Order and inspiration from the ritual Chaining Fenris: A Ritual to Bind the Inner Beast, the sixth ingredient: Nerves of a bear.
The sixth thing on the list is the nerves – or sensitivity – of a bear. […] we bring here a well-used teddy bear to pass around. Hug him, hold him, and remember that love and nurturing is necessary for all beings – even monsters. […] Remember that part of your job, as the alpha in your body, is to protect them, feed them, and care for them. They are no longer your enemy. They are your dependent. You are the leader of the pack.
I covered that othering the wolf part of myself and using the ‘alpha in your body’ line of thought doesn’t work as well for me when I got to footfall of a cat. Other than that, I’d still say that being nurturing and loving to myself is still something I struggle with.
I fought against Someone suggesting a self care day as a devotional activity for Them. Even though I based my play on a life event of mine and purposefully twisted details away from my life, I found the most unrealistic bit to be when a character complimented the one representing me in this life event. I shrugged away the Dove phrase that I got from a friend while we were all getting ready for Semester Review: Accept a compliment.
And now this is the last ingredient. Why is it so hard to just be nice to myself? I think to some extent I’m fighting against an internalized belief that I have to earn / deserve treating myself. Existing isn’t enough, so I have to do X, meet Y goal, avoid Z first. Because I have to do something to earn this, I can somehow rig the system so I never do enough (probably a combination of brainweasels and everything-I’ve-ever-internalized more than me consciously deciding this).
While I should probably aim for getting rid of a system to earn treating myself, I think a more realistic first step would be to readjust the bar I’ve set for myself. I’ve been holding on to standards and expectations of what I could do before my depression started, and these expectations look even more hard to reach when I’m in a very low place and just trying to survive.