I have always loved Valentines Day and oddly enough, I have always been single on Valentine’s Day! (Aside from this year… thanks for dating me Tyler!) But I’m obsessed with the idea that we have a day dedicated to love. I have struggled for a large part of my life to love myself. As you have seen in previous blogposts, my struggle with an eating disorder basically pushed out any room for self love. I have spent so many years building myself and my confidence back up and through this time I have come to understand some really important lessons when it comes to embracing yourself for the beautifully imperfect person that you are. Here is the thing, you can't truly love another person, until you come to love yourself. I don’t know who you are dedicating this Love day to, but be sure to dedicate a part of it to loving yourself. I have come up with 6 ways where I have learned self love on this journey of self acceptance and I want to share them with you in hopes that you can implement a few of them to find greater confidence and a greater understanding of who you are.
I remember I would hide so many parts of who I am because I was worried that people wouldn’t accept those parts of me. When I started dating Tyler I wore all the make up, always had my hair done, and shared the parts of me that I thought he would think were cool or impressive. I had this weird idea that once someone found out about my past, my struggles, and saw me with no make up that they would run for the hills! For whatever reason I believed that parts of me were not worth loving. As our relationship progressed, he got to see more and more of those “unloveable” parts of me and he loved me anyway. It wasn’t until I was able to share who I was that I was able to come to this realization. I am worthy of love. People love me- strings attached, so why do I have those reservations for my own love?
Opening up has helped me to see to see me from a different perspective and it has changed my life. I’m funny and I’m not afraid to speak up in a crowd, I am strong, I have struggled through a lot of things and continue to do so, I have such a passion for life and for travel and I love people! Share who you are with the world! Share the things that make you happy, the things that make you laugh, your weird sense of humor, your talents, your struggles, and you will learn that those “unloveable” parts are actually only unloved by YOU.
I can not even describe how much gratitude has changed my life. It has changed the way that I see the world and myself. We all get into those moments where everything seems to be going wrong and it’s so hard to focus on the things that are going right! Gratitude can help you pull yourself out of this negative state and learn to love the life, the body, the trials, the amazing things that you have been given. Everyday, I share three things about myself, that I am grateful for. At the beginning it was hard to think about the things that were special about me and a lot of the things I was grateful for were things that people couldn’t see for example: I always try to help people and be there for people. I am really motivated. These things are all great, but when I would look in the mirror I didn’t always have the nicest thoughts. I had to change this and I learned to be so grateful for my physical features as well. If you are not practicing gratitude daily, or at least doing positive affirmations. Start today! Practice loving yourself a little more by being grateful for who you are.
Put Yourself Out There:
A year and a half ago my friend Britt and I went on a trip, just the two of us to Italy. It was an amazing trip and I learned so much about myself there. As we were walking around we decided to dare each other to do things outside of our comfort-zone- childish.. maybe.. But I learned some really valuable lessons. We are capable of so much! The capacity that a single person has is amazing. By putting myself out there, I was able to show myself that I really am capable of so so much. It has taught me to be daring, it has taught me to trust more and to become independent. Do something that scares you. Stop trying to prove yourself to other people and seek validation that way. Put yourself out there and prove to yourself that you are incredible, fearless, and talented.
Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Love You:
When I first started down this path of blogging, there were days where I would get so discouraged. I would vent to a family member or friend and in their attempt to help, they would always remind me that I could go back to school. Little did they know, that was not in my plans at all. However, it really didn’t help me move forward as even more self doubt crept in. I would second guess myself, I would doubt who I was and what I was even doing. Or I would feel ashamed that being a "blogger" wasn't a "real job". I needed people who were rooting for me and cheering me on. I have since been able to surround myself with powerful and uplifting people who genuinely care about me and want me to succeed. I’m not saying that these people in my life didn’t care, but they didn’t understand. I needed people who were propelling me forward, especially when I was in a pile of self doubt.
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You are in charge of your own thoughts:
There are so many days where the voice inside of my head tells me that I am not good enough and that I may not be worthy of love. We need to remember that our thoughts are completely are own and it is our choice to change them. Improve your inner voice. Self affirmations aren’t just something that cute Youtube dads do with their children! Implement them into your own life! Start your Valentine’s Day and every day with self affirmations. Some that I am currently using right now are:
I am in awe of what my body is capable of
I have the power to change my story
My commitment to myself and my dreams is real
I will accomplish any dream that I have
It is 100% in my capacity to do so
I am proud of myself and all that I have accomplishedI accept me for who I am
I challenge you to start writing down and saying your own affirmations. The power that comes from changing your thoughts is an amazing leap forward for self love and acceptance.
Do things that make you happy:
There is no reasons to be sad because of circumstance. If you don’t love your job, there are a million other jobs, if something really bad has happened and you need some help, get it! Therapists are great! If you love to travel and don’t know how you can afford it, there are actually so many ways to travel on a budget (Check out my blogpost here), if you don’t love something about your life, change your attitude or change your perspective. Be with people who inspire you, eat the chocolate cake, work on your relationships, book the plane ticket, sing Adele in the car on full blast! Do the things that make you happy and you will be happy. You will find joy in the life that you have and love you, more!
I hope that this Valentine’s Day we can all spend a little more time, not only loving those around us, but truly coming to love ourselves for who we are. Dedicate this Day of Love to LOVE. Love those around you, reach out to people to remind them how much you love them and then take some time for yourself to remind you, how much you love YOU! If you need someone to remind you why you are worthy of love, give me a call.
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