What do you do when you’re doubting yourself? When those thoughts begin to take space in your brain, telling you all the reasons you’ll fail. Or ways things might go wrong. We are all too familiar with this feeling. And when it creeps in, you can’t simply kick it out. You can’t just flick it off like a crumb on a counter.
The thing about doubt is that it wants to grow. Like a stubborn weed. While our minds mean well, our brains will go out of their way to hold us back from any and all potential danger. Even if that so-called danger is a crucial step in expanding your growth. Even if that so-called danger isn’t even danger at all.
Doubt exists to contemplate. It exists to provide a way for us to make sense of uncertainty. And in some cases, this doubt can be immensely powerful. Maybe you doubt your ability to “wing” a presentation, and instead you decide to put in time to practice it. That’s good. That is a beneficial doubt.
But there is a difference between asking questions, being curious, and straight sabotaging yourself with never ending doubt. The kind of doubt that locks you into your comfort zone. The kind of doubt that makes you opt out of the presentation or in any case, the “thing”, all together.
This doubt will win if you don’t push back. And the longer you let this doubt win, the less likely will you ever allow yourself to discover. Because on the other side of doubt are new experiences, successes, and a version of you that’s waiting to be realized.
So what do you do when you’re doubting yourself? While it may feel too simple, you have two choices: You either let that doubt win, or you shut it down and keep going anyway.
You won’t rid yourself of the doubt forever. And you don’t need to learn to live a life extinct of worry. If you are existing on this earth, there will always be new uncertainties that come across our way. But it’s how you decide to face them anyway and not give them this unleashed power.
Think about your future self.
See how far you can go if you stop letting the doubt grow untamed. See yourself flourish if you begin to lean into all the ways something can go right. See just what you’ll make of this life if you stop doubting yourself every single time you try something new or unfamiliar.
See what happens when you let yourself win, instead of doubt.
Self-love isn’t selfish and building your self-esteem is vital for your personal growth. It also improves both your personal and professional life. Most of us find it more comfortable to put ourselves down or self-sabotage ourselves by glorifying our mistakes and insecurities or using self-deprecating humor to minimize the embarrassment, but these behaviors aren’t helping us overcome our insecurities, they only make them worse.
It’s normal to have days when you don’t feel your best or feel a little bit behind but you can’t let that feeling dominate your life. At some point, you have to change whatever is feeding your insecurities and holding you back. But the good news is, you totally can, because they’re easy steps that just require some discipline and commitment.
Changing your mindset in the situations that trigger you is fundamental to fighting your insecurities. We tend to make everything about ourselves, especially other people’s behaviors—the more we care about or love someone, the more we take the way they treat us personally. This is more common in romantic relationships where we are prone to being more sensitive and anxious when we see a behavior change. Feeling insecure about yourself can cause you to overreact or struggle with regulating your emotions when these situations arise.
Owning your mistakes is one thing, but constantly measuring your self-worth and value based on how someone else treats you or sees you will never make you feel good about yourself. By affirming your own value and giving yourself more credit in your relationships, you will be able to look at things from a more logical point of view instead of taking it personally and reacting irrationally.
Another important question you need to ask yourself is: Who are you spending most of your time with? The people you spend time with the most have the greatest impact on you emotionally and mentally. Having a kind, supportive, and loving inner circle can improve your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself.
Are you surrounded by people who believe in you and your dreams or are you surrounded by people who belittle you and criticize you? Are you surrounded by people who are happy for your success and want to see you shine or are you surrounded by self-absorbed people who want to always feel like they’re doing better than you? Remembering who you were with when you felt insecure the most can help you avoid these people and situations in the future.
Last but not least, learn how to be kind to yourself and patient with yourself in the process. Beating your insecurities and improving your self-esteem doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you’ve been blaming yourself for your shortcomings all your life. Taking small but necessary steps to heal your emotional wounds, changing the way you think about yourself, and filtering your environment will put you on the right track towards being more confident and happier. Prioritize your self-worth and your own needs in every aspect of your life and you will eventually start to see major improvements that keep you moving forward.
If you don’t truly value yourself and practice that daily, no one will truly value you. It’s your choice whether you want to be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. You have the power, so use it to your advantage.
Self-care is a big deal. You can’t take care of others unless you’ve taken care of yourself. It isn’t possible to pour from an empty cup. Self-care methods and techniques are different for every single person, and what works for some might not work for others. When it comes to self-care, there are certain things we can do that benefit our minds in the most beautiful ways. There are other wonderful things we can do that benefit our physical bodies just as much. Most importantly, certain self-care techniques benefit our souls on the deepest levels.
Overcoming traumas, moments of anxiety, or days that are filled with stress aren’t typically easy for anybody. Sometimes it feels like something horrible is eating away at you emotionally, and there isn’t anything that could realistically fix it. The truth of the matter is that although it isn’t possible to magically cure anxiety or heal trauma in one day, there are still plenty of small things we can do on a daily basis to help ourselves feel better about surviving through life. Life is filled with endless highs and lows, but despite the wave of existence we are all constantly riding as human beings, we do deserve to be happy!
Continue reading to uncover 50 self-care tips that benefit the mind, body, and soul.
