It’s a defining moment in all of our lives. That moment when you realize that “taking care of yourself” is something that you should actually take seriously. That moment when you start looking at the expression “take care” quite literally. It’s that time when you finally decided to look back on your life and have several come-to-jesus moments of self-reflection. 2017 (so far) has been that moment for me. I let go of a past that I didn’t want defining me anymore and decided to “take care” of myself. It’s a little odd for me to sum up this year considering it’s only July, but who makes these rules right? 2017 was (and still is) the year of Self-Love.
Self-love was an expression, a feeling that I wasn’t too familiar with for the past few years. I allowed my being to be defined by someone else and never really took the time to take a step back and criticize myself for being “that girl.” The past is now in the past, but sharing one of the biggest lessons learned from this year so far is something that I promised myself to talk about coming back to Nancy Sparkles. This isn’t another long-read on the importance of self-care, self-love and why you should practice it everyday. While I do agree with the practicing everyday part, I’m going to share a few things, thoughts, feelings that you should carry every now and then to help you cultivate and learn the importance of self-love.
- You find happiness in unexpected places. As cliché as that sounds, it’s so true. I found it after going through an extremely hard time in my life. Who knew that I’d end up happier than I’ve ever been afterwards? The universe just has a funny way of making you find yourself back to the things that matter most. Whether it was the journey or the end result, you will wind up exactly where you belong. Embrace it, love it and take that as your first step into the practice of self-love.
- Embrace Change. This is tough. Change is something that a lot of us don’t like. If anything, a lot of us resist it. At the end of the day though, you can’t stop it from coming. You don’t want to get left behind, so adapting to a life of change is something that we all need to truly grow into the people we wish to be. It hurts to grow, but the process helps you value yourself for who you are and who you’re becoming.
- You are a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, stop doubting yourself. If you’re unhappy with yourself, do something about it, but do it with full force. Give yourself a purpose to kick-ass everyday. It could be your job, your hobby, etc. Let the fuel of accomplishing those goals light your way to self-love. What about those scars, disappointments and heartbreaks? OWN THEM. Embrace them for all they are because that’s what made you into the person you are today.
- How can you love someone else if you don’t love yourself? You can’t and won’t. It’s almost like a mental barrier that you’re not even aware of until you have that come-to-jesus moment that you’re not giving that person your 100% true self. However, the more self-aware you become the sooner you’ll realize that you can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t love yourself for who you are and who you are becoming, how can you expect others to do the same? I know that gut-punching feeling when the people I cared about would tell me that I “deserved better.” It would hurt because I knew they were right and ultimately that ended up being my source of happiness: knowing that I deserve better and that I was good enough.
- Self-love is a priority. Once you have it and you start accepting and loving yourself, everything will fall into place. The right people, things and opportunities will start to feel like they belong in your life for a reason and not just out of convenience. Work and invest in yourself and never let yourself fall down the top of your to-do list everyday. Self-love isn’t just a thing to work on the weekends or only while you’re catching up on reading “You are a Badass” (which I still highly recommend you read). Worship yourself on a daily basis and nothing will come in the way of that.
You don’t have to play games, just be yourself and everything will start falling into place the way it was meant to. I still ask myself, why is it so rare in this world to be real? It’s because we’re all sucked into wanting to belong and live by society’s standards of what “normal” is. That’s the kicker though, we’re too busy living for others and we forget about ourselves. Self-love isn’t selfish, loving others and giving shouldn’t be at your own expense. You’re valued the way you value yourself.
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