What if the only reason for this journey of life was to learn to love, cherish and adore yourself no matter what was happening in your life?   What if a simple phrase could remind you throughout the day to do so?   How often do you choose healthy foods, exercise and get deep, long sleep? Hopefully regularly. Each of these choices is sound self-care, the foundation through grief and mourning. I know from first-hand experience.   I had the luxury of creating a private practice as a speech-language pathologist. My sons were young so they were my first priority. Then in the few afternoons or time on Saturday morning when they were watching cartoons, I would serve my clients. I was concerned that I wasn’t ‘doing enough’ and ‘being enough’ as my practice grew.   One morning during my Spiritual Practice after I had gotten done speaking to God through prayer, I began to listen for guidance. I heard ‘Teach them this is ‘My I Love you.’” So as I baked cookies I served them with the phrase “This is my I Love You.” Ironing their t-shirts I would silently say “This is my ‘I Love you.’” as I was folding them. Driving the boys in the car to a soccer game I would listen to what they were saying and pretty soon I began to hear them say ‘This is my I love you’ to me or to each other.   After my son, Reed, passed on I had very little energy in my early Raw Grief state. So stopping in the midst of my deep sadness to nap I would remind myself “This is my I love you.” As the confusion cleared from my brain and I moved into the Fragile Grief state, taking myself out for a walk when all I wanted to do was curl inward and cry I remembered ‘This is my I love you.’ I learned ten months into grief that self-care is the foundation for moving through and finally beyond grief.   Each time I said ‘This is my I love you” no matter how sad I felt, a part of me felt loved, cherished and adored.

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