After a long process of trying to figure out what it meant to even like myself let alone love myself, I want to share with you how I backed my way into this and how you can too. It’s a long story how I came to loathe myself, my choices, and the results I was getting, but suffice it to say that anyone can have what I had-a blatant disregard for myself that bordered on self-hatred.
It wasn’t overnight, and it wasn’t easy to learn that not taking care of the body you’re blessed with will only leads to further heartache. And as the years came and went, the promised health issues of that sort of lifestyle made it abundantly clear what a pea-brain I was being.
So what was the problem? Obviously I wasn’t happy. Or maybe I didn’t realize what happiness was. But let me give a shout out to all the women out there that were raised watching their mom and grandma serve themselves last and not “put on your own mask before assisting others”. It just isn’t in our female DNA to think of ourselves at all let alone think of ourselves first. And I hope that will change soon but you know those mitochondria have minds of their own! I watched and I copied and sometimes that doesn’t work in your favor.So if this is resonating, or sounds familiar, read on. Are you like many of your sisters and mothers that are
- not forgiving ourselves over mistakes made
- not sleeping well
- have negative thoughts
- dwell on traumatic events
- have mood swings
- engage in emotional eating
- take dangerous risks
- drive recklessly at times
- abuse drugs and/or alcohol
- have trouble controlling your emotions
- find yourself moody and short with others for no apparent reason
“Self-acceptance makes you happy. A few years ago, a UK charity surveyed 5,000 people about ten habits that science has shown to make people happier. The survey revealed that self-acceptance made people most happy — even compared to being positive, learning new things and being part of something bigger. Despite its benefits, self-acceptance was the habit people were least likely to perform.” From Accept Yourself by Dr. Jeremy Dean
Compare the above to the stats on why too much social media makes people feel like their life isn’t as exciting as that of their friends! Well, shitsky, you can’t accept yourself if you feel like you’re a loser, right?
Finding solutions hasn’t been easy. Seems I had some inkling I needed to step up my game along the way because in my 20s I discovered dry brush/loofa and a daily sauna. In my 30s I cleaned up my diet, began eating organics, and drinking safe water. The next decade I had persistent migraine headaches I couldn’t shake no matter what I did so that’s when I realized more had to happen. I mean, a good day was still one I managed to get into the shower before bedtime.Finally a practitioner suggested I develop a morning routine where I actually wash and lotion my face, brushed my teeth, comb my hair, and spend some time in contemplation-ya know, pay a little attention to the self before exhausting myself for others all day long. It’s taken me years to develop that habit so I expanded that to include 20 minutes of meditation since I was so dysfunctional to begin with. Add to that an oil self-massage before showering and it’s almost lunch time right? Kidding-I had to learn to get up early enough to get this out of the way before my day began.
Each year, my resolutions seem to reiterate the one from last year and do an even better job caring for myself. I’m still trying to learn how to eat a healthy breakfast which for someone like me is a big deal to put energy into a meal that no one is served but me but I’m making progress there as well. By now I’m old enough to realize that this evolution of my personality has coincided with growing up and growing into taking true responsibility for myself. I guess it takes some of us a bit longer than others but I’m not sorry for the journey. And I’m lucky to report that each day I feel good…. really good in fact. I don’t look as good as I did in my 20s but I wouldn’t trade right now for any other time in my life.