I remember when I was a teenager I struggled a lot with my self-esteem and self-worth. I later realized because of this my perception of love was impacted; I struggled so much especially with self-love. I remember always wanting to be in a relationship and being in the “fairy tale” type of love story. I thought that I would only be satisfied with the idea of love if I was in a romantic relationship with my “soulmate.” Valentines day hit me hard every year because, to me, it was a reminder of my failures in love.
It took me up until now, as an adult, to slowly learn to love myself fully and unconditionally. I would tell my teenage self that love is all around me — from how I speak to myself, to the ones I surround myself with; from my creativity to my advocacy work; from how I interact with others to being in nature and expressing gratitude for what I have. Love is everywhere, I just have to open myself up to feel it.
Warm and Friendly Reminder: Love is vast and can show up in many different ways including in friendships, family (biological or otherwise), romanic relationships, in work/hobbies, in nature, and in self-love. Love is never too far away.
Affirmations you can practice for self-love:
“I am worthy of acceptance and love.”
“I love myself.”
“Love is all around me.”
What about you? What would you tell your teenage self about love?
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I overcome every challenge I’m faced with and learn the lessons necessary to help me move forward. I am proud of myself for doing my best every step of the way. Even on the toughest days, I’m stronger than I think. I am ready to continue forward doing what’s best for me.
It’s okay to be intentional with what you do. Continue to try even when you feel stuck, lost, or unmotivated.
When you find yourself slipping into negative thought patterns, fear, hesitation, procrastination, or overthinking, stop for a second and create a positive/helpful intention for yourself. Whether this be a simple affirmation: “I am safe,” or a plan of action: “I will drink some water and reach out to my friend today,” creating pockets of reassurance and abundance can help move you out of spaces of lack and stagnancy.
Light your own path as you continue to work through the challenges of every day. Build peace within yourself by taking advantage of every moment. You are in control. Be in control.
Love does not only mend and improve the bonds we have with each other but also liberates the relationship we have with ourselves. Creating pathways and pockets of grace to face the challenges of our childhood trauma, survival habits, triggers, and attachment to expectations.
When we open the door to love ourselves unconditionally we create bridges to enter parts of ourselves we are used to hiding away. We welcome wholeness and alignment. We accept every part of who we are. Love becomes the language that guides our inner dialogue and helps us to understand our next steps.
As we love ourselves unconditionally and unapologetically, we can love others the same. We interact and speak with others just as we would ourselves. Let love in. Let love create the way.
Image quote above will be made into a sticker for my Etsy shop at the end of the month!
Allow yourself the experience of processing what is happening around you. Whether you feel grief, shame, or anger, maybe happiness, hope, and joy, perhaps even neutral emotions like boredom, emotions direct you in understanding what each moment means to you. Listen to your emotions and your body. What you need to know or learn right now is being shown to you. Pay attention.
Choose a butterfly and follow the prompt that goes with that butterfly.
Orange butterfly: List three things that make you smile . Blue butterfly: where is your favorite place to go to relax? Yellow butterfly: describe a moment where you felt brave.
Note: feel free to choose more than one butterfly!
I choose the orange and blue butterflies. Orange butterfly: Three things that make me smile are my dogs, spending time with my family, and sharing my mental health story to help others feel empowered. Blue butterfly: My favorite place to go to relax is my bedroom with all of my pillows.
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Want to know how to feel your emotions and grow in self-awareness?
Start by understanding how your emotions feel in your body. Do you feel anxiety or fear in your stomach? Maybe stress as headaches or body fatigue? Identify the body sensation with the emotion that goes with it. Listen to what your body is telling you and learn how to honor your body’s needs.
What is your body telling you today?
My body is telling me to slow down and not push myself too hard. My body is also telling me to work on my insomnia and get more rest.
Notice patterns and habits that you pick up from parents, guardians, or family members. The awareness that your behavior resembles that of those who raised you can aid in understanding who you want to be. Some of those behaviors are toxic cycles being passed down through generations. Do you want to continue those cycles and behaviors? It’s okay to go on your own path and do something different. It’s okay to break cycles you no longer want to continue either with yourself or how you raise your own family. Change the course of your life. Break cycles that don’t serve you and your growth.