1. Write a letter to yourself from your dream guy.
2. Go the entire day eating healthy foods (no fast food or junk food).
3. Play with puppies at a dog shelter.
4. Write down the 10 best compliments you’ve ever received from others.
5. Unfollow and unfriend anyone on social media that irritates your inner peace.
6. Read thoughtful affirmations to boost your self-esteem on an app like Selfish Babe.
7. Write a paragraph that starts with these words: What love means to me is…
8. Text a random compliment to a friend.
9. If you’re religious, pray to God on your knees.
10. For those with gym access, go to the gym for at least 30 minutes.
11. For those without gym access, use a workout video for at least 30 minutes.
12. Sleep for eight hours straight.
13. Do a Google search for inspirational quotes using keywords such as “motivation”, “success”, and “happiness”.
14. Clean and organize your entire room.
15. If you’re religious, read daily Bible verses from an app like Jesus Calling.
16. Increase your water consumption with the help of an app like Aloe Bud.
17. Say “no thanks” to any social invitation that stresses you out or doesn’t interest you.
18. Get at least 15 minutes of sunshine.
19. Socialize on a phone call with an old friend.
20. Watch or read at least one thing that makes you laugh (out loud).
21. Purchase healing crystals that heal trauma, anxiety, and other mental ailments.
22. Try deep and mindful breathing—10 inhales, 10 exhales.
23. Journal your current feelings out and be brutally honest.
24. Take a bubble bath.
25. Take a two-hour break from technology.
26. Declutter your office or workspace.
27. Get your nails and toes professionally done.
28. Make a list of 10 major blessings you’ve been blessed with from your birth until now.
29. Get a professional massage.
30. Listen to a playlist of your favorite songs.
31. Invite a friend out for a coffee date, ice cream date, or cocktail date.
32. Blend a fruit, protein, or matcha smoothie for yourself.
33. Write a reflection on the last most enjoyable night you experienced.
34. Apply lotion all over your body.
35. Gather old clothing for donation in order to clear space in your closet.
36. Attend an appointment with a professional therapist and open up emotionally.
37. Deep clean and wash the inside and outside of your car.
38. Start a gratitude jar (write down every little thing you’re grateful for and put them all in a large glass jar).
39. Create a vision board for the next 12 months.
40. Actively forgive yourself for your past mistakes by saying the words out loud.
41. Do your makeup and take a sexy selfie.
42. Watch a guided meditation video for attracting love into your life.
43. Write a list of 10 things you love about yourself (give yourself compliments).
44. If possible, add a bit of money to your savings account.
45. Write your favorite inspirational quote from your Google search on your mirror.
46. Wash, fold, and put away all your laundry.
47. Light candles and/or incense.
48. Make a list of your 10 best memories from the last year.
49. Rewatch episodes from one of your favorite TV shows.
50. Write a “thank you” note to yourself for past choices you’ve made that you’re proud of.
Have you ever been stuck in a cycle that seems to be going on and on for quite some time? You keep getting the same patterns, attracting the same type of people from your relationships, and things in your life seem to be predictable in a sense that you know how things will take place, and they are almost always in a bad way.
That’s because you haven’t learned the art of letting go, forgiveness, and changing your thought patterns.
Inner work allows you to let go of the things that don’t really seem to work in your favor. It allows you to stop holding on to people and situations that don’t align with where you are headed. It allows you to detach yourself from people and situations who just don’t bring out the best in you. When you’re able to work within you, you are also able to see things in a different perspective and expand your wisdom in life altogether. You’re able to understand that not everyone you meet is meant to stay. Some are there to bring you healing and growth. Some are there to shake you and make you realize the patterns you have been stuck with for so long. And that cycle of repeating the same dynamic has to stop now so the new beginning can finally enter your life.
Inner work allows you to forgive. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and wrong decisions. They took place in your life for a reason. Things that have happened already happened and you can’t change what’s in the past. There’s no point blaming yourself for not being wise enough and smart enough to make the right decision. You are not perfect. Life is all about taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from them. Forgive those who have hurt you and those who have wronged you. Holding on to that hurt and grudge is only going to take you further away from being completely happy. It only pulls you back from receiving love. You have to make a space for the right people to come in, and you’re not able to do that if anger and pain take up so much space in you.
Inner work allows you to create a new healthy mindset and get rid of the toxic one. It brings you a bigger view of things and situations that make you understand why things happened the way they did. It teaches you to focus on the brighter side and come out of the dark place you’ve been dwelling into. Inner work allows you to see things for what they are and not fantasize about the illusion of what you want them to be. It brings you clarity on things and people and it prevents you from overlooking the dangers that are presented to you. It protects you from people and things that will possibly harm you. It makes you learn how to love yourself and fully embrace your worth. It makes you see the value of being you, and that creates a healthy dynamic of you only allowing those energies that make you feel good.
Inner work ends toxic cycles and brings new beginnings. It brings you to a higher place of wisdom and understanding, healing yourself, and attracting better things in your life because digging deep to what needs to change within you is somewhat the key to align with what God wants you to receive, and you can only receive that once you’re fully ready to embrace what’s in store for you—when you’ve learned the lessons and established what you really want and deserve in your life.
It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.
It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from livingto do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.
A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.
True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.
And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.
It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.
It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.
If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.
It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.
It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.
It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.
So often, we find ourselves burning out from stress in our daily lives, and it’s not until the moment we’ve absolutely had enough that we allow ourselves a break. But what might happen if we all took a “break” before we reached that final breaking point?
There are five different types of self-care: physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and professional care.
1. Physical self-care
While physical self-care can be anything from a Netflix binge to a day at the spa, there are many other activities you can do to enhance your overall physical well-being to contribute to better overall mental health. Examples of this include: eating healthier, getting regular exercise, wearing clothes you like, or taking time out of your day to get your hair or makeup done. While many of these activities might be considered more “superficial,” I think they are essential to maintaining lower levels of stress. So go ahead and go to your favorite beauty store and splurge on one of those bath bombs for a night in the tub — you deserve it!
2. Emotional self-care
Digging a bit deeper now; emotional self-care is often simply the act of allowing yourself to feel your emotions for what they are — with little to no judgement. This can be especially hard at first, but the more you do it the better you can become. Some activities in this area include finding things that make you laugh, complimenting yourself when you look in the mirror, allowing yourself to cry when you feel sad, spending time with loved ones and re-reading/re-watching your favorite book or movie until you can recite every line word for word.
3. Psychological self-care
In my opinion, this is one of the most neglected areas of self-care that most people (including my past self) are lacking engagement in. For instance, it’s OK to say “no” to extra responsibilities in your life. This is a very small but effective way you might be able to reduce stress. Some other activities in this area include engaging your intelligence in other topics (like going to an art exhibit or history museum), be curious for a day, practice receiving compliments well from others, make time for self-reflection and last but not least, pay attention to your inner experience (thoughts, feelings, attitudes and so on). You might be surprised at how even doing one of these activities a couple times a week can have a positive effect on your mood.
