The Oxford English Dictionary defines Self-love as; regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).
I remember when I was a kid at primary and highschool Self-love was regarded as a bad trait, kids used to say “Look at her! She loves herself so much”. I think it was ‘tall poppy syndrome’ eating it’s way into our young minds. If someone was different/happier/prettier/smarter/more popular/took care of themselves better/walked to the beat of their own drum, they “loved” themselves. It kind of set us all up to fail and gave us the wrong idea about self-love.
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-love, happiness and being content lately.
You know that awesome feeling, sometimes rarely felt, when you are completely happy with who you are, where you’re going, what you’re doing and what you’re about!? I’ve felt it, I know it exists, but sometimes it feels like climbing a Mt Everest of self doubt in order to get there, beating away negative self talk is really fricken hard!! And sometimes I allow myself to be consumed by it, “Yes, I know it, you’re right! Doing… (x, y, z) proves I am the worst person in the world”, “yep I am stupid for saying… (x, y, z)”, “Everyone is so much more perfect and amazing than me because they have better… (skills/hair/teeth/personality/job/house/car/family)”.
It’s an odd situation and the only way I can explain it makes me sound like a mental patient, but it feels like having two entities inside of your head. One of these entities is the overbearing mean, vicious “friend” who is trying to bring you down, one insult at a time. The other feels helpless and asks “Why? Why are you being so mean to me?” but never stands up to this “bully”, I feel both entities are as bad as each other; one is being downright nasty, while the other just lets it happen. It’s terrible what we all sometimes put ourselves through.
I don’t have a magic answer to beating this demon, however I know what works for me; I’ve managed to break through a lot of my negative self talk with Kinesiology. The voice doesn’t rear her head so much now, and looking back it just makes me sad to think how I treated me.
I’ve found that triggers for me are overanalyzing everything! This sets me on a downward spiral into “I’m not good enough” territory. It usually occurs after a social situation, I will be driving home and thinking “why did you say that!? IDIOT!!!” and then I’ll wonder what everyone thought of me and how they’ll now think of me… (narcissistic much!?) When in reality whatever I said or did was inconsequential.
I’ve also learnt from Ekhart Tolle’s book ‘The Power of Now’, to “witness” my thoughts, without judgement (that’s the hard part). Being aware and accepting how you feel/think about something, is part of accepting who you are and will set you on the path to freedom from negativity stewing in your mind.
Surrounding yourself with people that make you feel good is another smart choice. I’m not friends with people for the sake of having “friends”, I choose to surround myself with people that lift me up and accept me for who I am (I have some really fabulous people in my life who I love to pieces and who inspire me every day to live a life worth living).
I took part in a week long seminar called the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) in 2010 and it changed my life, I would say it was probably the best week of my life. It was jam packed full of inspirational/motivational speakers, fun and true emotion. At RYLA you feel free to be who you are in a non-judgmental, open environment. It’s all very positive and I gained a lot of tools for my future from it. RYLA is for people between the ages of 18 – 30 (I think), they have a similar program for younger age groups, but I wish they had it for older generations too. I think if everyone went to RYLA, like a right of passage, we would all be much happier, more compassionate and passionate people!
I also love a good quote, it gives me perspective, and makes me appreciate what I have and who I am.
The catalyst for this post was actually a quote my beautiful friend and flatmate sent to me yesterday: (I don’t know who the author is)
A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked. “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you – but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the 20 dollar note up. He then asked. “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. “My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless; but no matter what happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you. The worth of our lives comes, not in what we do or who we know, but by …WHO WE ARE. You are special – don’t ever forget it.”
I’ll leave you with that. Thanks for reading and good luck on your path to self-love, it truly is important and worth it, if you want to live a full, happy life.
– Cass xo –
Kudos – Emma (E-Ditty), my beautiful friend who is always inspiring and uplifting! ❤