SELF-CARE / SELF LOVE
Self-care is more than going to the gym or eating well, it is a voice inside asking, Am I willing to love myself enough to make my needs a priority?
The focus is on honoring and deepening our emotional sense of self-care, such as: never speaking badly about yourself, never giving up on your dream, being kind to yourself, letting go of what you can’t control, and giving up being a people-pleaser.
We want to connect deeply to the people in our lives and to love and be loved. Culturally, we are conditioned that it is better to give than to receive, and being selfish is an undesirable characteristic. The clash of cultural conditioning and our desire to connect deeply has resulted in a society that is largely not getting its needs met.
This clash presents a challenge - we feel shame for taking care of ourselves (connecting deeply) and bypassing the shame by becoming pleasers.
We have been taught that to love someone is to become emotionally entangled with them, putting their needs before our own to please them. People-pleasers strive to keep the peace, prove their worth and demonstrate how much they care, resulting in not speaking their truth and not standing up for what they want. When consistently practiced over time, their voice diminishes, they become resentful towards the people they love and give up on their dreams. Put another way, they aren’t living life for themselves, but for someone else.
Imagine the possibility of loving deeply, and being connected while honoring your own voice and needs.
We feel closer to people when we feel understood. However, much of the time we are not vulnerable enough by showing people who we really are. To be accepted and understood, we must risk showing people who we really are. This comes in a myriad of ways, such as: telling people what you are feeling, asking for what you want, sharing a viewpoint, and voicing a need.
Here are steps that will help you practice self-care and move you on a path to living a life you can love.
Self-Care / Self-Love Steps
Pause before saying Yes. Practice saying No
How often do you say yes or agree before you’ve had a chance to consider if you want to do it?
Practice pausing and tell people you will get back to them. Practice saying no to things you don’t want to do. Start with small, low-risk situations to get comfortable with being slightly uncomfortable.
Speaking your truth
Say “exactly” what you mean, without adjusting it to please the other person. Practicing this new skill will be awkward at first; over time it becomes easier to do.
Don’t speak badly about yourself
I once had a client who told me, “I am so hard on myself; my head is like a bad neighborhood, I can’t go there without back-up.” Actively evaluate what you are saying to yourself; left unchecked these become self-limiting beliefs.
Don’t be afraid to say Yes
Accept and say yes to compliments, receiving help, and yes to love and kindness.
Let go of what you can’t control
This includes situations and people. Let go of worry. Cultivate trust and confidence in yourself and others that everything will be okay.
Never give up on your dreams
Live your life for yourself. Get to know and honor yourself. Don’t wait or put things off. This is a call to express yourself and live unfiltered. Live for your dream now; life is short.
When I imagine the end of my life, it’s not a bucket list of places or experiences. It is all the people I love and if there is anything, I left unexpressed. It is the freedom to fully express my unbridled love that cultivates meaningful relationships and deep connections.
My wish for you, the reader is to know and trust yourself. To live a life you love and to do it without regret.