Kyle Ellefson1. Start putting yourself first when you feel yourself starting to crash. 2. Stop being so hard on yourself. 3. Buy your favorite candles and light them while you relax in bed. 4. Draw yourself a nice hot bath and let all your thoughts disappear. 5. Sit on the couch with no distractions and…
The term “love yourself” seems pretty self-explanatory, right?
We love our families, we love our friends, our pets, so, loving ourselves wouldn’t be any different?
The thing is, most often than not, we solely prescribe the emotion of love to ourselves but not the action.
Sure the average person would agree with the statement, “yes, I love myself”. They don’t want to die, they try to be safe, and they may occasionally splurge for the benefit of their health (stress, anxiety, etc.) but that’s normally where it ends.
However, just like it isn’t enough for another to tell us they love us and without proving it with their actions, it is not enough for us to say we love ourselves and not prove it with our actions.
I get it, though, it’s easy to let the actions of love towards ourselves fall by the wayside because who’s going to hold us accountable? No one. (Unless you have amazing friends that are on you about these things).
If you’ll hear me out for a minute (or the rest of this post) I want to share with you some truths about loving yourself that will show just how important it can be:
1. Loving ourselves is beneficial to our well-being.
No matter how amazing it might sound to think that someone else can love us enough to mend us, no one can mend us like ourselves. Yes, outside love might put a little balm on our aching souls, but it is the hard earned love from ourselves that will completely heal us and make us strong enough to conquer this thing called life.
2. Loving ourselves involves intentionality.
Like I mentioned before, it is not enough to simply say we love ourselves and not prove it with our actions. In order for us to see the benefits of loving ourselves in our lives, we need to be intentional about taking care of our mind, body, and spirit. This means we need to sit down, create an action plan with a timeline and get it done because it’s important to us and we want to flourish and be at our best capacity.
3. Loving ourselves does not equate to selfishness.
Loving ourselves can sometimes bring about the misconception that we’re being selfish. Truthfully, I think this only manifests itself in one of two ways. One, it comes from us because we are so used to being kind and not wanting to disappoint people, that we feel guilty and therefore selfish that we’re no longer saying yes all the time. Two, it comes from another person who either a) doesn’t know you and confuses your assertiveness for selfishness or b) does know you, and in their disappointment prescribes selfishness to your new lifestyle choice rather than assertiveness. Regardless, you are not selfish for making decisions that benefit your well-being, even if it doesn’t sit well with other people.
4. Loving ourselves well, allows us to love others better.
This is what those who call you selfish don’t understand. Sure, you may deny some of yourself for the sake of your well-being, but that’s just it, it’s for your well-being. In the long run, you’ll be more present in the things you are involved in, and you’ll be better able to understand how to love other people.
5. Loving ourselves teaches us about who we are.
It’s funny because all of our lives, we spend trying to figure out who we are, what we want in life, and what we should do. We exert energy putting ourselves down when we don’t measure up to other people, when we haven’t gotten to the point we wanted to yet and have this screaming fear that maybe what we’re doing isn’t going to make us happy for 75 to 100 years. But if we took the time to love ourselves intentionally, we would realize, first of all, that everything’s going to be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it, it is. And that we are capable beyond what we ever would have imagined to do things and feel things that make life so much worth living for us.
Loving yourself is a lifestyle. It is something that requires intentionality and sacrifice but that will have amazing benefits on your life if you allow it to. (For some ideas on how to begin loving yourself check out this post 🙂 )
You’re going to be living with yourself for a really long time you might as well learn to love yourself now and focus on making the best of your time with the one who will always be there.
Good luck on your journey!
Dang, here we are again…
Another year has passed us by, and we have just ushered in a new one.
It’s kind of crazy to think that when many of us look back on 2016 we can overwhelmingly say that 2016 was one of the suckiest years.
As a nation, we have experienced, a number of tragedies, from the largest mass shooting, as well as many acts of police brutality, and to top it off one of the worst presidential elections.
And in their personal lives?
Some can attest to the same.
HOWEVER, I am a firm believer that there are always lessons that can be gained from even the most horrible life experiences.
It may not be what we want, or what we would have liked it to be, but if we take the time to reflect on 2016 we’ll realize that it held some positive and if nothing we can uncover even a few valuable lessons that have shaped us.
Today, I have decided to share with you a few of the lessons 2016 has taught me:
1. Emotions, like food within the heat of a cooker pressure for too long, will eventually explode into our daily lives if unaddressed.
You don’t really realize it until a series of events take place in your life and you find yourself not being able to handle them the way you normally do, but emotions are not something to take lightly. Whether you’re sad, mad, angry, hurt, whatever it is for whatever reason, it’s important to find a healthy way to address it. Talk to someone, journal it, do whatever works best for you, but get those bad boys out at your pace and in the comfort of your privacy before they spill out without your permission.
2. [l]ife is what happens when we’re busy distracted by meaningless things and sulking about the sucky parts.
