“Have you ever wanted to be taller? Or maybe felt less than because your grades weren’t the best in the class? Ever felt yourself changing in ways that weren’t really like you to fit into a crowd? Comparing ourselves to others and stunting our sense of self-worth to be more like the people around us harms our views of who we are. The more we compare and strive to be what we are not, the more we lose what we are and who we want to become.
How do we shift comparing ourselves to others to accepting and growing in self-love?”
“A gratitude list is a list of things, places, people, situations, or traits about ourselves that we are grateful for. Creating a gratitude list helps us to reflect and think through what’s good about our experiences and life overall. Building a habit of gratitude increases our awareness, knowledge, and point of contact when we find ourselves comparing our lives with others.”
“Personal boundaries are what separate us from giving too much of ourselves to things, people, and situations that do not serve our growth and progress. While it may appear ideal to be able to do everything and anything without limits, we cannot and should not exhaust ourselves of our personal needs. We are responsible for what we allow. Whether in relationships (familial or romantic), with friends, at work, or anywhere where we are interacting with others, practicing boundaries helps us to be in tune with ourselves and our values.”
“Experiencing a panic attack is exhausting, draining and can take days to recover from. While we sometimes do our best to prevent an escalation into a panic attack, they still can happen. How do we feel like ourselves again following a panic attack? What are some positive coping techniques we can use to improve our self-care?”
For 2020 and beyond I am prioritizing self-care and self-love that is defined by me and only me. With each week reflecting on various ways to reflect and process my feelings, this week is redefining my worth to MYSELF.
Having a past of people-pleasing is hard to realize and even harder to overcome. Not seeing myself as valuable or worthy of love has influenced a history of constant “doing” in order to prove myself to those around me.
This habit ends now.
So, I’m saying no to:
What is not for me.
What makes me uncomfortable.
What doesn’t serve my needs.
What I don’t have the energy for.
Being available to everyone.
Giving away all of my energy.
“Fixing” other people’s problems.
And, I’m saying yes to:
What fills me with joy.
Building lasting connections.
Feeling good about myself.
Expressing my needs.
Allowing myself to be seen.
Reaching out to others.
Doing things for fun.
Being open to love.
Affirmation: I am open to loving myself unconditionally and unapologetically.
For the last month and a half or so I’ve been seeing a therapist for the first time since that one semester in my senior year of college. Although it’s difficult to manage all the emotions that come up as I talk through all of “my stuff”, I’m continuing to come in contact with the parts of me that were previously tucked deeply away. The more I talk and navigate my experiences, the more I’m able to identify the parts of me that need healing.
In these few weeks I learned three big things about my personality, habits, and tendencies:
1. I’m a highly sensitive person and a hopeless romantic.
2. I have issues with feeling good enough and loving myself in the same intensity that I love others.
3. I’m a recovering perfectionist and still struggle with “doing” too much to feel seen. I try to “stay busy” in order to distract myself from feelings unlovable, worthless, and enough. I crave outside stimuli to try to fill a void inside.
The Creative Cure
As I’m learning about what it means to be me, the good and the bad, I found that creativity and writing are my most helpful tools for feeling better.
Because I’m aware of my perfectionism, I’m trying to reverse and redirect the energies I put in “doing”, “pleasing” and “overexerting” back into myself. As I practice what feeds my passion, I’m beginning to realize what love means for me. The more I see what love is for me, the more I can pour back into myself the void of practicing and feeling self-love.
Passion and Learning Self-love
Passion is the manifestation of self-love — It’s love in doing. Passion is one of the only feelings (along with ambition, for example) that can not be given to someone else. To feel passion is to come in contact with something in yourself that feeds your needs and fuels your purpose.
When I create, write, and tell my story I feel passion. Doing what I feel passion for allows me to access peace and satisfaction perfectionism never can.
As I move closer to reclaiming my self-love, allowing it to travel to all parts of me (including my perspective of myself), I will use writing and creativity to help heal me of my self-love wound.
Find your passion. Find what helps you feel good and accomplished. Learn about yourself and learn what love means to you. Feel and access the energy of love. Once you’ve found the peace that comes with love, you can practice love for yourself and with others.
Self-care with unbreakable self-love is powerful and can help you build a healthier you.