Whether or not we realize it, too often, we are our own worst enemies. We bully and berate ourselves on almost a daily basis. Whether it be through negative self talk or staying in unhealthy relationships, we aren’t showing ourselves the loving, self-respect we deserve.
If we aim to go out into the world and make positive changes, and treat people well, we must do the same for ourselves. If you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be in the best position to take care of others.
Not to mention, you deserve it! There is one person in life who is going to always be by your side, no matter what, guaranteed. That person is the one staring at you in the mirror every morning, hopefully not criticizing your hair or your love handles. You are your constant sidekick! And for that, for being there in thick and thin, don’t you think you deserve some respect?
WHY DO WE DO IT
In a world, where the pressures to be successful and beautiful (of course… according to the standards of society and media) outweigh any sort of pressures to be good and kind, it’s near impossible to not be hard on ourselves. If we feel we aren’t living up to the standards of beauty and success, and we only have this one shot at life, then we feel unhappy and we feel like it is our own fault. The culprit is looking staring at you in the mirror.
The truth is, you are not the enemy. You are not the bad guy. The enemy, is society. The monster that corporate companies have created to entice you to buy this, bank here, work there… is influencing you to be cruel to yourself so you will do what they want.
Think about it, you wouldn’t buy lipstick and concealer if you felt beautiful already, and so makeup companies would flounder. You wouldn’t buy the fancy pants car, if it wasn’t a symbol of success or status. And so, the companies tell us things that make us buy their products. Isn’t it sad? Doesn’t it make you angry?
All of that being said, if you enjoy doing makeup and it’s an art for you, or it’s therapeutic, by all means buy the makeup… But know you are beautiful without it! If cars are your game, and they fascinate you, by all means, buy the car… But know that it does not define you!
But no matter what you decide to do or not do, at least raise your awareness, tune in and see just how nice or cruel you are being to yourself. You would be amazed the distance that a little self love can go.
3 WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE
SAY NICE THINGS TO YOURSELF
Now, this doesn’t have to be to the extent of standing in front of your mirror and repeating over and over positive affirmations every morning. It can be, but it does not have to be. I don’t want you to write this off because “that’s lame”, or “that’s too much for me”. Saying nice things to yourself can quite honestly begin with just not saying mean things. The lack of mean, can be kind.
To do this, you need to tune in and notice when you are saying these awful things. More often that not we don’t realize the cruel things we tell ourselves. “You’re not good enough”, “You can’t get that job”, “You’re not pretty enough for him or her”, “You’re so dumb”… and unfortunately, so on and so forth. Start by noticing these moments.
Once you note them, then practice stopping them. After you find that you are able to intervene and stop the thoughts before they have an effect, replace them with kinder statements. “You’re enough”, “You are able”, “You are beautiful”, “You are a genius”, ‘You are awesome”. Give yourself mental high fives regularly and plant kind words in your mental chatter.
Day after day, we do the same things. We go to work, we may go to the gym, we may go grocery shopping, we may watch TV. The point is, we get into this rut of doing things, but maybe we’re not doing the things we love and enjoy.
I am actually a fan of the whole YOLO movement, because it makes sense! I mean as far as afterlife, second life, reincarnation goes… I don’t know whats going to happen when my soul leaves my body, but I do know that eventually the sun will set on this chapter, and I want to fall into that eternal sleep knowing that I did thing that made me happy!
You work hard, and this is your life. Be sure that you are setting aside some time to do the things that set your soul on fire, whether it be golfing or dancing or cooking or reading. Always, always make time for you.
Respecting yourself, begins with knowing your worth. Once you know and believe that you are truly worthy of love and kindness, you will accept nothing less. This might mean leaving a job where a boss treats you unkindly or pays you unfairly. This might mean leaving an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, because you know you deserve worlds better.
Once you begin showing yourself love and understanding just how awesome you are, make sure that in all areas of life, you are only surrounding yourself with circumstances and people who show you similar love and kindness. Don’t let anyone ruin your hard work and make you feel lesser than. Quite honestly, if anyone is treating you badly, it’s more so a reflection of how they feel about their own circumstances than yours. They should probably be reading this post.
Implement these 3 practices, and you are bound to be feeling the love in no time, and you deserve it, fam. When you feel the love, you become love, and you spread love. That is the Zenful Urbanite way.