Okay, so this one is a bit harsh, but true nonetheless. There’s no denying that life is a rollercoaster ride, and it will always be. However, in order to make the most of it, I learned that we need to wake up and be intentional about enjoying life despite its ups and downs. Life can turn out to be unbelievably amazing when we choose not to dwell on the negative, but rather look for the positive in everything and remain hopeful.
3. It’s OK to be selfish; happiness should be our top priority.
If we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t adequately take care of others. Simple as that. Yes, some people may become upset at us because of it, but we’ll never be our best selves or reach our potentials if we live life walking on eggs shells just to keep other people happy.
4. No matter how far I stray, no one has my back like God does.
Faith has been an integral part of my life for a really long time and even though 2016 didn’t see the main cause for its fracture, it definitely saw its biggest hit. However, even though I seemingly completly 180’d, God never left me. Like ya’ll don’t even know how good God came through for me and I don’t think I’d learn this lesson better any other way. This is not to say that my faith is perfect now, but I definitely know he has my back like no one else and that’s enough for me right now.
5. Loving yourself is a catalyst for overwhelming life transformation.
This one statement is literally the cure for all of the previous lessons. That might sound like a crazy thing to say but think about it. If I had learned to love myself I wouldn’t hold emotions in, I would make the most of life because that’s what’s best for me and I would understand that sometimes my happiness comes at the expense of things but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t there and that he doesn’t love me regardless. Mind blowing, right? I’m glad I realize that now.
Well, that’s all folks. LOL.
Seriously, though, I hope that these lessons have benefited you in one way or another and that they inspire you to take some time to reflect on 2016 and find the gems that are buried in it.
I wish you the best and happy new year loves!
P.S. Stay tuned for an updated about me post, including new post schedule and the theme for this year’s blog series. X
I know it’s already a week past thanksgiving but you know what? It’s okay.
I was recently watching a youtube video by Kaylyn Nicholson and it inspired this blog post. In the video, which she labeled “All Great Art is Gratitude”, Kaylyn takes the time to list some of the things that she is grateful for, that makes her life art.
It really hit home.
There are so many things that, I either don’t really think about or simply take for granted that I can truthfully say I’m thankful for and make my life amazing even in the midst of struggle.
So, even though it’s a week past thanksgiving, I want to take the time to share with you some of the tangible and intangible things I’m grateful for.
And I hope that it reminds you of some things that you are grateful for.
Here it goes:
*These aren’t in any particular order, so I didn’t number them*
- Second chances – I don’t know how many times, I’ve been in a position where I feel like things are done and I’ll never be able to regain a feeling, a thing, or a person, but then life blesses me with a bigger and better opportunity and it turns my “mishap” into some sort of blessing in disguise and I’m left amazed.
- Music – I simply love music. Yes, it can be an escape like many say, but it’s not just that for me. Music is a place I go to when I’m already happy. I specifically remember the days, when I worked an 8-5, and I would be exhausted, but I would come home, turn on my radio and let my true happiness just flow. It’s who I am; a form of expression for me, and I love it.
- Rainy days – Not only do I unwind to the sound of rain but genuine rainy days, in which I can curl up in my blanket and read a book, those days are life.
- Fuzzy socks, sweaters, and pajamas – Simply because I’m always cold and these are heavenly.
- Christmas movies and hot chocolate – If y’all don’t know, let me tell you, Hallmark has the best, cheesy, unrealistic romantic Christmas movies ever. They aren’t the only thing I watch, although some days it may seem like it. But let’s just say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” when they are on. Oh and hot chocolate is the cherry on top.
- Reading/Writing – I mean Harry Potter? lol and if I couldn’t write then I wouldn’t have this blog, and I love this and you guys A LOT.
- Friends – It’s weird, how this year has been one of my craziest, ever, I lost friends, I lost myself for a bit, but in the midst of it all I gained deeper relationships with some people I never thought I would, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
- Dancing – I can’t really “dance”, but I like to act like I can when I’m by myself lol. The endorphins really get going when I sway my hips to the beat of any song. Especially JB songs, ask anyone close to me and you’ll know I’m obsessed. (Let Me Love You is my jam!)
- Family – Once again although I’ve had a mildly crappy year another thing that I’ve gained this year is a deeper relationship with my family. I’ve gotten closer with my brother and my cousins like I haven’t before and it’s strangely cool.
- My boyfriend – Regardless of my craziness, he has been so understanding and caring, and I love him to the moon and back.
*There are so many more things that can be added to this list but these are just a few of the ones I wanted to share with you guys*
Regardless of where you are in life, doing gratitude exercises can be so life-giving.
Taking the time to just slow down for a minute, stop the pity party (which I am a part of more than I should), and realizing how blessed we actually are can do wonders for the soul.
I hope that this post has helped you to reflect on all of the wonderful things in your life and that you are inspired to keep moving forward and start your week on a thankful note.
I don’t know about you guys but I have gotten so in my head at times to the point in which I’ve been questioning things that I have no business questioning.
You know that crippling self-doubt?
The what’s wrong with me? Am I worthy? Am I good enough? etc.
It’s gotten the best of me.
But I’m fed up with it.
It’s not only emotionally debilitating, but it’s also not the way I want to feel or treat my mind.
