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  • Writer's pictureNadine Almer

The Art Of Love: What would a person who loves themself do? (Part IV)

What would a person who loves themself do?


Well, well, well. We are in week 4 of our shared experience. Welcome back, my beloved souls and fellow, healing onions! What a joy to have you in this nurturing space of vulnerability and what a wonderful thing to consciously tend to our innermost expression of existence!


For all of you that have no idea what I am talking about: If you are curious, here is the link to our ‘The Art Of Love’ series from The Onion Cycles Podcast that these blogposts correspond with. Please feel free to dive straight into this nurturing experience and share in the common effort to heal and reinvent ourselves to become the full, most wholesome beings we can (or cannot yet) imagine.


This week we discussed the practice of love that Erich Fromm portrays in his essay "The Art Of Loving' - as always, I repeat myself gladly, be sure to check this one out for yourself if you feel called to it. The information is dense and remarkable the experience of staying curious and do your own research contributes enormously to your very personal healing journey. According to him, as with any art form that we want to master, after the comes the practice. What I found most surprising is the fact that since the 1950's the words may have changed but the structure of practice has remained the very same to this day. We need some of our perviously explored 4 C's (as outlined in our very first episode!), he calls them differently: Discipline, concentration, patience and objectivity, with a cup of faith, a big cup... oh, well, make it a ton!). We also went through the difference between selfishness and self-love.

It was a lot to take in, yet I hope very valuable and of service in your journey going forward, both for yourself as well as for understanding our fellow human being better.


To everyone here that knows what happened so far: Welcome back!

To all other beautiful souls: Welcome!

How has life treated you?

How has this exercise enriched your existence?

How were the last three weeks for you?


Personally, I have to admit that in this previous fourth week of accompanying our shared exercise, posing the question of ‘What would a person who loves themself do?” whenever I feel confronted with a decision I cannot straight away answer, I did not apply as much care and attention as I would have liked to think I would do, starting this journey. In fact, when the week drew to a close and I realised that I did have no post-it stuck to my agenda book that served me in the weeks before as a reminder to take notes on my process, I felt rather bad about it. No sooner than I had realised that I had paid little attention to our exercise, a feeling of inadequacy engulfed myself. Who was I to suggest taking on a journey, promising to share in on the experience, only to then abandon it after just three weeks in?


I contemplated this over the past two days because writer’s block set in. Combined with the pressure of not knowing what to write (because there simply was no way I could be honest about this lack of consistency now, could I?0, and the knowing that I need to publish something regardless, there came a point when I revisited the idea of 'Do it with love or don’t do it at all'. Love in this case means that I would be in need of showing it to myself, rather than the world. Reflecting therefore on why I did not have any notes on the process was the only possibility to exert self-love. The opposite would have been to continue on the path of feeling disappointment in myself, putting more pressure on writing something useful and disregarding the call to authenticity.

This call being: A human being on their own unique healing journey.

In other words- practice what you preach.


So let me be very genuine here and recount my week and my thoughts on why I have not asked myself the prominent question of our shared exercise.


In the name of truth, the week was quite a good one. At the moment I am restoring a very old stone wall in the old way of organic lime mixed with sand. I believe I published how I came to acquire this knowledge both in the form of a blogpost and a YouTube video on my channel (although, to be frank, I believe this video probably shows my learning curve in videography and editing more than it actually shows my skills as a mason!).

This is the second project of this kind that I have the honour to attend to, and I love this work very much. It takes up a lot of my energy though and I would say that I spent an average of 60 hours on both walls (the second one being now in the process of finishing up). The time frame for this one was two weeks and although it doesn’t sound like a lot, 30 hours per week, I give myself to the flow of things. Especially here in a household where I sleep and eat and am in community, my focus is not just finishing as fast as possible. The main reason for that is my experience doing the last wall- then I had 8 days to finish all of it and I skipped meals and quality time with people. I vowed never to do it like that again. And I want to relish and savour the experience both of restoring the wall and putting my TLC (tender love and care) as well as my energy to it, in it. Forming deep connections and spending quality time with the people I meet.

With all of that said, I also keep up my projects that are part of my freelance business and the projects that I see as a form of self-expression, an outlet for my craving to create (mainly filming for my Vlog and producing my podcast episodes, as well as writing these blogposts). In total, I spent about 8 hours on the latter and 10 hours on the former. And while one may still think that this is quite doable and not in any way or form too much to participate in the overall self-love study we all undertake at the moment, I make it a point to not compromise my dog Marjorie’s happiness by giving her a minimum of 2 hours walking and quality time with each other.


