6 Things to Remember on your Self-Love Journey
- It Takes Time. When I first started on my self love and acceptance journey, I thought that I would spend more time focusing on myself, be mindful of what I said to myself, and that I would start to really love myself. Well, that was a great start, but to be honest, I didn’t feel any better. I did the facials, the bubble baths, the positive affirmations, the whole horse and pony ride. I was going through the motions, but never felt present. I was ashamed by this, so I kept going and adding “self-care” items to the list. What I failed to realize is that I was going through the motions and not taking the time to feel what my mind and body needed. I damaged them both for a long time, and in turn, it was going to take some time for me to get to know my mind and body in a positive way. I couldn’t just do what I thought was self-care. I was cutting corners and finding a new “healthy” way to continue my anxious habits. Little by little, I listened to my body, and began to give it what it needed. I also began to monitor the thoughts in my head that were negative and/or not helping me grow. This has been quite a journey and I am learning and growing every day. The key is to take your time and be patient. It is all worth it, I promise. And don’t forget, self-care is work!
- Self-Care is Actual Work. I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but it is true. You are probably wondering how facials and wine bubble baths are work. Self-care is much more than those examples. Yes, it feels amazing when we pamper ourselves, and they don’t require work. Sometimes the cork gets stuck, but besides that they are relaxing. Now don’t get me wrong, this is healthy for you, but self-care has many facets. Getting to the point of loving yourself after years and even decades takes some work. If it were easy, then everyone would do it! Examining yourself, reflecting on it, accepting all your flaws, setting goals, and reintroducing yourself takes work. I know you are probably thinking who brought the bad news bear to this blog, but the work will produce life-changing results. It’s the good kind of work. You won’t be underpaid or underappreciated, but rather feel at peace and free. And don’t we want that? Yes, we do. So, remember the harder and more consistent you work the better the results will be, and you also need to really want to start this journey for the right reasons.
- Self-Love is for YOU. Okay, so it seems obvious that self-love is for you since the phrase has self in it. But I remember always hearing that you needed to know yourself first before you could have a relationship, or you will not be able to get the life you want if you don’t love yourself. Although I agree with the sentiment, I do think that we can want self-love for the wrong reasons. I remember thinking that I had to “find myself” before I got into my last relationship. My idea of finding myself was staying away from romantic relationships and sulking in my house. I waited a significant amount of time, so I wasn’t just rushing into a relationship. But did I find myself or did I just waste time, so it seemed like I used that time efficiently to grow? It was the latter, and I think a lot of us think that way. We allow people and society to define the rules even for something as personal as self-love. So, when you decide that you want to seriously go on your self-love journey, make sure it is for you! Some of the people you may want to do it for will not be there for very long.
- Get Ready for the Backlash. When I decided that I was ready to dig deep and get to loving myself, I received backlash. I thought that people would be happy for me. I figured they would be excited for my journey of self-exploration. I mean these people would always offer their opinion and “helpful” ideas. Why wouldn’t they want me to grow, set boundaries, have time for me, and feel better? The answer is some people like you for what you can do for them; the fact that they feel better around you when you are vulnerable, and when they can always count on you to be there. That’s the sad truth. Now the good part of this revelation, is that you do not need these types of people on your journey. I would suggest discussing your feelings with them first. If they respect you, then that is great. But if they continue to fight you on it, question it, or get defensive, these are red flags that they will not be a positive support during this journey, and support is vital to the process. It will hurt as some of these people will be the closest to you, but when they exit your life, it makes room for the right people to enter. This is the time to work on the gift of goodbye (This concept needs a full blog which I will do soon!). Remember it will hurt, but nothing worth it comes easy. Be strong and surround yourself with like-minded individuals for support. This journey has a lot of ups and downs, and you will need a few cheerleaders in your corner!
- It is Inevitable That You Will Not Like Yourself. Self-love can be difficult as you know by now. It takes hard work and has lots of ups and downs. One of those downs is that there will be days where you don’t like yourself. You look in the mirror and you are disgusted. You feel lost and unworthy. You let your negative thoughts enter and stay. You don’t feel like doing much or being around others because you don’t believe you have anything to offer. I have been there, and I have a feeling the majority of us has been there. I just want to tell you that it is normal. It is okay. It is part of your journey and purging out the negativity is essential to this process. What is not okay is to stay in that place. It is a time to look within yourself and see why this is happening. This being if it lasts more than a day or two. I know how frustrating this is, but it essential to really peeling back the layers and finding more and more of you. Remember just like anything in life, you love it but don’t always like it. The same goes for how you feel about yourself. You don’t always have to like yourself to always love yourself. Loving yourself despite the bad days, is the best and most fulfilling feeling. It may feel foreign at first but get ready for your life to change.
- Prepare for Your Life to Change. Here is the best part. I know the rest might have sounded not too appealing. I just wanted to make sure to mention the not so pretty parts of the journey. Some people tend to sensationalize self-love and care. I thought I would add some truth serum to it. But it is also very beautiful and enlightening. It is freeing to rid yourself of all the negativity that you have been carrying around with you. You deserve the very best. You deserve to live Your best life. It my feel different at first. It’s funny that we dream to feel free, at peace, and happy, but a part of us doesn’t believe that it could happen; that we could get better or that we even deserve it. But guess what you do! Realize it from within and just start somewhere and start small. You can do this!