The truth is:
I control my thoughts. If I feel inferior or begin to doubt myself it’s because I have become so concerned with trivial things that I have forgotten the truth about who I am, what I’m worth and what I’m capable of.
Here is a list of things that I came up with to remind myself when self-doubt creeps in and tells me I’m not “enough”:
1. You are more than enough.
You are more than enough. Your value does not come from a thing, whether that be a talent, a job, or a material possession and it most definitely does not come from a person. You are more than enough just because you are a living breathing organism, created with love and affection by someone who loves you so much.
2. There is no one else like you.
Sure there are people who share the same talents as you, have the same hobbies, dress the same way, etc. However, there is no one that has your mind, your personality, all of your beautiful quirks in the way that you have them. No one can ever be you. And that is your power. Own it.
3. You know yourself better than anyone else.
I don’t know how many times I have caught myself questioning my own feelings and emotions simply because someone has called me out on it. I start to think that maybe I am ridiculous or that I am overreacting.
Don’t get me wrong it’s good to have perspective, and no you are not always going to be right and need to check yourself.
However, if you feel something, that is valid.
There is a reason for why you felt the way you felt, and that is what should be addressed. When you figure out the true source of those emotions than you access whether you need to check yourself or not.
4. You are a treasure.
Just because someone doesn’t appreciate all that you are, everything you have to offer, from your appearance to personality attributes does not mean you are not a prized possession. You’re a so fucking special. Period.
5. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Make a list of all the things that you have gone through that has upset you. Go ahead. One thing you will realize is that you either overcame successfully or you survived. You no longer feel the shame or pain you thought you would forever feel and you are a lot stronger because of it.
6. Life is what you make it.
I hate to go all Hannah Montana on you. Actually, I don’t because she was amazing. But seriously, she had a point. Life is what you make it. You can choose to dwell on the thing that has been bringing you down or you can decide to push through and focus on you.
Get back to working out, begin doing things you love, eat healthier, focus on whatever it is that makes you happy and leave no room for negativity.
I know what it feels like to doubt yourself, to not feel enough.
But, I want you to know that that is not everything.
We are worthy, we are loved, we are enough.
Even if we feel like we’re not.
Let’s make it a goal to remind ourselves every day!
I am an anxious person.
If you ask any of my closest friends they will tell you the struggle I go through when I faced with a seemingly stressful situation.
I go into panic mode.
I overthink, I analyze, and if it’s really bad I get compulsive, I cry, squeeze my head, curl up etc…
Now, I don’t do these things in front of anyone, I keep my anxiousness contained; only sharing it with people I trust.
However, it’s not healthy and that’s why I have recently focused on being intentional about finding ways to cope with it.
I have taken the time to think about things that relax me in order to get my mind off the problem at hand so that I can eventually think clearly on how to act.
These are some the things that work for me:
- Listening to calming music – I literally go on YouTube and open a video with music that is soothing, put my headphones on and disengage from the world.
- Writing – What I am doing right now. Some of my best content has come from moments when I have needed to disengage and have grabbed my laptop and decided to work on a blog post.
- Disconnecting from Social Media – Sometimes this can be compulsive for me but it doesn’t always have to be. The thing is to literally put the phone away for a while and not constantly stare at it thinking about not going on social media.
- Getting some fresh air – I prefer going for a walk but since it’s cold out now I just crack a window open and let the cold air hit me as I snuggle in a blanket. I sit there and take in nature in front of me. There’s something soothing about admiring the beauty of the world void of any other voices.
- Spending time with friends – This could be watching a movie or going out just doing something fun that will make you feel good.
- Watching funny videos – I unknowingly started doing this a while ago when I was going through a tough time, but it’s so beneficial. I got into watching Julioangeltpr and LeJuan James on Vine. They had me laughing so hard I cried. And they say “laughter is the best medicine”.
- Going to Target – Okay so I don’t know how beneficial this is financially LOL. However, for me, there is something calming about walking the aisles of Target. It’s so aesthetically pleasing. I especially love going to the office supplies section and tend to purchase more journals than I actually need.
- Talking to a counselor – I would include talking to a friend as well but if you have experienced anxiousness enough you know that eventually you become fearful you are going to exhaust your friends. A counselor is trained and prepared to listen to us and give us advice. Although our friends love us and mean well a counselor can give an unbiased perspective.
The main theme with all of these is separating oneself from the problem or finding someone, like a counselor that can help us see the bigger picture.
This does not mean conflict avoidance but rather taking the time to clear your mind in order to be able to better address it.
I have found that the worst decisions I’ve made are when I act on my anxiousness without thinking and the best decisions are when I take the time to clear my mind and carefully think about what I should do.
Please note that I am aware that some of these things are symptoms that require special attention and can be a result of General Anxiety Disorder. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s important to seek the help we need.
Also, know that being an anxious person doesn’t make you any less valuable or lovable. It just means that there’s an area in your life that is difficult and requires special attention to get through. It’s not, however, a reflection on who you are. You are amazing.
Keep your head up, beautiful.