When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said “wow, you are amazing” or given simple words of affection to the person you were staring at- YOU?
We are all taught to love others- our partners, children, parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. Heck some of us even love our enemies to a certain extent. It’s something we learn at a very young age and hold on to through the years. BUT do we ever stop and think about loving ourselves? What we need and crave? What brings us happiness? Or are we too caught up in loving those around us that we forget the most important person-OURSELVES?!
I have always been a huge advocate for self-care because I firmly believe that one cannot take care of others without entirely taking care of themselves first. Self-care is the embodiment of healthy living. It’s when you nourish your body, mind and soul with all that is good and fulfilling. If our mindset is not in the right place, everything we touch and do seems to crumble on us. Take parenting for example, if I’m consistently running around trying to take care of everyone else and forget myself, how long do you think I can last without getting sick or even worse- having a nervous breakdown? Not that long, right? Why do we do that to ourselves then? Why forget the most important person?
The same theory goes for self-love, and like so many women, I used to think that they were one and the same with self-care when in-fact they are not. Self-love is when we fully accept who we are and love ourselves emotionally no matter what! It’s when we are present in our bodies and thoughts which eventually lead us to KNOWING OUR WORTH. Often we are our own worse critic, and by practicing self-love we not only lessen the harsh comments from our inner voice, but we learn to be more confident as well. Feeling confident in your own skin is the start of an amazing life!
How does one even begin to practice the art of self-love though? Learning to love yourself no matter what can seem difficult or like you’re being selfish. It takes time, patience, determination and the willingness to move on from your past. With all that said, let me be the first to express how doable it is!
Learning to love ME first, has drastically changed my life!
It all started with the YES challenge last April, where I took a month and decided to focus on my needs before anyone else’s and see where it would take me. Feel free to read the blog to get more information. I focused on what I loved to do, started doing more mediation in the mornings and not rushing it all the time, praying more and building a relationship with God.
All the small things I started doing for myself, helped build my confidence and eventually led me to love the person I was looking at in the mirror, regardless of my flaws. More than that though, it opened doors for me that I would have never accepted before. My relationship with Bini is better, my kids are happier, and even though I am the busiest I’ve ever been, I’ve been able to handle it all because I learned that I come first.
As difficult as it is to think of you first (especially as a mom and in the habesha community), it’s something that has to be done. It’s vital for our wellbeing, our self-esteem and the way we look at the world (positive vs. negative).
With just a few days left in February, I urge you to take sometime during the next few days and start your own version of self- love. You can start with just small words of encouragement to yourself and by taking responsibility for your feelings. Tell the person in the mirror that she is amazing and will get all her heart’s desire. Be kind to that person regardless of their flaws.
Lastly, empower yourself to look past hurt and pain you or others caused and instead focus on good intentions/positive vibes. Then on March 1st, start your YES challenge.
I can’t wait to hear all about your journey. Please be sure to share your thoughts and experiences during the challenge.