We've all read the articles, "just do some yoga and take a bubble bath" and BOOM you love yourself. But what happens when you take the yoga classes, soak in the tub, eat right, workout and you still can't seem to look at yourself in the mirror and like who you see?
Those articles aren't wrong, doing things for you and exercising self care is an integral part of learning to love yourself, but it's not all there is to it--that would be awesome though. Self work is not easy, largely because no one can do it for you. It has to be you, no matter how broken and beat down you've become. But here's the good news, it's doable! (If you missed me sharing al little bit about my story on our Instagram today, give it a quick read now if you'd like.) I did all the things people said to do, but the truth is a lot of advice out there leaves out how much has to happen internally, in your mind and in your heart, before the love starts to flow.
Right now we're going to dig into how exactly you can unlock that door. Once it's open, it's up to you to walk through it. Now that the unlocking analogy has been completely used up, here are our 2 keys.
1. Talk About Your Pain And The Things You're Feeling Insecure About
This doesn't have to be to an actual person at first, because thats like, really hard and scary, but it should eventually lead there. Talking about the things that are holding you back takes away their power. It's like in scary movies where the way to kill the demon is to speak it's name. It's time to kill the demon. If you're not in a place where you feel comfortable telling someone (spoiler: you'll never feel comfortable!), start by journaling and being HONEST. This is where the real magic happens. Whether it's depression, embarrassment of weight gain, an eating disorder (hola!), not feeling like a good parent, losing a connection with your partner etc., get it out!
For years I attributed my symptoms to everything but my eating disorder, but literally (and I don't use that word lightly) as soon as I opened up about it and was completely honest, I was able to begin moving past it and free myself from the mental prison I had caged myself in. It was incredible. Tell the person they don't have to provide advice, you just want them to listen. Getting it off your chest for the first time is like taking a breathe of air after being under water too long. You're freaking out, but it feels so good!
2. Practice Gratitude Daily
And practice it good! We've talked about the power of gratitude before (and will continue to because it's ah-mazing) so here is our daily gratitude power practice: each day think of three things you're grateful for and then SAY THEM OUT LOUD. This is the important part. Similar to #1 where you should eventually talk about the pain or insecurity you're holding onto, the spoken word holds a lot of power.
Do it in your car or while you're getting ready. Say your three gratitudes out loud and really think about them. The fact that you have a roof over your head, a car to get around in, a partner who loves you, something you're good at, your child, your pet, your good hair day, anything. Acknowledge all that goodness and let yourself hear it. Do it every day and set an alarm if you have to. It doesn't matter if it's a little forced at first, eventually gratitude will become a natural part of your day and outlook on life.
Bonus Key! Self care baby :)
You got it, yoga classes, eating right, exercising, BUBBLE BATHSSSS. The better you feel physically the harder it will be for your mind to tell the story that you don't. The two keys above were where my personal transformation really took a turn towards full recovery, but fitness and proper nutrition put me on the right path. Don't wait to start on your path and begin opening doors, "everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear," and even the smallest step matters.