Practicing self-love and acceptance is an every day battle for me. My mind is just so corrupt. Seriously. The thoughts that go through my head are so negative and I can't seem to shut them off because I'm in a constant battle with myself. I still don't know who I really am, but I do have very strong values and a head on my shoulders, so what the heck do I do to turn off all of these negative thoughts? Simple. Practicing Everyday. Don't get me wrong, I have those days where I feel completely useless and the fact that I feel I have no talent or specific interest really brings me down because I WANT to do so much, but I can't because I feel so stuck. My MIND is in control on my life not ME-- my heart, my soul, my existence.
I wanted to share some things I do when a negative thought comes lingering by or someone pisses me off and I let that ruin my entire mood or day. Think about it. It's so unhealthy for our minds and bodies to let EVERYTHING affect us. Not everything can go our way but when you feel so lost within yourself, it makes the journey that much harder. I hope these steps help you find your inner peace as well.
"You are not your thoughts" - Michael A. Singer The Untethered Soul
Positive affirmations are the practice of repetitive self -talk. They are short statements you tell yourself to describe how you want to be or how you want things to be, as though they are already true or becoming true. For example, " Today is going to be a good day" I have a photo in my bathroom with this phrase and it's the first thing I read in the morning. It assures me that I am in control of my thoughts for the day and I have to be as optimistic as possible to get through any obstacles in my day. Something else you can try is showing gratitude. " I am so grateful for this new day". Remind yourself that you are BLESSED! No matter what may be going on in your life, you have so much to be thankful for. There's a Ted talk I heard recently on minimalism and something they said really stood out to me.
"Love people and use things, because the opposite never works". -The Minimalists
Be Kind to yourself
I can't stress this enough. If you treat yourself like crap, everyone else will. Don't let others manipulate you or your thoughts. Be kind to yourself and practice letting go of the negative thoughts making you feel so crappy. You are in control of your thoughts! Remember, You are your own person and treating yourself with love and kindness will only bring more love and kindness into your life.
Accept Imperfection & Be Grateful for them
None of us are perfect, I'm sure we all get that, but what we all need to understand is what makes us "perfect" is our differences. Have gratitude sessions with yourself, or even with your friends. As soon as you open up your eyes and the sun blinds you for that second, think about what you’re grateful for. Include things about yourself. Think about your failures and what about that failure are you grateful for. What about your imperfections can you be grateful for? I also love to journal and write down my thoughts before bed because that's usually when I reflect about my day. Write about, what you learned, what bothered you that day, what you can do to stop whatever was bothering you or even ideas you may have. Try to journal everyday or at least once a week and I promise it will become a habit.
This is the hardest thing for me to practice because I've been stepped on my entire life. If you judge yourself for not doing well at something, or not being good enough at something, try forgiving yourself for these things. Wouldn't you tell someone "It's OK" if they're not good at something? Well do it for yourself! Besides, we are all human and we make mistakes.
Now, When it comes it other people, it's a different story for me. I can't tell you how many people I've had to cut out of my life in the past year because these people simply were consuming every part of me. My naivety gets in the way of realizing who is my friend for benefits or actual love, and forgiving people is just not easy to come around. Let me give you a teeny bit of background.
Ever since elementary school, I was always bullied for my appearance, what I did, or even what I wore. I remember in middle school, the girls I called my "friends" were my actually bullies. I remember wearing a black sweater one day just to be mocked and outcasted, because I was a "follower". Like come on, we all wear black sweaters! But I didn't think about it at the time, I was simply hurt. Now, thinking about it today, it makes me realize how small minded people are and how one comment or action can change someone's life forever. I'm not saying my life was ruined because I was bullied and called a follower, but my life continued on the path of constant denial and I never developed a "self-identity" because I never really allowed myself to. I was always afraid of what people might think or even what my parents might think. I never really had an open relationship with my parents because they are so old fashioned and they simply did not grow up in the same environment as I did, so it was very difficult to express to my mom I was bullied and mocked everyday because she simply did not understand. Her response would always be "Pray for them" OR "Don't listen to them". As a child, that meant nothing because it did not solve my pain and frustration. It also didn't help because I tried so hard to "fit in."
Anyways, long story short, I struggle everyday trying to accept myself because I'm just so self-conscious. Thankfully, I have a great support system now that lifts me when I'm down and reminds me that I am special because of my differences, and I just have to EMBRACE them, which is easier said than done of course. Again, the more you practice something the better you get at it, so don't give up on yourself. I'm here with you too.
I hope this post helps you get at least a little bit closer to finding yourself and believing that you are special no matter what this world and society thinks is "right" or "successful"