A Heart A Day #42

Today, September 21st, is International Day of Peace. My heart of today is dedicated to this wondrous day. 

Peace, peace, peace…writing it down is so easy. Saying or reading it multiple times and it becomes a weird word, like all words that are said or written a lot of times in a row. But somehow, to me, with the word ‘peace’ this seems the case: the weirder it feels, the better it suits. 

  
So many fires are burning at the moment, so much hatred and frustration and miscommunication scattered around in the world. What is peace these days? Well…peace is a general concept, but sadly not available to all. What does peace look like? I guess my country is living “in peace” at the moment, but that doesn’t mean this country is Heaven on Earth. On the contrary. The tension is high, hatred simmers underneath the surface. Lambs and lions don’t play together. 

In other countries, of which we all can say that there is no peace at the moment, the concept of peace is just that: a concept. There is no time for exchanging thoughts on peace, just for surviving. 

So you see, I think overall ‘peace’ is complex. But it is non the less important. Important to think about, talk about, spend time trying to create small-scale peace. Maybe in your neighbourhood. Not just for one day though. Every day. Peace definitely needs effort, from all of us. 

For me peace means ‘a judgement-free world in which we live side by side, all of us equal to one another’. What does it mean to you?

Self-love September

September is a month I’m very excited about! As it turns out September is the month of Self Love.

Self Love is my life’s quest.

From pulling my hair when I was not older than 4 or 5 – because I had told myself Tess was a boy’s name – to an eating disorder between the age of 11 and 22. And frankly, everything in between. I’ve always told myself

  • I don’t deserve love
  • I’m not pretty enough
  • nobody likes me, let alone will ever love me
  • I’m too fat, too short, too boring, too weird, too sensitive.

And that is just the top of the list. I have hated myself dearly. Very dearly indeed.

Change came. At some point. The realisation that you can’t search for love outside yourself, if there isn’t any inside of you. Baby step after baby step. But boy, I’ve grown! I’m surely not completely there yet, but I’m on the move. And I know where I’m heading to.

Two years ago I decided to start writing a book about self-love. A journey, literally. I quit, then continued, quit again. But at the start of 2016 I realised this is the journey I want to continue. I’m gonna take my time, it may take some time before you’ll see the result. But I came to realise that I’m an actual expert on this topic, not by study but by experience. So why would I keep telling myself I wasn’t good enough?

It’s gonna be an epic journey, a big part of my quest. I wish that anyone suffering from self-hate and related issues, will find a companion in my book. In due time…

As Self-love September is now upon us, I simply wish that anyone suffering from self-hate in whatever form has someone to reach out to, has the stamina to continue the journey along the bumpy road to Self Love. For me there’s no way back and I know if I can walk this road, so can you. Let’s make this month a powerful one!

If you have any thoughts, if you want to share a piece of your Self Love journey – do feel free to get in touch via the contact-form on the About-page or via social media. Or share this blog, to let more people know about #selfloveseptember!

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For you.

A Heart A Day – Major catch-up, part one

Here’s a major catch-up, part one; hearts 24 – 32. And I realise I’ll still be behind, as today should be day #36 of my challenge. Do I have a good excuses for this delay? Well, yes. I got food poisoning… When I was finally back on track I did pick up continuing making hearts, but simply didn’t get round to posting them. Life is what happened :-) But once I’ve caught up, I’ll be determined to pick up where I was, as creating a heart a day is the best challenge! The focus I now have on self-compassion and compassion towards others is what I was looking for. It triggers my brain every day!

So here we go, 9 hearts as catch-up part one. Descriptions underneath each photo.

 

24

#24 – my ode to food poisoning, as sea fruits were the cause of it all. Took me a couple of days before I could look at shells and create this heart ;-)

28

#28 – you have to look closely to find the banana-candy heart. Inspired by the colours of the picture underneath which I took while baby-sitting.

