I believe that self love is a concept we can all agree on as one of those fundamental building blocks of a happy life. If you disagree with the importance of loving your self first then this is probably not the blog for you…
Assuming you’re like me, you’ve likely done a
certain amount a lot of research on the subject. We’ve read the books, attended the lectures. We understand the concept, probably in great depth.
Sometimes, however, the application of self love is kind of a bitch, in spite of our being well-acquainted with its merits
This week, two little life events have collided and have challenged what I believed were my incredibly well-developed self-adoration muscles. I share self-love tips with my coaching clients all the time. Since this concept is at the fundamental core of everything I’ve ever taught, I thought I’d share the story of putting my money where my mouth is with you, lest you think I’m fakin’ it.
So, I says to myself, “Time to walk your talk, girl.”
My story begins with the fact that my doctor got a new assistant and a new office space for his practice. In this kind assistant’s diligence, I was forced to weigh myself. I fully support the pursuit of refreshed baseline data. It’s a fantastic idea because that way if something goes awry with your bod, you have a bit of a control group (your “regular” weight, height, blood pressure, blood chemistry, etc. basically the information that’s collected during a physical).
So why, then is this any kind of a big deal for me? Well because, there was a window of time in my twenties when the tone and content of my inner monologue was determined almost exclusively by the number on a scale, how few calories I had consumed, and how many times I’d worked out.
A few years ago, when my self-love pursuit began in earnest, I threw my scale in the garbage and vowed to be a slave to it no longer. Since then, I use happiness and a sense of physical well-being (and how comfortably my pants fit) as my barometer, even going so far as to avoid being weighed throughout my most recent pregnancy (reason #4,111 that I love midwives – they let me get away with it).
After so many years of non-weighing, I thought I was over my “weight issues”. As I stepped on the scale yesterday, however, I thought, “guess that’s still a hang up”.
Suffice it to say, the number was higher than I would have liked it to be
In my defence, I did have a baby six months ago… Nonetheless, I have felt better in clothes. My jeans are uncomfortable. My inner barometer on this issue has been going off for a little while now.
See! Instantly defensive!
I dwelled for a
very kinda brief time and then I got over it. Time to hit the treadmill. No big. Committing to fitness isn’t a huge issue for me.
That would have really been the end of it for me (honest), if not for the second of the two external phenomena, this being that I’m having profesh photos taken.
These photos are being taken by my sister in law, with whom I am close and comfy.
So here I am. Weighing more than I’d like, having professional photos done.
Full-blown self-love dilemma (I wouldn’t call it a crisis. That suggests a level of drama that I’m kinda over).
I’m not so far removed from the girl who took diet pills and ran with a garbage bag over her clothes to sweat off extra pounds that I feel completely cool about all this…
Luckily As a result of several years of painful self-reflection, followed by several years of searching, I’ve gained an arsenal of weapons against the kind of self-loathing that I used to be so accustomed to. I know that acting from this place of self-hatred causes all sorts of destructive behaviour.
So, in the interest of being part of the solution and not part of the problem, I spent a few days this week doing the things I would suggest that you do if you were having a similar crisis of faith in your own fabulousness.
– I meditated on it
Raise your hand if you’re sick to your tits of me suggesting you meditate on stuff. Too bad. There’s truth in silence. Everyone says so. Ask Deepak Chopra. Ask the Dalai freakin’ Lama.
– I told my support system about my fears
Listen. I am an internalizer from waaaay back. I am a fake-it-at-all-costs gal. So many of my break ups and break downs have been a total shock to those around me because I’m such a good faker.
Here’s the thing though – faking it makes you sick. I’m not talking about pretending to be more confident about public speaking than you really are. I’m talking about hiding your deepest fears and ugly shame from the entire world.
I told my hubs that I wanted to lose weight. He said the thing that good husbands say, “You’re perfect just the way you are.”
I told my best friend. She said something similar and then asked me if I wanted to go for a run with her.
Be very choosy with whom you tell your hang-ups to. I highly recommend choosing someone who will say, “You’re perfect”. Even if you are on the path to changing stuff, it’s really bolstering to hear it anyway.
– I affirmed success
Do you use affirmations yet? It’s like a workout for your heart. The idea being that you repeat positive phrases to yourself until you believe them. Louise Hay is the affirmation matriarch and absolute authority on the subject. (Right now you can get an e-copy of her seminal book on the subject “You Can Heal Your Life” for $1.99)
Sounds a little awkward, doesn’t it?
That’s because it is. At first. But it comes hand in hand with the realization that our thoughts are our choice. And with this realization comes a whole new level of empowerment and responsibility.
You can choose the thoughts you think, and the thoughts you think have the ability to change the reality that you experience.
I had a choice to let the number on the scale determine my self-love. Or not. For years, I avoided making that choice by blinding myself to the number. I see now that this was an un-healed area for me.
Some of the affirmations I’ve been using are:
* I get healthier every day
* Exercise feels awesome
* There is nothing about this body that can change the love I have for myself, or the love that my family and friends have for me
This re-framing helped get me into the right headspace and created a lot more productive energy (as opposed to the wallowing kind).
So what’s the takeaway?
Well, on my end, I did my nails and chose some cute outfits and this photo shoot is a go. I was all prepped to do it yesterday and then my poor sis got a tummy bug (let’s all send her some lovely healing energy, k?). I’ll do it next week. After cooking and eating wonderful food for the Easter weekend and enjoying myself thoroughly while doing so.
My takeaway for you:
Take every moment of self- doubt, negative self-talk, or lack of self-love as the opportunity that it is. Excavate your hidden beliefs about life, yourself, money, sex, whatever. Don’t let anything hold you back from the big, beautiful, creative life of your dreams that the whole Universe is conspiring for you to have.
I love you (and I love me)!
If you enjoyed this article, please A: share it with your homies! and B: sign up for our FREE mailing list (below). You’ll receive a BONUS guided meditation just for signing up and be first in line for cool promos on the ClumsyGrace Oasis (Coming Soon!)