my dad making breakfast during my youth and one of me travelling around the world and experiencing old and new flavors alike. It is the tea of connection and care and I enjoy a cup with you this evening to cure my craving for both.
Would you say that self-love is common knowledge and easy-peasy for everyone to adopt as a life policy? You just wake up one day full of love for yourself and take a long bath with an amazing view, some chocolate, a glass of red wine and that’s all you need, right? You are from now a person that knows how to take care of yourself and you are in charge of your happiness. I really would like to be so easy and all we need is an aha moment in the bath to nail self-love. Maybe I was the unlucky one to be born in a spot where self-love was the last of least of needs to be fulfilled.
I remember a memory from my early childhood that has been a long trauma in my life. I was really small in height and fragile for my age and my main problem then was that I seem to not be seen. I was not the popular child, but the one that was really shy and always chosen last on the teams’ games, unless no one else was available. Maybe because I wanted to much to fit in and to belong, I was less attractive as I believe small kids feel this instantly. Anyway, it was this big boy that was my enemy as he liked to make fun all the time of my shortness. He used to give me a nickname that I used to hate – Mammut (a big size elephant) and pretty much all the neighborhood started to call me like this, especially the male side of it. I was so embarrassed by the nickname and my shortcoming that it never crossed my mind that he might be wrong. I could not choose my growth rate, obviously, but he was not kind by far.
Sometimes when we have no clue how we can stand up for ourselves, we ask others for help. In this case, I went upstairs, home, crying my eyes out about this boy. My mom, she went like a storm downstairs in the yard to give the boy a moral lesson and a threat that he should not mess up with me ever again. She meant really well of course, like any mom will do for her child, but in my case did not help me to love myself more, au contraire. I was not assertive enough to say that I don’t want to be helped but to understand a way how I can become more confident and not be hurt about facts I cannot change.
Well, I become more and more a hermit, I’ve closed myself more and more my friends become the books. If you read my previous post you would know by now that I started to read early in my childhood and this was somehow my help. When I was around 15 years old, in 1994, I read my first self-help book “The Art of Success For Romanian” by Pavel Corut. I was impressed and hooked by the possibilities described by that book to work with your self and change into an upgraded version. I become soon his biggest fan, read almost all his novels (science fiction with self-help mixed, where his hero was a Romanian international spy that can communicate with extraterrestrial life). I was so inspired by that book that I start to do experiments with myself and look for other self-book from international authors.
I continued my research during my uni, but slowly slowly understood that if I want to be happy I need to find a way to become good enough on my own. It was tedious to dig inside and to understand why I felt unwelcome and unworthy. The outside world becomes a little better, I have decided to offer my friendship than to wait for it to be served on a silver plate. I was analyzing my hurts all the time and tried to see how I can handle them so that they will not manifest on others. I met wonderful people then and we shared special moments, but in parallel, I continued my research on how I can love myself more. In my case, that was to forgive myself for not being able to speak about the things that were difficult for example or to cry in front of others (still on progress with this one).
After years and years of self-inquiry, I am not saying is a walk in the park. After more than 25 years from my first book and a lot of self-testing, doubting, trying and implementing and then repeat, I might be able to say I am a bit more close by. I have reached an agreement with my body and I love it as it is, I managed to be in peace that I am weird and I can now dance even on social media without the fear of being rejected or unfit. I can even admit to my friends when I feel week or not whole and be more ready to accept suggestions without feeling my base attacked. I tend to allow more time to think and not to react from anger with a sharp voice. All these are small, tiny baby steps towards self-love. I meditate more, surround myself with friends that can be supportive but can also help me see when I am turning the wrong way. I pay more attention to what I eat, say, not let the noise of media too much inside my head.
Spa, massage, body healing, festivals of awareness, meditation all these helped me, even more, to realize that “I AM ENOUGH”. Sometimes this -I am enough- could be I feel sad and my world is gray and outside is raining and not feel like moving from the bed. Otherwise could be that I am ready to start a blog and let everyone know what are my struggles so they maybe feel more self-love. Either way, self-love is an endurance process and not an achievement. It is a lifetime goal. One of my favorite eastern gurus is a funny one, OSHO and one of his quotes that I love is that
“Life begins where fear ends.”
Self-love is not an easy task, it needs effort and constant work. It is less about instant gratification and more about consistency, perseverance and sweat. It is a day to day journey and very easy to slide away. So it is a miracle that I am still on the path. I am glad for my journey so far and I am confident that I am going to maintain my practice until the end. How has it been your self-love journey?