This challenge started off so well. In the first few days, I felt great, happier, and was ready to shine my love on myself as well as onto the rest of the world. Then I hit an emotional snag, and I am starting to see some of my deep habits emerge. When things are not right with a loved one, I have a tendency to beat myself up. I feel sad and start nitpicking myself again: my skin looks bad, I have wrinkles, my hair is graying, I am not beautiful, I am fat, I am not worthy of love, etc. I have had to catch myself because these thoughts flood in unconsciously. I look in the mirror and I struggle. I know I could do more to feel better: take some extra time to do my makeup and hair, go shopping and buy cute clothes that fit. But I also really want to move beyond this notion that my value is based on my outward appearance. I have SO much more beauty to offer this world than my outward looks, but this journey is hard.
Truly loving myself, flaws and all, is hard work. I am also learning how closely related my food intake is to how I am feeling and how I value and love myself. For example, today I am deeply sad. I got into a massive fight last night with my partner. I do not know where things will go from here, and I am left feeling pretty miserable. There is a lot of pressure and stress on us and we are taking it out on each other instead of loving each other. So this morning, I found myself at a Dunkin Donuts. I was there just to get coffee, but found myself looking longingly at the shelf of donuts. I felt sad and surely one or ten of those shiny, sugary confections would cheer me up? But then I paused: would they really feel good in my tummy after I ate them? Would I feel better emotionally after I devoured every crumb? The truth is that those donuts would not fulfill the deep need I have in my heart, which is to feel loved and accepted. And if my partner cannot love and accept me right now, I need to do that for myself. I should do that anyways, but more than ever, I need to love and accept myself today. Putting fried fat and sugar into my mouth is not truly an act of kindness or love. An act of love would be what I did, which was to go to my office and eat my plain oatmeal with raisins and walnuts. (My tummy did a happy dance and I feel so much better than if I had caved to the donut’s allure and false promises.) So I am slowly making changes and moving forward on my path.
Today, I am working on stopping my automatic negative thoughts, and I am working on smiling more. I am working on smiling at people and making eye contact. I am working on being more present than getting lost in my tumultuous thoughts. To change my thoughts and attitude, I am thinking about things that make me happy, like my recent trip to Ireland (the picture at the top of this post is from that trip), and I am just repeating the mantra I started from Day #1, which is I am beautiful. I am worthy of love. I am enough. I have a purpose. I have gifts to share with the world. Dear Reader, whoever you are, I hope you believe that you are beautiful, worthy of love, that you are enough, and have a purpose too.
#IAMENOUGH #lovethyself #30dayLoveChallenge