Artwork by: Jenna Designs
So far this year we have seen many new trends - but nothing has been as prominent and consistent as the buzz of the new age self love brigade. Giving us a multitude of lessons as to what self love actually means and ways in which to deepen our love for ourselves - the commitment to get it right and feel great can feel a little overwhealming.
So what happens when self love is not easily achievable and how do we learn to love ourselves truly and unconditionally?
Self love for me has definitely been a bumpy road, with battles with anxiety and depression, the road to self-love has been exhausting, and something akin to an excruciating ongoing debate with an alter ego. When I acknowledge that I am in all actuality beautiful, smart and kind, negative thoughts find a way of settling in and redirecting my positive self-image. Thus exhausting. So how have I been working on loving myself better? Here are my sercets...
The honour and care that I now give myself is almost ritualistic. From healthy eating, pampering, buying myself a new outfit, trying out a new hobby or new restaurant (i'm a big foodie), girls night out - you name it. They are all efforts that set a trigger in my brain that tell me I am worthy and special. Equating the care that I give my children and loved ones to the care that I now give myself results in a much more fufilled 'me'.
Some of the decisions I have made in order to do just that; put myself first and love myself to the core, to some has been questionable. Take for example learning to say no and putting my needs first, at times has not sat well with others. The problem is it's easy to become a yes machine and have to try and negotiate your life and needs in order to serve others, but when the curtains are closed and you're exhausted and have nothing left to give your children, who will come to your rescue. Learning to say no has not only helped me to preserve much needed energy, but has also strengthened my abilities to set firm boundaries.
Once upon a time I had a mindset that meant any friendships that I formed had to be friendships that I had for life. The friendships that I had since middle school, that were no longer serving me, had to be cherished and preserved based on the length of time I had known said person.
Damn was I wrong. I was sitting in a friendship of over 12 years that was affecting me negatively on a subconcious level and I could not see it. I am now highly observant of the people I choose to share my time and life with - and that should also apply vice versa. It is critical to have people around that add value to your life and whose life you too can add value to.
Over the last few years I have also managed to fight the fear that has been lying inside me. No longer second guessing myself and withdrawing from situations, I now hurdle myself into them - literally. I know that whatever I shy away from and hesitate to do will only hold me back from being the greatest version of myself and by objecting to this I will become greater and stronger each day. The determination and force to do better and be better gives the push to throw fear away.
Additionally I have now become my biggest cheerleader. Whilst I stand in the field about to whack that baseball, I can see myself in the stands cheering at the top of my voice for my victory. This has been one of the biggest factors for showing myself love. The mind that used to be filled with self-doubt, insecurities and self-sabotaging thoughts is now a mind that is filled with thoughts of all the wins I have had and all the wins that are still yet to come.
Like I said, this has been a bumpy road and at times still is, but by being consistent with my practices I have become a happier person who is now in love - with herself. Yes, it is challenging at times but the more you show and tell yourself just how amazing you are, the more you will believe it.