29

#29 – KISS MORE! Inspired by a good week for kissing ;-)

30

#30 – my flower heart as an apology to you. Sorry I kept you waiting for more hearts…

With love,

Tess

PS: Have you created or spotted a heart this week? Share it with me! Use #aheartaday and social media may overflow with hearts…

[I love love and I love hearts! But oh, this world needs more visible love. So let’s change that, step by step. Away with pessimism. Away with hate. Let’s fill this world with love. And hearts! To show compassion towards each other, towards the planet, towards ourselves. It proves to be difficult for so many of us. But instead of judging it’s more meaningful to show love, to respond with love, to act out of love. Say it with hearts.
So I’m sharing A Heart A Day. Every day I will draw, stitch, paint or otherwise create a heart and post it on this blog. Will you help me make love and hearts spread like a contagious but healthy disease?]

I’m gonna re-write me a love song

In the process of learning to love and appreciate myself I’ve come up with endless ways to make it happen. Some ways stick, others don’t. A favourite of mine is rewriting love songs. Finding the cheesiest love songs and then starting to swap you with me or I.

I do hear you think: that is SO SILLY!

True! But…do you ever really listen to love songs? As in ‘really’, word for word? If you do, you may have noticed that most love songs seem to be about how someone’s happiness and self-confidence depends on the other. It’s always focussed on the other. Never on the person itself. Never on you, your importance, the fact that you are the person you’ll live with your whole life.

So yes, it’s absolutely silly. It will make you laugh out loud at first. But give it a try, ‘cause after a while you’ll notice that the words really reflect with you. And the whole love song gets a different meaning. In fact LOVE gets a different meaning. It starts to become clear that it starts with you!
And here we get to one of my main realisations during my self-love journey. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone else. Not the other is responsible for my happiness, but I am.

I totally understand if you don’t get it right now, if you think I’m nuts – I am – or whatever it is you think. But fact is that this – rewriting love songs – is something that has helped me on my self-love journey. And to help you on your way, here are some examples:
To start, we’ll take one of the neediest songs from the ’90-ies. I need you by T3. If you don’t recall, bear with.

This is the refrain of the above mentioned song:
I need you
And I couldn’t live a day without you
I need you
More than anyone I ever know
I need you
And I wanna build my world around you
I need you
I need you

Yikes.

Now the fun part – rewriting it!

I need ME
And I couldn’t live a day without ME
I need ME
More than anyone I ever know
I need ME
And I wanna build my world around ME
I need ME
I need ME

And there you have it. The essence of life: you need yourself to get through life, you need to take care of yourself and build your world around you (not in a egocentric way, mind) before you can build a life with someone else. That’s the core of what I’m learning, little by little, bit by bit.

Let’s try another song. This Love, This Heart by Phil Collins. This is what it looks like after the formula of self-love:

 
This love, this heart, these arms to hold
So tight to me, I won’t let go
Can this be real, or just some dream that feels so true
I wish myself love, I wish myself more
I’m all that I live for
I’ll never hurt me, believe me
My heart beats just for me
It only beats for me

 
I’ll keep the fire alight for me
Can’t think of nothing else, what can I do
This lonely heart of mine, it only beats for me
It only beats for me
I bring me peace, I make myself smile
I give myself strength and all the while
I ask for nothing, only love
And my heart beats just for me
It only beats for me

I won’t give up, I’ll wait for me
‘Til I come back, it’s all I can do
I’ll be right here, I’m going nowhere without me….!

 
Okay, that one may sound a bit sad. On the other hand, don’t you wish you would tell yourself “I wish myself love” or “I’ll keep the fire alight for me”? Amazing, wishing yourself love! That’s what I’m trying to wish myself and give myself: love. And by singing love songs to myself, literally, it sticks. There you have the whole point of singing them to yourself: it is so funny, that it can’t do much else but stick. And slowly it will start to make sense. These days I can tell myself in the mirror that I love myself.And that’s the best feeling!

 
Save the best for last, Charles Aznavour’s Me, eehm, She:

I may be the reason I survive
The why and wherefore I’m alive
The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years
Me I’ll take my laughter and my tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where I go I’ve got to be
The meaning of my life is me

I mean, come on! This is the core of it all. You are the reason you are alive. The one person to take care of is you, in the first place. Why neglect yourself and expect others to do all the caring and loving for you? Why do you think that, if you loathe yourself, you are able to love others? Why expect others to love and adore you and take care of you if all signals you send out are signals of self-hate?

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought…or at least something to smile about ;-)

With love,
Tess

Self-love

Love and music. Essentials.