If you've been around the blog, then you'll know that I rely heavily on my blog tribe. These are the ladies that keep me going and talk with me about all of my crazy ideas. They are also the ladies I call on when I need a little help. With the birth of our son approaching rapidly, I'm more thankful than ever to have surrounded myself with a good group of ladies in my tribe. Next month, one of them - Raewyn (who's been featured on the blog before) will be helping me out by hosting a mini challenge in the Facebook community. Today's post will give you a little insight into the challenge and I hope you'll join us in February for a self love challenge!
How many times have you heard that self-love is selfish? That it’s egotistical or narcissistic?
I would probably be rich if I got a dollar every time someone said to me that they love who they are but that they aren’t a narcissist so they don’t practice self-love. They don’t have time for that type of selfishness because their days are spent with taking care of their family and working and spending time with friends…
Let’s just set the record straight. Self-love in its purest definition means the love that you have for yourself. It doesn’t mean that you are selfish or overbearing or pushy with who you are. It doesn’t mean that you are self-serving or any of those other “self” words that have a negative connotation.
Loving yourself really means these things...and so much more.
It means that you are ok with making mistakes.
We all make mistakes. That’s life and the sooner you can get rid of this goal to never make mistakes the happier you will be. We often think that we are not pursuing a perfect life, yet we beat ourselves up whenever we make mistakes.
The guilt and the disappointment are our gut reactions. It is nearly impossible to go from mistake to “no big deal!” without that transition of disappointment. But like so many other things, it isn’t your action but your reaction.
When you make a mistake, what do you do with it?
It means that you accept the choices you make, without regrets.
Oh choices and regrets...that good ol’ question of which path do you take when the road forks and what would have happened if you took the other fork?
Well, you wouldn’t be here, that’s for sure and I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing, even when I’m thinking about a bad decision I may have made. This bad decision led me to this location which led me to this emotion or this friendship or this *insert positive thing that happened here.*
What ifs and our choices can easily go together like pie and ice cream when you aren’t confident. But confidence and loving yourself means that you know that this choice was the choice that you needed to make and all opportunities will keep knocking on your door and screaming in your face until you choose it.
It means only saying “I’m okay” when you mean it.
As women, we know that “I’m okay” and “It’s fine” and the like roll off our tongues without thought. We say it because we don’t think that we are valued enough to tell the truth or the whole story. “No one wants to hear my sob story,” we think.
Stop. The number one thing you can do for yourself is to be honest with your emotions. To address them and value others enough to share them. When we think that we are not valuable, we are actually stripping others of the chance to value us and to feel valued by us.
One of my favorite ways to change my habit of apology is to say “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry.”
Thank you for your patience when I was running late with a crying toddler. Thank you for understanding that I’m feeling crazy today.
Thank you for picking up my slack. Thank you for buying milk when I said I would do it. I mean, you really don’t even need the qualifier, just a simple thank you, but the qualifier makes it easier at first.
Doesn’t all that sound better than “I’m sorry I was late.” “I’m sorry I was crazy.” “I’m sorry I didn’t do everything I said I would.”
Those are negative emotions but thank you is a positive emotion. Thank you shows value, both for yourself and for others.
It means that you don’t feel threatened by others’ success.
The green-eyed monster can be the biggest habit to break. You see someone else doing what you want to be doing and WHY ARE THEY SUCCESSFUL? This obviously means you can’t be successful, right?
The Shield Sisters Initiative is a community that does things a little differently than most business communities. We focus a lot on mindset and self-love and the whole roundness of your life. While our company is rare and unlike something that many have heard of, we are not the only community that focuses on this.
In fact, I have recently spoken to someone who is starting a community that is so similar to mine and, you know what I said? I said, “Oh my goodness, let’s do a retreat together.”
Yep, I wanted to collaborate. Because her success and my success is intertwined. We can each have different methods, different languages and different ways of connecting with others. We can even connect with the same people at different levels.
It means that you never stop growing.
Growth and self-love is a forever journey. It is not complacency. It is not stagnation. I feel like this one is most self-explanatory. You don’t have to be actively on a forever search to better yourself. Merely, that you are not complacent.
You see life as it comes and you learn lessons no matter what! You aren’t accidentally living, but intentionally living.
It means that you accept that you aren’t doing all of these things all of the time.
Grace. Grace is my power word, which is so funny because until recently I wouldn’t even classify myself as religious and it is heavily believed to be a religious word. But to me, grace means forgiveness and not beating yourself or others up. It means accepting flaws or accepting that reality and expectation are not always the same thing.
When I have a hard week and feel like I can’t keep going...I have grace. I say, “Raewyn, your work or your stresses will be there tomorrow. Today, you can go to bed early because you’re tired. You can drink a cider at noon because it relaxes you.”
The best part about having grace? It inspires other people. When I show myself grace or I remind my tribe to show grace, their eyes are open. They feel that burden lift.
Speaking of my tribe, self-love and loving yourself is 100% a journey that you have to take with others. That’s why in February (while Pam is busy being a new mom!) I’m going to be a guest host in her FB group, Hodge Podge Moments, and rock the month with a self-love focus. We’re going to have self-love discussions, a challenge, access to my revised e-course, a deep discount on my journal prompts and the opportunity to build your tribe of self-love supporting sisters!
(As a side note, I was talking about this on a call today and a lady I didn’t know heard me, came over and said “I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but I want to be a part of this self-love challenge.” YES! This is what I’m talking about!)
How do you love yourself? What does it mean to you?
Let’s get this party started early and let me know in the group with #lovingmyselfmeans.
Raewyn is the co-founder of Shield Sisters Initiative, with a life goal to empower women to embrace self-love and inspire self-love in others. She’s also a wife and mother to a strong-willed toddler girl, learning to navigate these new waters while maintaining her sense of self. While self-love and changing the world has always been important to Raewyn, she really found her passion and calling in coaching after the birth of her daughter. As a feminist since childhood, Raewyn thinks that women supporting each other is paramount in life. Join her for the #LovingMyselfMeans challenge with Hodge Podge Moments and Shield Sisters Sanctuary!