In my humble opinion, Self Love starts with gratitude and compassion and an understanding of who we truly are.
Self love is lived by doing practices' or any set of habits that lead me to being and becoming my best self. It's about nurturing the best in me rather than the common talk out there about accepting my worst parts.
But that is living a life of self care. What about the mindset that nurtures self care? We all know about things we should do that are good for us, but often don’t do them. Those who do the right things have the right mindset. In my opinion, the path to self love is gratitude.
My most profound lesson in gratitude was learned in a Nordstroms dressing room during a bra fitting consultation.
It was Friday morning when I had a customer call me that wanted to make an appointment for a bra fitting session. I remember it was Friday because I had plans to go out with friends that night. So I asked her if she could make it late in the afternoon after her kids were back from school. She concluded by giving me the heads up that she had recently had a mastectomy, and that she wanted padded bralettes. After we hung up I went to look for a few bralettes to put on the side. I’m embarrassed to admit that while I knew the term “mastectomy”, I didn’t fully understand the full extent of the consequences. I was about to learn.
When she came in for her appointment she was polite and quiet and told she was there for a bra fitting appointment. She had short, greyish hair and a beautiful nervous smile. We went in together to a fitting room and showed her all the bralettes I had pulled for her. She said she didn’t really need bras as she had her breast removed but she said she still needed something to wear that felt like she was wearing a bra.
This was my first time fitting a beautiful human being who had a mastectomy and honestly, seeing her for the first time almost brought tears to my eyes. She was so gentle to herself and appreciated her body. As she tried on the bralettes she would smile and say how beautiful she looked, she would turn side to side to see different angles of herself in the mirrors. I was humbled by her attitude and inspired by how she appreciated and loved every part of her body.
After we were done she thanked me again and said she was so happy she was able to find bralettes. All I can say is I didn’t end up going out that night instead I went and cried of that profound experience. Most of my bra fitting sessions I had with women were often of how embarrassed they were of their skin, lil rolls, or that wished they had bigger boobs, or small boobs, thinner and so on. The thing is I also had body image issues. This experience changed me in how appreciative I was of my own beautiful body. It made me reflect on how I viewed and talked about myself. From this point forward I can say that everyday I wake and I am grateful to have a healthy body that allows me to move and be here and share my experience with each of you. I have replaced old habits with new habits and I work hard everyday to take care of mental and physical health.