“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act”
– Guerilla artist Caroline Caldwell
The idea of self-love isn’t a new concept. Yet somehow, it has become revolutionary in our modern era of fast-paced, rat-race supremacy culture where overworking oneself to the point of exhaustion or breakdown is praised – even expected. Most of us have been taught from a young age to put other’s needs before our own, and acts of heroic martyrdom pepper childhood books and movies. We wax poetic about “the grind” and “the hustle.” But how true to yourself do you feel while stressed and exhausted? What joys come from comparing oneself to others? Do we show up as our most authentic and open-hearted while berating ourselves for our perceived shortcomings? Loving yourself as you are and not conditionally, not only when you act or look or perform the way you think you should, is both radical and rewarding. When we love ourselves, we are at peace with the present moment. We’re not beating ourselves up for some past transgression or feeling anxious about meeting future expectations. We’re free to experience contentment and to make authentic connections with others and with our world.
Self-love looks different for everyone because everyone is different; there isn’t a one-size-fits-all silver bullet. However, taking the time to fulfill your basic needs like sleeping, eating, and breathing is a good place to start. It can be helpful to create small rituals to honor your physical, mental, and/or emotional/spiritual needs. Picking one ritual to stick to and build from is of course easier than trying to make big changes all at once. For many of us though, trying to find a sense of calm and center to begin to make even small changes can be challenging.
Calling on herbal remedies during times of ongoing or intense stress can make all the difference. There are many wonderful herbal allies that can help with stress, and CBD (Cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive extract from the Cannabis plant – is one widely available and particularly soothing phyto-friend. CBD and Cannabis medicine in general has an expansive range of applications and has been used effectively for issues which range from anxiety to eczema, from seizures to cancer. One of the main benefits of CBD is, arguably, its versatility. There seems to be an application for nearly everybody and nearly every symptom, whether it’s oil taken sublingually, concentrates inhaled, capsules swallowed, edibles digested, salves and patches put directly on the skin.
CBD has exploded in popularity recently and for good reason: not only has it aided so many in managing their disharmonies, diseases, and symptoms, it has provided a held space, a calm center, from which to heal ourselves, from which to love ourselves. CBD and Cannabis medicine works directly with our endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) to down-regulate inflammation, moderate immune response, and maintain overall homeostasis in the body. Homeostasis is the state of balance and equilibrium our bodies are always striving for, always fine tuning to achieve. Our lifestyles of excessive stress, poor nutrition, and exposure to environmental toxins makes this process quite difficult. Much of our trauma, overwhelm, and feelings of frustration or inadequacy manifests somatically, in the body, and CBD helps to unwind some of that tension so we can more effectively find our own homeostasis. It’s not a silver bullet, but it is a worthy companion on our journeys to healing and self love. If you find yourself lost on the path, don’t get upset! Just as our bodies constantly adjust to find homeostasis, we can always rediscover and uncover ways in which to love ourselves.