On my whiteboard in my room is piece of paper that says, “Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does.” BUT the big question is, HOW? Do you feel like it is a huge challenge? We seem to be bombarded my images of perfection everywhere we look, and we are all struggling to keep up with this ideal. Yet, deep down we know it’s better to let go and let love. Afterall, what will happen we grow old? Will the self-destructive, negative, internal dialogue simply cease to exist? Or are we going to take it to our graves? Will it have added richer life with happier memories? Or will we look back with regret that we wasted days and days of our precious time worrying about a perfection that doesn’t exist?
I know for a fact we all have the wisdom to agree that negative self-talk is a stupid exercise. It’s a habit that few people take the time to break-free from. And it’s the biggest travesty of our modern world, BECAUSE the love you feel for yourself translates to the love you feel for others. If you ever catch yourself saying mean things about others, the chances are far higher that you have been saying the same mean things to yourself. Behind closed doors, when you look in the mirror there is a keen awareness of where the lack is and that then spills over into your life and blocks the joy that you know you deserve.
Ok so let’s get down to business, HOW, HOW, HOW do you do love yourself? Here is my suggestion:
Stop talking about it, moaning and feeling sorry for yourself. Make a commitment and tell everyone around you about it. Tell them to hold you accountable. If you start bitching about yourself or other people, tell them to come over and hug you. Tell them to remind you that you’re better than that. Then do that for yourself. Yes, I am not joking. Hug yourself and tell yourself, “Me… you know better. Hating on someone else will hurt you more than it can hurt anyone else. Please STOP!” You might feel ridiculous but it’s better than the alternative.
And please God, politely remove yourself from people that do exactly what you’re trying to stop. If they say mean things about others and themselves and they “enjoy” doing it, this is a red flag. GET AWAY FROM THEM! You can eat, drink and breathe poison. I think you can hear poison too. So if the person is poison then get away from it before the damage is irreversible.
You will fall off the wagon. Welcome to real life. You want to be healthy, but you love chocolate more that your own mother. You want to exercise every evening, but that boxset isn’t going to watch itself (and you like to finish what you start). You want to meditate, but you feel that extra sleep is as important. You want to love yourself, but won’t that be easier after you’ve lost a few pounds and had a tan? I have fallen off the wagon more times than I care to admit. So here is what we are going to do. We are going to practice. Practice means we fail at all these healthy habits and then we pick ourselves up and carry on. Why? Because your life depends on it!
In the end it’s simply a mindfulness exercise. STOP and notice, “ah I’m thinking bad things about myself/others.” In that moment you have taken a great step to positive change. Do a little happy dance for being a more awesome, aware version of yourself. Then go and find someone to be nice to. On the way, smile and realise how much courage and wisdom that thought interjection must have taken. Enjoy how happy you’re feeling and relish in the good that it translates to.