4. Spiritual self-care
Whether you believe in God, Allah, Buddha, are agnostic or atheist, it’s important to embed spiritual self-care into your daily routine. In this case, spiritual doesn’t refer to religion or believing in a sort of higher being (although, it absolutely can if that is what helps you). Instead, in this sense, spiritual self-care is the act of getting in touch with your inner human spirit and soul. Some examples of this include contributing to causes you care about (donating money or volunteering), meditating, spending time in nature, engaging in inspirational videos or literature and highlighting the non material aspects of life. I realize that some of these suggestions may be vague, but they can be done simply by thought or writing them down in a journal. Essentially, everyone is different and it’s up to you to engage in whatever form it makes you feel best!
5. Professional self-care
Engaging in professional self-care is essential for those in the workforce, however, these examples can be easily applicable to those still in school. Some of these examples are very basic, yet often missed throughout a busy work or school day. They include: taking time to chat with coworkers/peers, decorating your workspace to your liking, balancing your workload (literally meaning taking breaks as needed), developing an outside hobby or area of interest and creating a quiet and reserved area to get your work done. Ultimately, when you are able to give your professional life balance, lessened stress may allow you to succeed in other areas of life.
All in all, the best things in life come with balance. While certain stress in life can be necessary and even beneficial in some situations (hey, we’ve all put off our work until the last minute and felt the surge of adrenaline to help us turn it in on time), it’s easy for everyday events to become overly stressful and unmanageable. Yet, change isn’t easy. It’s said that it takes about 25 days for something to become a habit. In the process of incorporating some, if not all of the topics listed, I highly recommend doing one thing at a time at your own pace. This way you can see how each aspect of self-care benefits your mental health, and you won’t become overly critical of yourself if you miss the gym one day, forget to take a break, or fail to spend more time with yourself. After all, life is just a journey in which we should do our best to enjoy it and not be too critical of ourselves when we don’t need to.
What if you could create a totally new way of being with your body, a way of communing and caring for it with kindness and ease? And what if, in turn, your body became healthier and had more energy and zest than ever before?
I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we all have the ability to create and nourish a two-way relationship with our bodies. It begins when we open a line of communication by asking questions and truly listening to what our bodies have to say.
Here’s the thing: Your body knows what it requires to be happy, healthy, and radiant. The problem is, we live in a world which prizes the mind and intellect, a world which barely acknowledges the energetic language and potency that our bodies use. As a result, even those among us who have appreciation for our bodies can still become cut off from the connection that’s available to us when we simply pause … and pay attention.
I call this Body Whispering, a way of reawakening the energy healing capacities many of us harbor. That journey begins by being open to a new way of being with our own bodies, and that’s what I’d like to invite you to try today.
Let’s look at how we can begin this process.
Recognize that energy is your body’s first language — and it’s yours too.
The language of energy is quick, instant, and natural. It also takes a little practice to tune in to, in the same way it would if you were suddenly exposed to a new spoken language you’ve never heard before. The difference here is that you already know the language of energy—it is our first language, the one we used before we had words. Once you start to recognize it, your understanding accelerates.
How you ‘hear’ information from your body is an individual thing, so I can’t tell you exactly what to expect. Notice I said hear; a more accurate term might be receive or perceive. The trick is to not overthink it. Be curious, be open, and practice tuning into this inner awareness you instinctively have.
Begin by asking your body a question.
Your body has a point of view about everything that concerns it, including the food it eats, the clothes it wears, the way it moves, and who it’s intimate with. So it makes sense to ask for its input, don’t you agree?
To begin experimenting with this concept, the next time you sense hunger, ask, Body, what would you like to eat right now? You can ask this out loud or to yourself; your body will hear you either way. Then take a second and see what response you perceive. Be as open as possible and do your best to keep your opinions out of it! Because you WILL have an opinion on this — and a ton of judgments and ideas about what’s right or wrong for your body to eat. Simply trust and allow your body to choose. It knows exactly what it requires to be nourished and satisfied.
Here’s another fun way to practice listening to your body: When you’re picking out what to wear in the morning, ask, Body, what would you like to wear today? Then look in your closet and let your body choose. When you first start playing with this, you might be surprised by your body’s choices. You also might not agree with your body’s choices! Again, it’s a matter of trust.
Understand that your choices about what to eat or wear are based on judgments and ideas about what’s right, wrong, good, or bad for your body. They’re the product of a lifetime of being told which foods are healthy and what kind of clothes you’re permitted to wear for your body shape.
Your body might not agree with you!
The challenge: Try both of these experiments for the next three days. When you sense hunger, ask your body what it would like to eat. When you’re getting dressed for the day, ask your body what it would like to wear. Also, ask what it would like to wear at the end of the day as well!
When you start making choices based on what your body actually feels good in, you’ll notice a difference in energy levels, health, and just the general ease and flow of life.
Expand it with gratitude.
It’s well documented that gratitude has the ability to enhance every area of our lives. When we show gratitude to our loved ones, they love us more freely. When we slow down and appreciate the world around us, we see more and more beauty. It’s the same with our bodies: every time you perceive information from your body, show your gratitude. Say, Thank you so much, dear body, for sharing that with me. Thank the connection you’re building. And thank yourself — for being so open-minded and treading a new path!
Maintain your new connection.
The more you practice, the more you’ll pick up on what your body requires. Please know there are no right or wrongs here — only interesting choices. Listen with openness. Don’t assume. Never judge. Stay open and aware.
Expect to be surprised. Expect to be delighted. Expect insights that go beyond the thinking mind. You’re reawakening a connection — and once that channel is reopened, you’ll find life and living flows more easily. Your body will thank you for this, I promise.
I’ve been on quite the journey lately. A journey deep inside myself with the goal of learning to truly love the person that I am. It has not been easy. While being kind and loving to others has always been second nature to me, the idea of treating myself with that same compassion and care has proven to be one of the most difficult things in my life. But I’ve been working hard on it, and lately I am better prepared for this battle, one of self-acceptance and love that I didn’t know before.
I found myself wondering why this has always been so hard for me. Why is it often so easy for us to love others but we find this concept of self-love so difficult? Is it because we see the idea of self-love as sort of self-centered and think that loving ourselves is just plain selfish? Or is it easier to love others because we see, for the most part, the best sides of them, whereas we have to see and live with what we may view as the worst parts of ourselves? I get it, self-love is hard and I used to think the same things, that self-love was just some trendy idea thrown around in therapists’ offices. But I now believe it’s so important and that life can be so much more fulfilling when you’re happy with the person that you are.
