“You carry so much love in your heart. Give some to yourself.”~R.Z.
The journey to self-love is a never ending path and yet, I find it one of the most difficult to walk. Over the past year, I have focused on trying to be more kind towards myself and learning to accept me as I am. I am learning to better myself because I want to, not because others expect me to.
Growing up, I was always bullied for being the new kid, being overweight, being quiet, and almost everything else that didn’t fit the norm. Over time it took a toll and I began to hate every aspect of who I was. And as I got older, that hatred only grew stronger. I was taking very dangerous steps to change who I was and coping with them in a variety of unhealthy ways.
It took many years but I finally sought out help. One of the first things that she asked me was, “How do you feel about yourself? Can you name one thing that you like?” I realized, then, how deep I was in my own self-loathing. I conditioned myself into thinking that no part of me was good enough and that there was nothing worth liking.
I can find so many beautiful parts of those around me but can’t even find one single aspect of myself that I like. Why did I let it happen? Why did I let it get so bad? Well, there’s many reasons if we’re being honest, however, that’s a story for another day.
At the end of our session, my therapist told me that we were going to work together to reprogram that negative part of my mind. I’m not going to lie.. it’s a difficult process but I’m working on it. She gave me a few different ways to practice on reprograming that part of my mind:
~Affirmations – Each day right before you go to bed, look in the mirror, and say at least one positive thing about yourself.
~Destruction Box – Write down any negatives thoughts that you can’t make go away, fold them up, and shut them in a box. Pick a certain day to take out the contents of the box and destroy them. The act of destroying the negative thoughts sometimes helps us move past them easier.
~Celebrate Accomplishments – No matter if they’re big or small, celebrate your achievements. Be proud of yourself because you kicked ass and knocked out one of your goals! That’s something to be proud of!
~Let Go Of Toxicity – This one can be kind of obvious sometimes but there are times when we don’t see that something is toxic. If a certain person or situation is making you feel worse, then let that shit go. Don’t allow anyone or anything to hold you back from feeling good. Sometimes it’s hard but I promise it’s better in the end.
~Self-Care – Take a night and just pamper yourself. Whether it’s laying in your PJs with a tub of ice cream and watching movies or taking a bubble bath with some wine and a book, treat yourself. Allow yourself to get lost in something that makes you happy. Unwind and let yourself rest.
~Yoga/Meditation – I find yoga to be such an amazing way to really focus on myself and my body. It allows you to clear your head and get rid of all the negative energy that is inside of you. Listen to what you’re body is saying and you might learn a thing or two.
There are so many more ways to practice self-love and there is no right or wrong way. That’s the beauty of it.
Self-Love is hard, especially when you have gone through things that make you feel like you aren’t worthy of it. It’s a never-ending practice. I’m only beginning to really allow myself to feel it but I can promise you that it’s an amazing feeling. When I do have my days of strong love for myself, I feel unstoppable and free. It’s truly beautiful.
Find a way that works for you and run with it. Love yourself. Know that you are worth it, even when you don’t feel like it. Make yourself a priority. Be unapologetically you because you are beautiful.