What I am trying to promote here is sympathy and an understanding that my brain is quite suffused in the days melting away between masonry, freelancing, project advancement, communal engagement and animal love.

Due to a morning and bedtime routine that is sacred and never compromised as well, another 1 or 2 hours a day are spent with self-care in the form of journaling, meditation, affirmations and reading. The result though is not a tight schedule, more like a schedule where I am never bored. And where I sometimes simply forget to ask myself a self-love question in the moment. Though, trough journaling, I was able to reflect on one specific situation, and one only when the question ‘What would a person who loves themself do?’ came to mind after it had happened.


Because there is another very exciting thing going on in my life right now, I have mentioned it in a previous blogpost, and that is the fulfilment of a dream I worked towards for the last two years. I’ll let all of you know what it is on my YouTube channel soon enough. For now, I’ll call it the dream. (and a sidenote from the editor, which is, surprise, also me: It will remain a dream for the foreseeable future to come, only I did not knew that back then).

This dream had become more real and then again not, during the past months when I was trying to earn income like mad to make it happen. The last metres were the hardest and when I doubted myself the most. Then last week I had done all of my part and knew that this dream will actually become a reality!

I was not stoked, something felt off, I did not know what it was.

All seemed to be in order, almost too good to be true, too good to be trusted.

And by the end of this week I knew why- the other party involved shared information and the dream broke apart with one incoming message.

Gone. Puff.

(To lighten the mood, I imagine this ‘puff’ to be the same one that can be experienced during the scene in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince when Harry, Hagrid and Professor Slughorn share stories by the fire and Harry took the Felix Felicis potion for luck to extract the information from Slughorn regarding the Horcruxes… I’ll link it here, if you are curious!)

Puff.

First there was a deep sense of knowing that this was why it all felt so unreal even when reality had taken over and it should have felt quite graspable, quite manifested, quite there for the taking. Then there was shock, then there were tears and a sort of desperation of not knowing how to recover form this, what to do. Then I thought I’d love to have a partner with whom I could share this burden of constant challenges and hardships with, to ease my own independence and responsibility, just a little. And finally I fell into the mode of thinking it through: What is the worst case scenario, how to go about it, which steps to take. It did not seem that bad anymore and I was able to finally realise that I have a network, I have friends who care about me and my journey, I have support and I do not have to do it on my own.

So I messaged the five closest and most solid soul connections I have on this island and was then flooded with encouraging words and helpful suggestions.

From there I want to jump right to the next morning (as all of this happened late afternoon).

The next morning I had a multitude of options and one of them shining through brightly and very clearly was already certain to stitch the whole initial dream of mine, with even better conditions than the old one would have been made up of. (another note from the edit: still, it went array and did not work out. I am fine though, thank you for asking! All is well!)


Long story short: Upon reflecting on it, I saw instantly that I acted intuitively like a person who does love themself, to a degree. Yes, I could have skipped the grievances and trusted right away, both in my own abilities and in the people around me being there for me. However, I also acknowledge that I am on my way, on a healing path, still learning the art of loving (myself).


May I thus conclude the tale of this last week by emphasising that I did not need to ask myself this question a lot because there were no real difficult or challenging situations to put it to the test. And yet, in the one situation that did occur, I almost immediately acted very much like a loving and compassionate being towards myself. I allowed myself to cry and feel lost and exhausted and I allowed myself to feel helpless and stranded and fragile and doubting. All of the stages of grief from sadness to numbness to anger to fear to using the energy set free from this experience for productive creation, finding solutions, becoming an active part and not staying in a passive state of mind.

Never in a million years would I have ever thought to be able to say this.

Certainly the Nadine from around 3, maybe even 2 years ago, would have been awestruck at our progress.

What a life!

What a joyful conclusion!

What a realisation!


And how about you?

You know sharing is caring- you know that other soul’s out there may have need to read that they are not alone, that they experience the same as other’s do?

How did you do?

How was your week?

And how did you experience the process of this past month?

Was this tool of help?


‘What would a person who loves themself do?’ will certainly stay with me throughout now. I hope it was of service to you too and I send you, my heart wide open, all the love and light of my being.


The light in me salutes the light in you

My beloved fellow healing onions and beautiful souls

Nadine

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