I know it can also be hard to love yourself if you are, like I am, a perfectionist. For a perfectionist, very few things that we do ever feel like they are good enough. We are constantly striving to be better and to do more in our lives. I’ve struggled with this since I was young. And I’ve come a long way with my perfectionism. I like to say that I’m a “recovering perfectionist”. I’ve learned that imperfections can be beautiful and to let things go more easily. I think having a chronic illness as well as struggling with mental health challenges has forced me to learn to be okay with things being less than ideal, because my body often just won’t let me be that perfect version of myself that I pictured myself becoming and strived so hard to be when I was younger. I’ve accepted that life has had other plans for me. Maybe this has been a blessing in disguise.
I wonder, looking back, how much joy and happiness I missed out on because of my perfectionism and lack of self-love. It makes me sad for the girl I was back then, but it also makes me more determined than ever to learn how to truly love the skin that I’m in today. I want to give that girl a big hug and be the person today that I needed back then. But this has proven to be hard. I’ve asked myself many times how I can really do this; how can I really love myself when I live in a body that is constantly letting me down?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in pain which predominantly leads to me saying, “I hate my body”. It’s not easy to love your body when you feel like it is just a constant source of pain and discomfort. But recently I began to wonder how detrimental that viewpoint was on both my body and soul. Constantly feeling like I hated my body and being a tense, frustrated ball of nerves because of my pain just uses up so much valuable energy that I could be using for so much good. So I decided it was time to flip the narrative. Time to change the words I say to myself on a daily basis. The words we speak to ourselves become what we believe and shape who we are. I decided that I was going to learn to love this body that I’ve been given.
While I used to view self-love as kind of cliché and selfish, I now believe it is a beautiful thing that is so incredibly important, especially as a woman and a person that has a debilitating chronic illness. And if you’re a person who loves to help and serve others, learning to first love yourself is paramount. Alan Cohen said, “You can be helping many people, but if you are not helping yourself, you have missed the one person you were born to heal”. You cannot pour from an empty cup. When we first love and take care of ourselves, we can then love others more fully, with our whole hearts.
So how do we cultivate self-love in our lives when it often seems so elusive? For me, I’ve started by looking back at my journey and the challenges I’ve faced, and I’m learning to love my story and the woman who has overcome so much. I’ve started to think about my pain differently. Rather than viewing it as an enemy that I hate, I’ve started to realize the good that has come from my pain. Because I know what true pain is, I am able to feel and appreciate joy and happiness so much more. I have a different perspective on life because of it. It’s given me a wisdom that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s allowed me to help so many other people who are hurting, because I’ve been there and I know how to make it to the other side. My pain has given me purpose, and that’s something I’ve learned to love.
I’ve recently started doing a meditation to help me change how I think about and view my body and pain. During this meditation, I put my hands on different areas of my body while I breathe in, saying to that part of myself, “I love you”. I then breathe out, while telling myself, “we’re healing”. I’ve been doing this every day, with each part of my body, especially the ones that hurt. When I first started this meditation, I thought it was a little silly and I didn’t believe what I was telling myself, but I did it anyway. And I kept doing it. After a few days, the meditation made me start to cry. I was crying because I was thinking about the woman and girl who used to hate her body so much, this beautiful body that I was now starting to love and appreciate. I felt so much sadness for this girl and how I treated her. I wanted more than anything to change that. Since then, I’ve started to believe the words that I’m telling myself. And its a wonderful, freeing feeling.
You may not need to go this far to begin on a journey of self-love, but I encourage you to make self-love a priority and begin by changing some of the things that you tell yourself and how you see yourself. You can start by learning to forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Beating yourself up for ways that you have failed in the past does nobody any good. If you need to, think about how you would treat a little child or your best friend and how you would forgive them for making a mistake, for being human. Think of yourself this way and try to be kinder to yourself. You are human and in this life you will make mistakes. Use them to learn and grow, and then move on.
How many times have you looked in the mirror and seen things that you don’t like about yourself? I’ve started to look at myself and purposefully change the way I view my body. I now see my scars as battle scars that I am proud of; they show how strong I’ve been and all that I’ve overcome. I encourage you to see your scars in the same way.
Our bodies and lives each tell a story that is so special, a story that no one else has. A story that deserves to be celebrated. My hope for you is that you can start to see your body in a new light. See the wrinkles and lines on your face as reminders of a life well-lived; a life filled with all the beautiful and heartbreaking emotions that come with a life lived fully.
See your hands as hands that have loved, provided for, and served others. Hands that have nurtured your children and created beautiful things. See your arms that have held and supported friends when they were hurting and needed a soft place to land.
See your legs that have carried you through life, navigating each obstacle thrown in your way, carrying you through to the other side each time. It may or may not have been graceful, but they’ve always gotten you where you needed to go. See your feet that have met the floor each morning, even when all you wanted to do was stay hidden under the covers. No matter what life throws at you, somehow you have just kept putting one foot in front of the other and facing each day with strength and grace.
Mamas, see your stretch marks as a beautiful reminder of the life you grew inside of you for nine months and brought into this world. See your grey hairs as proof that you’ve shown up, for your family and friends, even when life gets hard. And you will keep showing up, because you are so strong.
I encourage you, if you struggle with self-love, to try to change the way that you view your body and the words that you say to yourself. Even if you don’t believe it at first, keep telling yourself “I love you”, keep viewing your body as beautiful and strong; I promise it will start to sink in. And when you learn to truly love yourself, not only can you love others more fully, but life becomes a little more beautiful and happiness a little less hard to find. Start to put self-love and self-care a little higher on your list, I don’t think you’ll ever regret it. You are so beautiful, and you deserve nothing less.
Throughout our early lives, we were taught how to read, write, manipulate, calculate, build, destroy, theorize, study, and analyze life.
We were taught how to say “please” and “thank you,” as well as what was acceptable and unacceptable to others and society at large.
Butmost of us had one crucial part of our education neglected: self-love.
Something that continues to shock me about my own upbringing was the distinct lack of emphasis on respect for oneself and acceptance of one’s flaws and virtues alike.
