“No such thing as a life better than yours/No such thing/No such thing.”
J. Cole, Love Yourz, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
When you take an account of your life, who you are and who you are trying to grow into, can you wholeheartedly say that you love yourself; and who you are becoming? It is hard in our society to not have a bad case of the comparisonitis (yes, I just made that up! Give me credit when you use it)? We see everyone’s highlight reels on social media and wonder why we aren’t also vacationing in Seychelles on a Wednesday with flourishing edges and flawless skin. That can quickly turn into a dark trip down a rabbit hole of self-deprecating thoughts and feeling less than. If you have these moments more often than not, don’t worry. So many of the people you think have it all together do too. They just don’t show it. We can all use a refresher course in getting ourselves all the way together and realizing that we are, in fact, wonderful. We deserve to not only receive love but to also lavishly shower ourselves with love daily. I am going to share five ways to fall in love with yourself if you’re feeling a little less than.
STEP 1: Set Boundaries!
Having NO or FLIMSY boundaries will guarantee that your personal resources (financially, emotionally, and mentally) will be depleted, very fast, very soon. Not everyone has the right to have access to you. This goes for work, family, friends and yourself. Say the word, 'no' more frequently! Don't be afraid to say it especially, if you start to have any negative thoughts that creep into your mind about feeling less than or unworthy of what you have.
STEP 2: Affirm yourself daily
Speak sweetly to yourself. You’re doing the best you can with what you have. Write affirmations on your mirrors and say them out loud to yourself. It may sound silly, but you need to hear yourself speak positively about yourself to yourself. Cover yourself with love and other people will be forced to do the same.
STEP 3: Practice forgiving yourself
This may be hard for some people. Forgiveness is a hard lesson to teach. You are not the sum of your poor decisions or missteps. If you are reading this, you have another opportunity to try again. That’s reason enough to have a positive outlook.
STEP 4: Be present in your emotions
As women of color, this may be difficult. We are often taught to internalize our emotions in order to face the world and do what needs to be done. I am guilty of internalizing my emotions and just moving on. BUT SIS...if you’re tired, sad, furious, or confused - allow yourself to visit that space (See how I did not say dwell? Don’t unpack your bags, this is only a pit stop) and be present in your emotions. You do not have to be strong all the time. Address how you feel, resolve the issue, and move on stronger and more clear than before. It’s OK to FEEL.
STEP 5: Live with Intention
“Intention” is my word for 2019. I found through self-reflection that I had been living my life in a haphazard fashion for far too long. I needed to be intentional about my life. In turn, I would create a space that was conducive to me showing myself that I love myself. Deborah Khoshaba, Psy. D says,
“You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life when you live with purpose and design,”
I couldn’t agree more.
There are still three and a half months remaining in 2019. It takes 21 days to create a new habit and 90 days to create a new lifestyle. You have the time. I want to see you loving yourself a little louder in 2020.
Excerpt from Khoshaba Psy. D, Deborah. (2012). A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love, Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love