Guest Post By Whitly Jane
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and unconditionally loved the person staring back at you? The perfections and flaws?
At the end of the day, we just want to love and be loved. What’s taken your love away?
Was it the decades of cruel words by the people you’ve encountered? Could it have been the pressure and expectations of what society has held for you? Was it the constant need to be perfect in exchange to feel accepted? Or was it the treachery of the ones who you let in?
Loving yourself will be one of the hardest things some of us will ever have to do. My story dates to experiences of the constant seeking of approval from others. Dimming my own light in fear of it shining too brightly.Settling for falsified love due to lack of finding it within myself and giving away my power in exchange for acceptance. What story have you been writing that’s been preventing you from loving yourself?
Regardless of what it was that’s stolen your ability to love yourself, you can take it back. You can unlearn the old and learn the new way of how you love yourself. It is a journey. It is a constant effort everyday in which I am still continuously on. The five critical keys that I’ve used daily which has helped me to go from being something I wasn’t to becoming my authentic self.
One of the best things you can do for yourself no matter where you’re at in your life or what you’ve been through is to practice forgiveness. You cannot allow yourself to experience certain things in your life when you hold onto the past. Has there been someone in your life who’s done you wrong? Is there something that you’ve done that you cannot forgive yourself for? If you’re nodding your head yes, then this is a key you will want to implement immediately! Depending on how deep the wounds or grudges are, there are two things you can do.
The first thing, write a letter. Write a letter of forgiveness to that person or yourself and forgive all who were involved. Write a letter for each scenario that you may still be holding onto in your mind. When I did this, I was able to release things that were hiding for so many years. This won’t necessarily be an easy task to do but I promise it will allow you to begin the journey of healing. The second thing is simple. Forgive yourself instantly! Whenever you do something that you’re not happy about, like not getting to the gym like you planned or you didn’t wake up early like you said you would. Instead of beating yourself up. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Recognize what you’ve done, tell yourself that next time you’ll do better and move on!
Too often, we sit in the state of negative self bashing where we internally beat ourselves up over petty things that really end up just holding us back. Forgive others, forgive yourself and be compassionate and gentle with yourself. This is a HUGE step in learning to love yourself.Letting go of Shame
Two: LET GO OF SHAME
This one can honestly be tough and it often requires us to go deep within to help us recognize the things that have been subconsciously holding us back. Shame can be found when we have experienced pain or trauma as a child or adult. This shame often happens during an experience that’s happened to us at a young age and usually follows us into our adulthood. This shame can become a toxic factor in our lives without us ever noticing it.
When I began my self love journey, I did a lot of journaling. Little did I know how much journaling would reveal so many things of my past that I was holding onto which translated into shame and as a result jeopardized relationships and my way of being. If you are someone who has a hard time with acceptance, people pleasing and fear of judgement, try journaling everyday for ten minutes for two weeks so that you can begin to recognize and release the shame that may be binding you.
Three: Remove the Pollution
What do I mean by this? I mean remove the negative people and things from your life. This will be one of the hardest things you will do on top of learning to love yourself. Often times, the people and the things in our lives are a reflection and a reminder as to why we shouldn’t love ourselves. Think of yourself as a temple in a beautiful forest. All of the people and things in your life are part of this majestic forest. There’s the sunshine, the flowers and the lakes. These are the positive people and things in your life that contribute to the beauty and life of the forest. Now, the termites, toxins and litter, are the negative people and things in your life. If you do not push those things out, it will eventually destroy your forest and the temple residing inside of that forest.
Four: Self Care
Self care is just as important as all of the rest. Caring for yourself involves filling up your cup first so that you are overflowing and can pour graciously into others. You cannot fill anyone’s cup with an empty one, so fill yours first! How you can do this is by placing your focus on your mind, body and spirit. You can journal, practice gratitude, listen to a podcast or read a book. Nourish your body with good foods and exercise. Finally, incorporate a spiritual practice of some sort. Whether it’s connecting with yourself, meditating or praying. Each of these things has been a crucial part in my self love journey and has helped me learn so much about myself.
Five: Setting Boundaries
I think this has been one of the biggest pivotal things in my life – setting boundaries. A boundary is where you end and they begin. A boundary is an invisible energetic wall that says “Hey, don’t cross!” Setting boundaries can be tough especially if you weren’t taught healthy boundaries from a young age. Things like people pleasing, saying yes when you really want to say no or allowing others to make you feel uncomfortable are all signs that you are not setting boundaries. So first, you need to recognize what you’re not willing to tolerate then you set the boundary. Setting boundaries and sticking to them takes practice, trust me, you won’t get this overnight. It’s like a muscle, you have to work it to build it. Be gentle with yourself. Start listing out the things you will no longer tolerate and create your boundaries and stick with it. Practice makes progress.
The self love journey is an everyday practice. The more you spend time getting to know yourself, the deeper you fall in love with you. The thing is, the moment that you love who you are, you give everyone else permission to love who you are. We are the ones who lead by example by how we treat ourselves. Treat yourself with love, respect and worthiness and others will treat you just that way. When you do this, watch your world change for the better. Watch your wings spread like the beauty of a butterfly. You are worthy and deserving. Make a choice to love yourself today.
Guest Post Bio
Whitly Jane is a speaker, mentor and creator of The Purpose Academy who helps others step into their purpose.