This podcast came out a few weeks ago. And honestly, I’m just nervous about sharing it. Talking about self-love is new and uncomfortable for me. And if that wasn’t enough, we talk about my childhood, being fucked up by Catholic upbringing, use of MDMA and psychedelics, and lots more. But after it was released, someone came up to me and said “Your podcast changed my life” and proceeded to tell me why. So here we go.
If the podcast or this blog post helps 1 person just a little bit make their life better, it’s fucking worth it to me. Thank you to Seth Pearson for the inspiration and the platform to tell part of my story! CW: Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation When I was 19, I was hospitalized for self-mutilation and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I don’t agree with the diagnosis-I think I was just a lost kid having a really fucking hard time. Later that year, I started getting tattoos to cover up the cutting scars and cigarette burns. I didn’t really resolve the issues at that time. I ran away my hometown of St. Louis and moved to Boston and developed a drug addiction that lasted about 3 years. The first of my autoimmune symptoms, anxiety disorder, food intolerances…. all started around this time, so I spent most of my 20’s hating myself for making these mistakes, fully believing and telling myself “it’s your fault you have these issues, you will have them the rest of your life, and you’d be better off dead so you stop burdening people with your shit”. I’m 31 now and have a daily morning practice of writing myself a love note in my morning routine. It still seems super corny to me, but it’s been life-changing so I gotta get over it. From this morning:
“Dear David, I love you so much and I’m so proud of the work you are doing, and the practice of authenticity, vulnerability, and making it a point to make a positive connection with everyone you come in contact with. You woke up a bit sick, you overcame your fear and perfectionist tendencies with the videoshoot, you had multiple difficult conversations and couldn’t have handled better. You showed your true self teaching class-your passion, you lightheartedness, how much you care.. you expressed your core values. Keep finding time to rest and take care of yourself. No need to do the macho-productivity/busy-ness as self-worth bullshit. I love you so much. You are surrounded by people who love you and believe in you. Leave gas in the tank for unexpected things to come up-avoid the burn-out pattern. Keep finding that home-that state of relaxation-even when you get excited or anxious. Smile and remember it’s lighter than you think. I love you. Pay that forward.”
So, uh… are we teaching Emotional Intelligence/Emotional Mastery in schools yet? There is going to come a time in the near future where we this is standard training: to give tools and terminology for our inner processes, realizing that’s such fundamental educational piece we have be missing. It wasn’t until lately that I realized I believed this logical fallacy from my childhood. As a kid, I was told that: Narcissism means you love yourself Narcissism is a bad thing. Therefore, loving yourself is a bad thing.
If you would have asked me 4 months ago “how do you feel about self-love?” I would have shrugged it off, saying something like “yeah, yeah, yeah, I love myself just fine. I’m all good, thanks.” Now it’s something I practice in the same way I practice movement. It’s becoming something I want to set an example for and inspire in others.
Winters in Seattle are, by far, the worst time for my autoimmune neurological symptoms. I started taking self-love and limbic system trauma loop pattern disruption very seriously in December. And my symptoms (and food intolerances!!!) are all improving.
I’ll detail more about my process in future posts and videos. Self-love and limbic loops, especially in the context of a movement practice, are topics remarkably absent from mainstream (and most “alternative medicine”) conversation about autoimmunity, anxiety, and other chronic health conditions. Time for change. Stay tuned. Hope you enjoy :) Much love, David