As a child, I can never recall being taught the value of loving oneself; of setting healthy boundaries, knowing how to say “no” and “yes” when you mean it, and learning how to take care of yourself – even at the expense of others.
What about you?
If you were raised in a culture and society similar to my own, you were probably taught to “put others before yourself” and not give much consideration to your own needs.
Self-denial and self-sacrifice were two of the main values taught in our childhoods, and continue to be emphasized as the markers of a “kind, caring, and worthy human being” to this very day.
Unfortunately, what I learned later in life is that these two values taught me nothing more than being a self-imposed martyr with no real understanding of ‘love.’
When we don’t learn how to love ourselves depression, bitterness, anxiety, resentment, isolation, and great unhappiness are the result.
To live a life of joy, to walk a path with heart, we need to learn self-love. We need to heal our own wounds and become doctors of the Soul.
Put simply, self-love is the practice of understanding, embracing, and showing compassion for yourself. Self-love involves nurturing your entire being – that means taking care of yourself on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. When engaging in self-love, we also work to forgive ourselves, accept our flaws, and embrace our inner demons. Contrary to popular belief, self-love isn’t just a blind adoration of our strengths, it’s also an embrace of our weaknesses and shadows.
Why Loving Others Requires Self-Seeking
It sounds like a paradox, but you cannot be altruistic, caring, or compassionate unless you’re selfish.
Unless you’re capable of truly loving yourself first (even the darkest side of your being) you can never fully love somebody else.
Self-seeking is preached in all societies as sinful behavior. We’re encouraged to be self-sacrificers and martyrs for ” the greater good.” History is plagued with stories of the individual hero’s willingness to sacrifice his/her life for the survival of a group or collective of people.
But the truth is that the purpose of our society’s social conditioning is to preserve and develop society as a whole, not to allow individuals to reach their full potential.
This is why taking care of yourself first is met with so much resistance from others: it’s against our collective brainwashing.
But here’s the thing: to be a positive presence in this world, to care for others in an authentically loving way, we must first focus on ourselves. We must first dedicate a large amount of time to our own healing, happiness, and self-fulfillment. In other words, we must be self-seeking.
If you can’t love yourself at a deep level – the place where your love originates from in the first place – how will you ever be capable of true altruism or of truly loving anybody else?
You can’t give away that which you don’t actually have.
Think about it for a few moments.
What Self-Love ISN’T
On the surface, it’s understandable how the word ‘self-love’ could be confused with the words ‘egotism,’ ‘self-indulgence’ or ‘narcissism.‘ But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Self-love isn’t about self-indulgence; it’s about taking care of yourself.
A person who loves themselves wants to become the best they can be, they want to explore themselves, practice inner work, do some soul-searching, work on their flaws, heal their traumas, and find inner peace.
How is this a bad thing?
We are taught to believe that being self-seeking will jeopardize society as a whole – regardless of what you actually do – so it is condemned indiscriminately.
This attitude is evident when we describe the behavior of a person who succeeds at the expense of other’s well-being with words like ‘selfish.’ But this isn’t selfish, it’s foolish and idiotic!
A person with mindful self-love is aware that they’re actually harming themselves when they harm others. Why? Because they understand that if they hurt others, they will suffer the negative consequences in the long term, which will make life much more difficult for them. They realize that causing suffering to others is actually self-destructive, which is the complete opposite of self-love.
(On a side note,is there any such thing as Altruism, really? The actual act of helping other people does benefit us: it makes us feel good. Therefore, Altruism itself can also be thought of as a “selfish” act.)
If you truly love yourself, you want to take care of yourself. It’s only self-hating egotistical people that harm themselves physically or mentally.
Self-love has nothing to do with egotism or narcissistic self-indulgence. On the contrary, the desire for honest self-exploration requires immense respect and love for yourself. Egotism revolves around the ego, and the ego depends upon the respect of others, not yourself.
Self-Loveand Spiritual Awakening
Self-love and spiritual awakening go hand-in-hand. In other words, if you commit to self-love, you also commit to deeper spiritual transformation. Love is a quality of the Heart and Soul – and when you actively seek to expand that sense of self-compassion, you are also awakening new parts of your being.
Perhaps this is the most enchanting thing about self-love: it’s not just a surface practice, it is actually a spiritual path. Hindu mystics call this path that of Bhakti Yoga, and indeed, when we are devoted to loving the Divine essence within us, our practice takes on a more meaningful and alchemical quality.
23 Waysto PracticeAuthentic Self-Love
Coming to terms with the fact that almost everything which defines a “good and respectable person” is actually false can be hard to accept at first. But as thinker Jiddu Krishnamurti noted:
The good news, I discovered, is that with time and persistence, we can learn how to heal ourselves. In essence, we can teach ourselves to become doctors of the Soul, healing our wounds, curing our own sicknesses, and maintaining optimum health through the development of gentle self-love.
If you have just started the path of healing and recovery, or need some inspiration, you might benefit from the following guidance. Here are 23 ways to begin practicing self-love:
1. Change your diet
Swap processed, fatty, and sugary foods, with whole and unprocessed foods. So much research has shown the link between food and the mind. Eating the wrong food can contribute to physical, emotional, and even mental illnesses. Try slowly cutting out junk food, and experience the immense benefits! This is a basic form of self-care.
2. Identify your subpersonalities
Within all of us, there are subtle and incessant voices that sabotage and paralyze us – these are the voices of our subpersonalities. Awareness is the key to overcoming the negative self-talk of The Worrier, The Critic, The Victim, and The Perfectionist. Practicing self-compassionate mindfulness as an exercise is a good place to start.
3. Start reading
No, I don’t mean the news, or the latest gossip on Facebook or Instagram, I mean reading books! Focus on mostly non-fiction books in the spiritual/self-help category. Reading this type of material helps to expand your mind and equips you with inspiring and life-applicable knowledge.
4. Practice inner work
When we practice inner work, we are shining the light of consciousness into our hidden, unconscious realms. It is within the deeper layers of our minds where unresolved fears, blockages, wounds, and traumas lurk. Working through these issues is paramount to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Learning how to love yourself, healing your inner child, and delving into shadow work are all the cornerstones of inner work.
