I talk about and promote self-care in my work because it was one of the first methods I used to recover from a very dark period. A time when I was depressed, anxious and had totally lost touch with any sense fun and freedom. I was so out of practice with showing myself love or kindness.
It was this experience that inspires my coaching business and writing today. I continue learning about myself and what works for me, I then share with you.
Every day, I learn a little more. There are parts of who I am that I love but I want more than that. True self-love is a process of learning to accept every inch of who you are. This means every lump and bump, every kind bone our bodies as well as every petty and needy bit too.
I have learned that self-care is an important part of the journey but it is not the only thing needed to feel happy relaxed and free. You have got to give yourself love and acceptance.
As the kid who was told she was nobody, on most of her schooling it has been difficult to let go of the idea that the people who bullied me were right. I hid away because ultimately, I felt flawed.
I hid away both the positive and negative parts to keep myself safe. This was very effective in such a traumatic situation. Like a hedgehog, I rolled up into a ball and kept my warm and soft centre tightly under wraps.
I used self-care as a first step to loosening up and to learn to let myself be valid and visible. As someone with needs worth considering. This involved making myself a priority without feeling guilty or bad. That was not easy, I can tell you!
In coach training, I was encouraged to focus on the gifts and skills that are uniquely mine. What have I to offer the world? This is an incredibly difficult thing to comprehend when you are used to hiding away. When you are so fearful of your brokenness being exposed to the world. I wanted so badly to not be ruined by my experiences as that bullied kid. I wanted it to mean something.[caption id="attachment_1159" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Credit: unsplash.com[/caption]
This is one of the main reasons that I became a coach and writer. I want to make every lesson learned and every ounce of pain worthwhile. It is important to me to create something that can give comfort and strength. I want to help people move past what is holding them back. No one is deeply flawed even if they believe it to be true. We are all enough and amazing just as we are.
Now that I am on the journey to explore those parts I have kept so hidden. I am finding there isn’t so much scary broken stuff as I thought. My broken bits are also just like everyone else's. I'm not so unique in the bits I try to hide. It is a terrifying thing to put myself out there and risk judgement but wow how the payback is worth it! I'm paid in confidence and freedom, lessons and experiences. I am paid with a full life.
I am adding an additional focus to my business. I am not only going to tell you to look after yourself. Accepting and loving yourself is just as important. That when you are tired and overwhelmed and feel like life is just neverendingly difficult. Being able to love yourself, accept yourself as you are and show yourself kindness is just as important as taking care of yourself.
All that love you pour out to your friends, your family, partner and children. Can you imagine if you showed yourself the same love? It's difficult, to begin with. It feels like the most unnatural thing in the world at first. You'd rather pull your teeth out with pliers. If you can gently but persistently learn to like something about yourself and nurture it and care for it. one day you may like it and then maybe even come to love it.
To love yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to those around you. I started trying to love myself for my kid's sake. I wanted them to love themselves and be lead by my example. Furthermore, it was really important to me to heal over my childhood. I also wanted to be more open and honest with those I care about. I don't want to hide bits of myself away. It is important that I am fully present rather than focusing on hiding and keeping myself safe. I want more.
I want more. Taking care of myself wasn't all that I needed to do. My next step has been towards learning to love myself. I deserve a full life not limited by the worry that I am not enough. I am good enough as I am, so are you.
Why are we as women not relaxed? Why are we always worrying what everyone else thinks and wants? Wouldn't it be great if we could we focus comfortably on ourselves?
I want to love me and I want to see my daughter grow up as a woman who loves herself. I want her to learn that putting herself first isn't selfish or narcissistic. Self-love is important because she is important. I don't want her to be limited by fear of her flaws and fear of judgement. I want her to love every inch of herself even the imperfections. My hope is that she will love herself as I love her. We should love ourselves as much as those around us do.
If you do not love yourself of even like yourself right now this doesn't mean that you are not worthy of love. You are capable of anything. You are loved and valued and enough and important. Even your anxiety, even your shyness. every fear you have is worthy of your love.