Self-Love: Part 2
Greetings to all!
Truthfully speaking, I am embarrassed that it has been such a long time since my last post.
I'm back and I'm better though. Life really did a number on me the last few months.
I have to address the fact that life is crazy for everyone right now. Miss Rona really said this is her home now and f all your plans for 2020. We're literally sheltered in place and there's so much uncertainty and fear in the air. At this point it's about to be a month that we have all been quarantined, if not longer. These are trying times for everyone. I figured this would be a good time to post part 2 of my self-love discoveries in hopes of helping anyone that's having a tough time at home.
At this point, we've discovered that being isolated is not what's up. Many of us used the external world as a distraction and didn't even quite realize it until we no longer had access to those things. If we're anything alike, being isolated is bringing out some demons. Things we don't want to face, accept, or work through. Oh but that's not all, is it? Along with bringing out personal or deep rooted problems, many of us are faced with the worry and uncertainty of not having a job yet still having to pay bills. It's a whole shit show and we are the stars, but alas, we are trying to make it work. I promise, you are not alone. I currently live alone so I'm spending more time with myself than ever before. Now this may not be the case for everyone, but to a certain degree we're getting a higher dose of "me time" than we'd probably like or prefer. It's really bringing out the relationship we have with ourselves and it's incredibly uncomfortable.
I'm going to share some things that have been helping me improve that self-love and relationship with myself.
If you haven't read it yet, now would be a good time to revisit Self-Love: Part 1 where I cover some basics that definitely still apply.
Finding #4: You are not me and I am not you.
With being quarantined and many working from home, I'm sure we've gotten that notification on our phone that says "Your screen time went up this week by 18273%". Since the outside world isn't really available right now, we have all turned to social media for our entertainment/distraction.
I have found my energy feels low after I get done scrolling for a while, so naturally I asked why. Answer: I was subconsciously comparing myself to the people I was seeing on my feeds (which is something I was doing way before we were quarantined, just have less means to distract myself from that fact now). People can't post about all the amazing things they're doing or places they're visiting now unless it's throwbacks, but many people are still being some type of productive. Yet I'm sitting on my couch, probably eating something, and scrolling. Here's the real catch, I don't feel motivated to be productive and I kind of felt guilty for that.
I've seen so many tweets saying "If you don't come out of quarantine with a new skill you wasted your time" or anything along the lines of shaming people for not being productive right now. I'm here to tell you that IT IS OK IF YOU ARE NOT LEARNING A NEW SKILL/IMPROVING AN OLD ONE RIGHT NOW. We are in a PANDEMIC. Not a nationally agreed upon break to just sit back and chill. People are just trying to SURVIVE right now. Many people don't know where their next meal is coming from because they're jobless, and/or are worried about getting sick, especially if they ARE working right now (not from home). And if that is you, IT IS OKAY. It is okay to not be productive outside of doing the things you need to survive.
If you are fortunate enough to not be in the position where you're in survival mode, you are also not obligated to be improving yourself right now. Right now is the time to NOT feel guilty for relaxing because everyone is in the same boat. If you were consumed by your job/activities before this pandemic to the point that you barely had time for yourself, use this as a break if you want to. I personally believe the Universe is telling us to slow down a little bit.
Conversely, if you do have the energy/willpower to work on a new skill or improve an old one, then you should do that! It goes back to Finding #3 in Part 1, don't do anything you don't want to do, and do what you want. The key to Finding #4 is to not compare yourself to others and what they're doing. Do what works for YOU. Live in YOUR truth whether we're in quarantine or not.
Finding #5: Let me love you.
Not too long ago I noticed that being complimented makes me uncomfortable. Like... REALLY uncomfortable. I never know how to act and I usually end up down playing myself. However, I'm the FIRST to let my friends know they look good or are doing well in life. It's been a big realization that I don't know how to allow myself to receive love from others. Then I really started to think about it and had to take a moment. I'm learning how to love myself yet I also don't know how to accept love from others so I'm just sitting here without any love from anyone including my own self... make it make sense.
Luckily, acknowledgement is the first step to changing that so I'm on the right track.
As important as it is to be self-sufficient and yes our goal here is to love ourselves, allowing others to love us definitely plays a role in getting us there. I think of it as a reflection of how I'm doing. The more comfortable I am loving myself, the more comfortable I feel accepting love from friends and family. I realized that I had a hard time accepting compliments because I didn't believe it to be true, whatever it was they were saying. Which lets you know how I was truly feeling about myself.
Let yourself feel that love and support. Don't downplay compliments. Accept them without feeling the need to have a rebuttal. Someone once said to me, "I wish you saw yourself the way I see you", and I will forever remember it and them. Often times our friends and family see the awesome things about us before we give ourselves the chance to recognize it. Especially right now, it's easy for the self-doubt to creep in. Lean on your support system to keep you grounded to what is real. Spread the love, and accept the love.
Finding #6: I forgive me.
One of the most important things I have learned in this journey is the concept of forgiving myself. This concept really tackles the deep rooted issues that might stem from childhood, past relationships, or things we went through that still have a hold of us emotionally and mentally. Many times we don't even notice that such things still linger in our minds and hearts especially if it has to do with another person, until we get triggered. We tend to get mad at others and the first thing we hear when being advised to get over the situation is to forgive that person, but how come no one ever taught us to forgive ourselves? We subconsciously carry so much guilt, shame, and criticism and fail to notice that we hold those things against ourselves the most.
One of the final steps of me being able to fully let go of something was having the conversation with myself and saying "I forgive myself for being in this situation."
It is important to forgive ourselves even if we were not the ones that caused the unfortunate event to happen (usually the case with childhood trauma). The statement for a situation like that would be: I forgive myself for not knowing better at the time". Often times we wish we would've known just enough to not let that happen to us.
I had to forgive myself for the times I didn't stand up for myself or protect myself even though I knew I should have in the moment and I just chose not to.
It is incredibly important to be gentle with ourselves. We are human and we make mistakes all the time. By forgiving ourselves, we are able to move forward with slightly more ease.
Without a doubt, these are some of the toughest times we have faced in our lives. Whether it's being directly affected by COVID-19 and the circumstances it has brought upon us, or by the fact that you're having to deal with some internal things you might've been putting off. I reassure you, you are not alone. I tried to facilitate how these findings could be applied right now, especially during quarantine. However, these things will absolutely continue to apply once quarantine is over and "normal life" resumes. I discovered these things for myself before quarantine even started, just hadn't gotten around to sharing it quite yet. I'm glad I have the opportunity to do so now. The road to self-love is not an easy one. We have to deal with a lot of feelings that make us uncomfortable but I find beauty in that. Without the hardships we aren't able to fully enjoy our victories. Remember to be patient with yourself. It takes time. Also remember that it's not all lows or uncomfortable feelings! There are plenty of good days. Have fun! There is nothing telling you that you are not allowed to feel happy or have fun while working through things! It's just a warning that it's not all rainbows and butterflies along the way, which is normal and ok. It's important to love yourself through it all.
Let it be known I am no expert on any of these things and I do not claim to be. I humbly share the things I have learned in hopes it will help you in your own journey. I invite you to share with me what findings you've had on your journey to self-love or just let me know how it's going! You are not walking alone, I'd love to hear about it!
Please continue to stay safe. Social distance, wash your hands, spread love, and take care of your mind, body, and soul!
There is a universe inside of you.
You are Love and Light.
Thank you for walking with me this far.