5. Experiment with self-hypnosis
Self-hypnosis is a practice anyone can easily incorporate into daily life – it’s simple and straightforward. By re-wiring your brain on a subconscious level, you can dissolve deep-seated inner obstacles such as self-doubt and addictive patterns of behavior. You can apply self-hypnosis to yourself (which is usually the best approach) or find a plethora of hypnosis recordings already available online.
6. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
Also, ensure you set a stable bedtime! Getting less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep every night, as numerous scientific studies have found, lowers your immunity, contributes to chronic fatigue, moodiness, depression, anxiety issues, and chronic pain (or fibromyalgia). Aim to go to bed around 10 pm and rise at 6 am. You’ll feel the difference immediately!
7. Learn quiet assertiveness
Permitting others to overstep our boundaries, use, and walk all over us isn’t aligned with self-love. Self-love means self-respect, and therefore, learning how to stand up for yourself and setting strong boundaries is imperative.
8. Explore your mental traps
Low self-esteem is often the result of false and unrealistic thought patterns that are deeply ingrained within us. These are composed of mental traps such as assumptions, beliefs, comparisons, desires, expectations, and ideals about ourselves and others.
9. Treat yourself like you would your best friend
Often, we are our own mortal enemies. To heal ourselves, it’s vital for us to consciously change our relationships with ourselves, and treat ourselves with compassion and consideration just as we would with a best friend. You are with yourself 24/7, 365 days a year. Doesn’t it make sense to enjoy your own company? A good place to start with befriending yourself is by practicing morning affirmations.
10. Welcome solitude into your life
When we don’t make space in our lives to be alone, it’s easy for us to burn out, become disorientated, and even ill. Each day, make time for yourself to rewind, relax and reflect, alone. Solitude gives you insight, perspective and reinstates harmony in your life.
11. Meditate for self-awareness
Becoming self-aware is a key skill in life, a gift that allows you to identify your self-destructive patterns of thought and behavior, and find more peace and balance in life. Meditation, although frustrating and seemingly meaningless at first, is a silently powerful practice with endless benefits. One simple meditative practice you might like to try is breathwork. Aim for 10-15 minutes each morning first thing (or whenever you have time!). It’s worth it!
12. Identify toxic people in your life
Toxic people cause us to feel wretched and significantly lower the quality of our daily lives. What defines a toxic person? A toxic person (who’s an individual that’s usually just acting out their pain), is often judgmental, manipulative, clingy, backstabbing, ruthless, aggressive, controlling, deceptive, self-pitying, and/or self-destructive. Learning to distance yourself (or flat out remove from your life) those who hinder your self-growth is a difficult, but absolutely necessary step on your journey of healing.
Note: there’s a difference between a toxic and a wounded person. Toxic people consistently create and spread misery whereas wounded people will only act out from time-to-time. Most people are wounded and learning to love them despite their shortcomings is a transformative path of healing itself. However, toxic people often carry an unconscious mission to undermine and demoralize others. These people are best left to their own devices.
13. Seek supportive companions
Supportive people encourage, uplift, and inspire us. These people have often obtained a certain level of self-love. Because of their ability to respect themselves, they can easily respect and love others. Often it’s not necessary to seek these people out as we naturally gravitate towards them on our paths anyway! If you come across someone, perhaps a soul friend, on your path, stay in touch with them if you can! We all need the help of others.
14. Learn to trust your intuition
Our unconscious minds are oceans of wisdom, understanding, and insight. Intuition, that mysterious inner guide we all have, is a manifestation of this vast untapped world within us. Learning to trust your intuition will help you to live a life true to yourself and your deepest needs.
15. Support the well-being of nature
All of life on earth and the universe is profoundly interconnected – the harm we do to others always comes back to harm us in one form or another. By supporting the well-being of nature, we are promoting the well-being of us as individuals.
A few ways of honoring our connection with the earth include choosing local organic produce, eating a plant-based diet, reducing our carbon footprint, buying “non-animal tested” items, and adopting a low waste lifestyle.
By honoring nature, we honor ourselves, and by honoring ourselves, we honor nature. Everything is connected.
16. Take a walk or jog each day
Writers, creators, thinkers, and health enthusiasts alike have all commented on the simple power and beauty of exercise. Not only does walking (or jogging if you’re up to it) clear the mind, but it also refreshes the Soul – and that’s not mentioning the numerous health benefits! Commit to going for a walk outside for even just 10 minutes a day. You’ll soon notice the difference on nearly every level of your being! Walking is a wonderfully straight-forward self-love practice.
17. Do a digital detox (aka. stop spending so much time on social media!)
Did you know that on average the American adult spends 2+hours per day on social networks (and that number is increasing)? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or any of the numerous other social networks out there, we waste so much of our time on social media … and what for?
Often times we are motivated by the ability to obtain “likes,” “shares,” “followers,” and “friends” constructing a fragile cyber alter-ego that craves acceptance and validation from others.
It’s common knowledge that spending too much time on social media is associated with a decrease in mental wellness. Toxic comparison, insecurity, low self-worth, jealousy, anxiety, harassment, and other issues have a profoundly detrimental impact on our emotional and mental health.
To practice self-love, we need to regularly practice digital detoxes. A digital detox involves voluntarily refusing to use any form of social media for a period of a few days to a month or more. Uninstall the apps on your phone. Go outside. Plan to do something more nourishing with your time. Journal about your progress. The benefits can often be felt within a day!
18. Use color psychology
Colors greatly impact our internal well-being (hence the field of “color psychology”). For instance, I have recently replaced a lot of my black, grey, and dull-colored clothing with bright shades of various colors. The experience has been surprising: the colors of the clothes I wear directly impact how much energy I have and how happy I am.
Wearing light blue, for instance, stimulates feelings of openness and yellow stimulates optimism. Dull colors like khaki, granite, and charcoal, on the other hand, are all associated with feelings of apathy, aloofness, pessimism, and despondency.
So think about the kind of colors you surround yourself with. How do they impact your thoughts, feelings, and health overall? This is a simple way of practicing self-love and care.
19. Make time to explore your passions
What drives you? Fires you up? Fills you with joy and a sense of accomplishment? In society, we are conditioned to forget our needs and smother them with other’s desires. As a result, we often lose sight of what truly makes us happy in life.
