Hello, how are you doing today? Lately I’ve been thinking about welcoming myself as spiritual practice.
Do you feel welcome, in the world? I spent most of my life feeling unwanted, misunderstood, too weird, and too much. Part trauma, part autism, part crazy, part fatness too. It’s taken more than 40 years of hard work to figure out how to be in the world, speak my truth, and be a person among other people.
A place where I practice welcoming myself lately is the Friends church that Ming and I have been attending on Sunday mornings. There’s a greeter in the lobby who says, “Good morning. Welcome–you can sit anywhere.” That’s pretty nice.
But it’s scary, to walk into a room of strangers. If I’m not being loved in ways that work well for me, I can extend love to myself. That’s part of my survival.
When I walk into the Friends meeting, I sit down, settle into my body, check my posture, get comfortable, and welcome myself in my head. I say kind sentences to myself like these.
- I’m so glad you’re here.
- Thank you for showing up.
- Thank you for being here.
- Your voice matters.
- Your body is valid.
- You matter in this space.
- The world needs you.
- Thank you for being yourself.
- You are valid and ok.
It can be a few minutes. I comfort myself in my head like that, as long as I need. I can shift to other topics in my head and come back to welcoming myself as spiritual practice.
That’s a nice thing about a Friends meeting. The silence together feels safe, and it’s easy to talk to myself in my head. I can do whatever I need to in my head. Yes, I have some unusual, exciting thoughts during our time together. I’m free, in the support of other quiet thinkers / feelers / worshippers / be-ers.
Welcoming myself as spiritual practice is healing. This is love. Self-love is a valid type of love.
If not me, then who? If I’m not getting what I need, I enjoy supplying it for myself. I’m a valid person to love anyone, including me. And no one knows what I need better than me.
Ming is great at caring for me. But he doesn’t know what goes on in my head. He knows only a small part of that.
how to love
There are so many ways to love. Thank you for the ways you show up for other people and yourself.
I was taught my whole life to give and support others. I really believed I existed to endlessly supply others with what they need, like a cow giving milk. So it’s healing, to give to myself also. Balance is important.
What do you say to yourself, in your own head? I have a mostly constant stream of chatter. So I’m glad some of it is kind words to myself.