Today’s Guest Post comes from a very special person in my life. Ellese and I have known each other for about 5 years and our journeys have parallel in our search for self-love and acceptance. Enjoy this awesome post! xoxo LY
Well, when I first heard this term a few years ago, I just looked blankly at the persons face describing what it was.
The concept of accepting myself for who I am exactly the way I am presently, was foreign. To put myself first before others. To treat myself to nice things for no reason at all except that I am worth it. Pampering, pleasure, indulgence, gratification, what the heck is this nonsense all about?
I grew up understanding hard work, dedication, drive and determination. I understood striving for more, being better, going higher. But self love… umm I am pretty sure that is illegal.
I continued listening to people around me beginning to describe these utter amazing changes in their lives due to this thing called “self love”. I figured that’s wonderful and all, but what else are you doing because there is no way that is the only thing promoting you to the next level.
While I continued to run myself into the ground by doing too much, putting everyone’s needs before my own, and not taking care of my physical, mental, and emotional well being, I saw my “self love” friends flourish in happiness. That’s when I gave up and surrendered once and for all. I thought to myself, “something has got to give”. Yes, I was progressing forward but it took numerous burnouts to grow. I was getting a little tired of my old ways.
So what did I do? I immersed myself in everything I had written off previously as completely unnecessary and borderline egotistical- I fully looovvvveedd myself. I got input from role models and gurus of self-acceptance and appreciation. I started implementing self-care into my schedule. I began getting my nails done every Friday. Every other week I got 10-minute back massages from my favorite place. I started off with small actions.
What did I notice? My life began to rebuild in ways I never dreamed of. I quit the job that was making me miserable. I moved out of the apartment with the mental-case neighbor upstairs. I took a vacation to California to see my brother.
I continued to implement more self-care into my daily routine. I began exercising in ways that were nourishing not demanding. I did 30-minute intervals instead of hour-long trudges. I took morning walks through central park. I pulled out my bucket list and began look at activities I could do.
Eventually I found the perfect summer apartment with a great roommate. I found a job that inspired creativity, and my writing has never been better. What the heck, this loving myself really does work!
Yes there are days that I fall off the wagon and go back into self-criticism. And yes there are hard days. When these come up, I have learned that it only means I need more love and care. I need more pampering. I am telling you it is such an odd concept, but it works.
It took a few years to get to the place I am in now, and I am still learning! But it is an amazing adventure that I highly recommend to everyone, especially women. You might be surprise by the outcome.