Many of us abandon our dreams at an early age, and so we live meaningless lives of drudgery and socially approved pursuits (such as having a “good” career, big house, nice car, perfect family, etc.). It’s important, therefore, to ask yourself “What is my passion?” You need to really sit down with this question and ponder it deeply.
Remember, passions are not static – they evolve with us. Whether painting, writing, dancing, designing, building or whatever excites you – pursue it – even if on the sidelines!
20. Focus on reducing sources of stress in your life
Prolonged stress contributes to endless illnesses in our lives, so it’s crucial to learn how to reduce and deal with it when it comes. Often, stress can be reduced by simply dropping our desires and expectations for ourselves, other people, and situations in life.
Stress can also be reduced by practicing many of the things I have mentioned in this article, e.g., having a good diet, getting 7-8 hours sleep per night, deprogramming negative thought-patterns, and so forth.
21. Accept your flaws, celebrate your strengths
It’s vital to come to terms with the fact that you are imperfect – there’s no denying it! As part of my journey, I have dedicated a lot of time to exploring my Shadow Self and accepting the embarrassing and even shameful aspects of my nature.
By accepting your flaws, the doorway to self-growth is opened. Accept them, don’t run away from them. Likewise, learn how to celebrate your strengths! Keep a journal of gratitude and honestly list every little thing you appreciate about yourself each day. Balance is essential.
22. Nourish your inner child
Every single person on the face of this planet possesses an inner child, or original self. Your inner child is the most innocent and vulnerable part of you, it is quite literally the child that still lives within you. While this sensitive part is the source of a lot of joy, creativity, and wonder, it also contains tremendous unresolved pain from childhood.
We were all wounded, to some extent, in childhood. We all experienced traumas that we struggled to process. Beginning to work with your inner child is the start of deep emotional healing and freedom. Inner child work is one of the most self-loving paths that you can ever commit to and I highly recommend it.
23. Begin a spiritual practice that feels authentic to you
Self-love is a path that caters to every part of our being, including the spiritual. When we live a life that is in service to the ego, something feels lacking. Sadly, when there is nothing greater than the material self, we struggle with feelings of chronic emptiness, loneliness, and depression.
Since the dawn of humanity, we have been a species drawn to the sacred and numinous. You don’t need to be religious to be spiritual (and there’s nothing wrong with being religious either). However, if you’ve been harmed or disenchanted by religion, be assured that you can still have a spiritual practice that is aligned with your authentic needs, perspectives, and desires without religious dogma.
Why PracticingSelf-Love Can Sometimes Feel Stressful
Like me, you might have read a lot of material all over the place on self-love.
You might have watched videos of gurus explaining the importance of self-respect, you might have read books on people’s journeys of self-love and you might have a spiritual circle of friends that are always emphasizing the importance of taking care of yourself.
You might be bombarded with the overwhelming desire to love yourself – just like all these other awakened people do – but something isn’t quite right. You find that the more you try to love yourself, the more unhappy you are with your efforts.
You might find yourself berating yourself about an old misfortune or a new resentment, and then later repent, telling yourself “I should let this go and move on, I should be more forgiving.” Or you might try to be more confident in yourself, fall into insecurity and anxiety, and later think “If I am to love myself I have to be more confident in the person I am – I’m not doing well enough!”
You might even compare some of your habits with others on the same path and feel miserable as a result, realizing that you are not as “self-loving” as they are.
When it comes to the word “should,” there is a very fine line between motivating oneself and sabotaging one’s happiness. On one hand, we motivate ourselves by setting goals and fulfilling them, (e.g., “I should keep up this exercise routine for the next week to see how I feel”), and on the other hand, we can undermine our happiness by imposing unnecessary ideals, expectations, and comparisons onto what we do.
Have you ever thought something along the lines of, “I SHOULD have more self-love! I SHOULDN’T feel so guilty!”? This is a perfect example of falling into the trap of making self-love a duty, a burden, and a jail cell that restricts our ability to truly grow.
That is the threat of making self-love into a “should”: it actually turns us against ourselves. Ironic don’t you think?
So what do we do if self-love is becoming a burden to us? The answer is to take a step back and be gentle even with our inability to practice self-love.
Self-Love= Gentlenessand Forgiveness
At the start of our spiritual journey of self-love, it’s all too easy to be ensnared by the external comparisons we make between ourselves and others who have perhaps advanced more on the spiritual path.
I used to do this a lot until I realized one day that the very essence of self-love is about being gentle and forgiving with yourself.
Thanks to some much-needed guidance, I learned that it was (and still is) completely fine to take my time, to go slowly, and to learn little by little.
I learned that it was OK to be flawed and to continue making mistakes … just as long as I tried, persisted, and pushed through little by little.
So if you haven’t yet reached the pinnacle of what you consider to be self-love yet, don’t worry. It’s not necessary that you push yourself, and it’s not necessary to be hard on yourself – the precise opposite of what self-love is.
Rather, know that self-love, at its core, is the ability to embrace your wrongdoings and imperfections, knowing that you are innately worthy of all the love life has to offer.
Toxic Forms of Self-Love
We’ll now move onto the ‘dark side’ of self-love.
This is a strange topic that not many people shine the light on when discussing self-love. But YES it is possible to use so-called self-loving practices as a way to band-aid our deeper wounds. YES it is possible to unintentionally deceive ourselves as a self-protection mechanism.
Here’s what you need to be mindful of:
1. Cultivating extreme “positive thinking” habits
Replacing the negative cycles of inner talk within us is very helpful. However, not only is optimism often a polarized reaction to pessimism, but it can also be used as a form of avoidance by dismissing the reality of our own pain and other’s pain.
It’s common to use positive thinking as a way to spiritually bypass our own deeper issues.
Bottom line: be careful when approaching positive thinking communities and teachings. Positive thinking becomes toxic when it is used to hide the pain, shame, and fear we carry inside. Often, what we most need isn’t to mask our problems with positivity, but to hold space for our most vulnerable and tender selves.
It’s okay to feel your feelings. It’s okay to be messy and hurt. These are profound opportunities to practice self-love – to love even your most flawed, unsightly self.
