“Many of us have been so deprived of nurturing that we think it’s silly or self-indulgent. Nurturing is neither silly nor self-indulgent; it’s how we show love for ourselves. That’s what we’re striving for – a loving relationship with ourselves that works, so we can have loving relationships with others that work.
When we hurt, we ask ourselves what we need to help us feel better. When we feel alone, we reach out to someone safe. Without feeling that we are a burden, we allow that person to be there for us. We rest when we’re tired; eat when we’re hungry; have fun or relax when our spirits need a lift. Nurturing means giving ourselves gifts – a trip to the beauty salon or barbershop, a massage, a book, a new jacket, or a new suit or dress. It means a long, hot bath to forget about our problems and the world for a few moments when that would feel good.
We learn to be gentle with ourselves and to open up to the nurturing that others have to offer us. As part of nurturing ourselves, we allow ourselves to give and receive positive touch – touch that feels appropriate to us, touch that is safe. We reject touch that doesn’t feel good or safe and is not positive. We learn to give ourselves what we need in a gentle, loving, compassionate way. We do this with the understanding it will not make us lazy, spoiled, self centered, or narcissistic. Nurtured people are effective in their work and in their relationships.
We will learn to feel loved by ourselves so much that we can truly love others and let them love us. Today, I will nurture myself. I will also be open to the nurturing that I can give to others and receive from them.”
from “The Language of Letting Go”