“After every storm, there is a rainbow. If you have eyes, you will find it. If you have wisdom, you will create it. If you have love for yourself and others, you won’t need it.” ~ Shannon L. Alder
Self love is hard.
Self love is especially hard for a girl trying to fit a model that society keeps pushing at her.
Self love is exceptionally hard for a girl who grew up in a house where she never heard how much she was worth from the first and most important man in her life.
There are so many self-help and acceptance articles and books out there. And of course, most of the days they work and I can see the silver lining of my dark cloud.
But what do we do on the days where as soon as the body starts waking up, we can feel something’s off? Nothings seems right: the strong coffee is not that strong, the laundry pile is too big, your favorite song is too loud and you find yourself drowning in self-doubt.
What kind of self-doubt, you may ask? Where did it came from?
For me, self-doubt always starts with my plans to travel the world, with what I’m having for dinner, or the fact that I passed the 25 years mark and I still have no idea about what to do with my life. Or the fact that in 25 years I have never revealed all of myself to anyone—I was never enough to do it—I always had to wait for the right moment. “Maybe after I shed those 10 kilos, or after I read few more books to know what I’m talking about, or maybe after I gain a bit more experience in x,y,z field.”
And I think that’s one constant in my life for the last 10 years or so—always trying to change myself—never being good enough the way I was.
It became my coping mechanism. When everything and everyone else around me failed or disappointed me, I would just focus on the things I could change about myself. I would always find new ways to reinvent myself, my room, my writing, my voice. I would have all these different possibilities that I wanted to try and recreate in my daily life.
Over the years, my coping mechanism began to turn against me. On the bad days I began doubting myself even more. I began questioning all of my decisions. It’s like I don’t really know who I am or what I am here for sometimes.
Love-hate relationships. I’m sure all of us have had one. Mine is with food. Some people use white powders to take them to abyss. Others use alcohol to take them to oblivion. Others use co-dependent relationships with their significant others. This list goes on and on..
The point is that most of us have developed coping mechanisms to deal with life. But when something doesn’t go according to the plan in our heads, we feel so scared so we focus on the one thing that (we think) will make us feel right again.
The one thing that no one else can take control of.
We are over-abusing coping mechanisms to fight reality.
I can’t blame someone in particular for the way my brain works. What I’ve learned over the last few years is that I need to be kind to myself. That some days are harder than others, but that I cannot hide forever.
I need to look life straight in the eyes and decide that this war is worth fighting.
And because I am sure I’m not the only one that has these battles to fight, here are few things that work for me to get me out of my funk.
1. Watch something inspiring.
2. Read a book.
3. Pray or just sit in silence.
Let the universe talk to you, let it sip its purpose through your veins.
Let it all go. My suggestion? Put on a sappy movie and let the tears flow. If you can’t talk about it (like I can’t most of the times) then cry in silence. You know that you are not crying for what’s happening in the movie—you are crying to let it out of your soul. Let it go.
5. Use your hands.
Paint, cook, knit, clean. Focus on the task at hand.
6. Put this song and and go outside for a long walk.
Nature knows how to heal itself—look for the signs. Take deep breaths. Everything is going to be fine.
Being a human it’s tough sometimes. And sometimes we make it especially hard for ourselves.
I constantly learn that we’re in this together and that we should not have to deal with grief, loss or pain on our own.
So that’s my advice for us today—reach out. Let your loved ones know that you need help. That will not make you weak—that will just make you human. And being there for each other—that’s part of our nature.
We are enough. Embracing flaws, faults and mistakes make us whole, perfect beings that were born with greater purposes.
Let us not forget that.
Author: Monica Parischiv
Assistant Editor: Lindsay Carricarte / Editor: Renée Picard
Image: rachelerin at Flickr