2. Thinking that you are perfect the way you are
Yes, it’s beneficial for us to fully embrace the people we are and to love our strengths and weaknesses. However the affirmation “I am perfect the way I am” can lead to problems.
The truth is that there’s no such thing as perfection. Thinking that “I’m perfect the way I am,” can be used as an excuse to avoid growing and changing.
Self-love isn’t about bypassing uncomfortable experiences that catalyze growth under the guise that “we’re already perfect as we are.” Life is about change. And there can never be a state of perfection because perfection is stagnant, unchanging, and dead.
3. Excessive indulgence
Rewarding ourselves every now and then simply for the sake of it is a healthy, self-nurturing habit. It’s nice to relax with that mini-series, spend an hour in a bubble bath and lavish ourselves with nice food, clothing, and other gifts whenever we feel the need.
However, this habit can be taken to the extreme and used to justify unnecessary greed and indulgence that covers up and overcompensates for deeper issues such as the fear of aloneness, worthlessness, and social insignificance. There is a time to reward ourselves and a time not to.
Cultivating self-love is essential if you desire to live a life of joy, love, peace, and fulfillment.
Although it’s usually missed in our early life education, self-love is as vital to daily life as any other fundamental human need.
Without learning how to love ourselves, our lives are filled with self-sabotage, self-loathing, toxic and heartbreaking relationships, emptiness, and a profound lack of connection with life.
I hope that this article has inspired you to re-educate yourself. And please, if you feel that someone else in your life could benefit from self-love, please share this resource with them!
At first it’s going to be uncomfortable especially when you’ve never made yourself a priority before. When you are the type of person who puts everyone else’s needs before your own. When happiness is defined by what you do for others and you’ve done it so long you forget to do things for yourself.
It’s realizing maybe the reason you aren’t where you want to be or feel the way you do is because you haven’t taken the steps to get there yourself when you’re constantly focusing on other things and people.
It’s looking yourself in the mirror and accepting the fact you made these choices and you can’t blame anyone if you aren’t happy or fulfilled.
It’s looking at your life and instead of pointing blame it’s finally taking responsibility.
It’s feeling a little confused because once you realize making other people happy hasn’t made you happy, you have to figure out what does and you might not even know that answer.
It’s sitting down and trying to figure out what you want while trying to evaluate and eliminate the things you don’t want.
It’s removing certain people from your life because you have to for your own wellbeing even if you love them and care about them and can’t imagine your life without them, sometimes distance and space is better.
It’s stopping instead of running from your problems because you know you can’t escape the things you are denying to be the truth and you can distract yourself from what the problem is. But you are at a point where you want to find a solution.
It’s doing something you don’t want to because that choice is going to put you on a track you’re proud of not one you’re settling for.
It’s asking yourself am I doing this because I want to? Or am I doing this because I feel I have to and I don’t want to let other people down?
It’s not feeling guilty to admit you need a break or you’re tired and just need to relax for once.
It’s staying in on a Friday because you look at your bank account and you don’t even know what you spent stuff on but you know, you should have been more responsible.
It’s waking up early and not pushing snooze on your alarm 100 times because going to the gym, getting that run in, doing yoga is good for your mental health and well being. And even though you don’t want to do it, in that moment you know you have to.
It’s finally wanting to take full responsibility for how you feel about yourself and not allowing others to define your self worth.
It’s ending those relationships that linger and have loose ends because you can’t keep giving chances to people who don’t deserve it.
It’s not answering when someone from the past comes back because don’t care about what they say because they shouldn’t have left in the first place.
It’s not always being the one to make plans with everyone and go all the way to them every time. It’s realizing people should be putting as much effort into you as you have them instead of taking the relationship for granted.
It’s checking in on the people who check in on you because those are the people who matter.
It’s putting your phone down when you want to text someone because you are realizing the phone works both ways and the only person you should be interested in isn’t one who makes you question your self worth or question a simple text.
It’s holding back on dating because if you don’t know who you are and what you want you won’t know what to ask other people for.
It’s figuring out what you want and not being ashamed of it or feeling guilty for wanting something more than just a hookup.
It’s letting that really attractive person go even though you’re interested because you know you can’t turn them into the person you want them to be and you aren’t going to waste your effort.
It’s allowing yourself to breakdown and cry and fall completely apart because it’s okay to not have the answers. It’s okay to be unsure. It’s okay to be hurting and not know how to fix it.
Feeling through these emotions you might have repressed and it finally coming out isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t make you weak.
Sometimes it takes strength to get to that place emotionally and feel through all the ugliness so it’s out of your system.
It’s realizing the life you are leading at this moment isn’t the one that’s making you happy so something has to change.
It’s taking a step towards a completely different lifestyle that you or others are used to. Even though there are going to be questions of why you are doing this and people who will doubt you and disapprove, you know you’re doing it for you. It’s not longer feeling guilty for disappointing people for living the life you want as oppose to the one they expect.
It’s realizing when you make certain changes in your life you’re going to lose people who are going to want you to go back to what you were doing and the person you were because it didn’t fit the mold of what they needed and wanted. But the real relationships in your life will support you.
It’s not selfish to want to be happy and want to have a life you’re really excited about. It’s essential.
It’s learning how to let something or someone go because you’ve outgrown it and even though good memories resided there you can’t keep looking back.
It’s evaluating your life and your choices and calling it exactly what it is. Your mistakes. Your failures. The things you did your ashamed of and instead of throwing a pity party, you learn. You grow. You forgive yourself because as much as other people deserve forgiveness you do too.
It’s realizing you can’t force things. Whether that’s relationships or a lifestyle.
It’s giving everything your best effort but accepting that some things aren’t meant to be even if you want them to be.
Then once you realize this isn’t where I’m supposed to be, you find the courage to change it because people aren’t meant to stay in the same place doing the same thing. Especially if it’s not making them happy.
When a plant doesn’t thrive and grow the way it’s supposed to, you don’t blame the plant you simply change the environment to one it will do well in. That’s how you should approach everything in your life.
It’s taking a step back and looking at the life you are projecting out to the world across social media and asking yourself is any of this real? It’s pulling back if that answer is no and trying to create a life you don’t need to fake.
And it isn’t wrong to want to be happy.
It’s saying no for the first time in your life and not explaining why.