So, today, I’ve been feeling down. My life has been a wild ride, with many rough twists and turns. Right now, I am a puddle of discouragement. I am struggling with accepting myself, and accepting my body. As I was thinking and pondering today, I wanted to figure how to properly care for myself. In the process, I came across this post by Tama J. Kieves.
In it, there was this amazing quote: “I’ve learned to become a fierce advocate for my joy. I am still working on becoming a resourceful presence for my pain. I tell myself, ‘You can tell me anything,’ and mean it. I no longer punish myself for feeling helpless, angry, jealous, or stuck, and I’m willing to fill a thousand journals with my feelings. I buy myself tokens to celebrate achievements, large and small. I whisper to myself in the crevices of emptiness between my bones, ‘I’m proud of and have so much faith in you.’”
I realized several things from reading this article. Basically it talks about 6 ways to love yourself:
1. I need to be willing to listen to myself. This may seem like a strange concept, but I can definitely see how it is true. Many times, when I am feeling scared or depressed or overwhelmed, I belittle myself. I refuse to listen to my feelings, because of the fear that my feelings will consume. Most likely, the opposite will happen. I need to be a good listening friend to myself; when I do this, I will be able to relax and let go of the negative feelings.
2. Another thing I learned is that I need to concentrate more on talking positively to myself. I am so often criticizing myself and beating myself up for my imperfections. This does nothing to help me; it only hinders me. If I talk positively to myself, it will uplift and change my mood. I will be more willing to try new things and more able to see the many opportunities around me.
3. Another thing I was reminded of is that I need to be journaling. I have fallen out of this habit, because I didn’t want to face my feelings, and I didn’t want to remember this rough time in my life. I have determined that this is a big mistake. Ignoring my feelings doesn’t make them go away. The only way I can make them go away is by facing them with kindness and compassion. Journaling helps me to do this. When I write down my feelings, I let them loose and free to express themselves. And I should want to remember this time. I can take this challenge as an opportunity to grow and rejoice in my improvement.
4. When I am happy and taking care of myself, my capacity to love grows as well. When my capacity for love grows, I am able to reach out and help more people. I want to be friendly and loving and approachable. Taking care of myself will help me to become this kind of person.
5. In order to reach my goals, I need to be a cheerleader for myself. I need to push and encourage myself when i feel discouraged. I need to be daring enough to imagine the future that I can possess if I keep working towards my goals. Focusing on the negative and my imperfections beats me down into the grounds and makes my goals -and desirable future -impossible. I need to cheer myself on!
6. I was reminded that taking care of myself is not only a privilege; it’s a responsibility. If I do not take care of myself, I will fall apart. This will result in other people having to take care of me. Therefore, I need to care of myself.
This is going to be a hard journey for me, but I am excited to embark on it. I hope to find a happy, confident, outgoing Dana somewhere along the way. 🙂