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Guest Post: What Self-Love and Acceptance Really Mean

Posted Feb 11 2013 10:53am

Good morning beautiful people!

Are you happy it’s Monday?! Are you happy that the Celtics beat the Nuggets last night in an epic round of 3(!) overtimes?! Did a guy in a Kobe Bryant jersey give you crap for sporting a Rajon Rondo jersey, then did you laugh at him and tell him to keep walking? Maybe that one is just me. He obviously didn’t pay attention a few days ago when the Celtics beat the Lakers.

Today I’m happy to share with you a guest post by Tayla Anne of She’ll Be Free . When Tayla contacted me last week wanting to share some of her inspiring tips for self-love and acceptance, I was actually working on a project having to do with self-love and acceptance. Cool how the universe works like that, right?

In the next few weeks, you can expect to see a lot more posts about self-love, relationships, and life acceptance in general.  Exciting things are happening here and I’m happy to start it off with a lovely guest post.

Take it away, Tayla!

For the longest time, I would hear people talk about self-love and write about acceptance, and wanted to be the one to put it all into action.  I wanted to be free but I could never figure out what it actually meant to love myself and accept who I was.

There I was, all alone trying to love myself even though I hated everything about myself.  I was reading everything I could find on the topic of self-love and tried every trick in the hat, yet nothing seemed to be working. So, what was the problem?

I was not at peace with who I was at my core.

I needed to accept the person I was in the moment. It was essential that I accepted my likes, my dislikes, my hobbies, my interests, and all my imperfections. I knew what these were but I just needed to OWN them, make them a part of me, love them and be at peace.  

I was so concerned with what other people would think, or say or do that I was never satisfied with myself and what I actually could accomplish. Even though I liked the fact that I was creative and adventurous, I still never felt that I was good enough for other people. I still felt as though I was coming up short in their eyes.

We are always enough for ourselves when it all comes down to it, but it is our thoughts that others won’t approve that makes us question our worth. Do they think I’m good enough to do this or that? Do they think I will succeed?

The problem with this is that acceptance comes from inside your inner most being. The part of you who deep inside that knows you are enough, that believes in your strength, that voice that roots you on no matter what. When we listen to this part of ourselves, this loving voice, we become centered and can start to believe we are worthy regardless of what others around us are doing.

Self-love also manifests itself from the same place but seems to come into play after the acceptance work as been done.

Acceptance means seeing yourself for who you really are and being OKAY with that. Acceptance means not being perfect and realizing that is okay as well.

Acceptance is looking in the mirror and owning your body, every single flaw and every single sparkle.  Acceptance is knowing what you’re good at and also knowing what you may not be so good at.

Self-love is accepting yourself fully so you can love yourself fully. Self -love is caring for yourself, giving yourself attention and respect. Self-love is love for yourself. It’s simple. If you have ever loved someone else, you know what I’m talking about. That same love you are giving to another is what you need to give to yourself.

You would never treat your Mom or best friend in a way that would intentionally hurt them, so why would you do that to yourself?

You really are better than that, trust me. I used to be there. I used to spend day after day telling myself that I’m no good, nobody loves me, that I don’t deserve food, etc. And the only place that got me was in another rut of self-hate and disgust.

Learning how to accept yourself for exactly who you are is not always easy, but here are some of the ways I was able to do it:

Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. Everything starts when you realize what you are doing. If you don’t listen for those negative, degrading thoughts, you won’t be able to stop them. Really listen and watch yourself throughout the day to see what you are telling yourself.

Stop the voices. Once you recognize the voices, and we all have them, you can stop them. You have power, they are only thoughts and they are not real. You have the power to talk back to them and change them into loving thoughts. So instead of, “Oh my gosh why are you so stupid, you didn’t do it right?” you say, “Okay so I didn’t do it right, but that’s fine, I’ll do better next time.”

Set a goal and conquer it. For me, when I reach something that is important to me I feel good about myself. Last year I wanted to complete my first obstacle race and when I did it, I was so proud of myself. Pick something that you love and have always wanted to do; something small and go for it. Prove to yourself, no one else, that you are capable of it.

Make a list. At the end of each week or even day, compile a list of things you were proud of yourself for. They can be as small as “I did the dishes” or as big as “I passed my final”. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are proud of yourself. Write them down and read them over.

Stop caring. Stop caring about what other people think or are going to think. This was the most difficult one for me, but once I was able to just brush off other people’s comments or weird looks, I was free to do my own thing and be my own person. I no longer was a prisoner to what they might thank or say. If you are proud of yourself and loving you’re doing, then that’s all that counts.

It really comes down to being okay with who you are, inside and out, and not caring about what others might say or think.

I know it’s hard and seems impossible but seriously, if I can do it, so can you. Just start small and learn the best ways that work for you as you go. Self-love and acceptance won’t come overnight, but rather they are things you continue to learn and develop over a life time.

Start where you are right now. It’s the best step you’ll ever take. I promise.

  

Tayla Anne is a writer, artist and fitness enthusiast. After finding freedom from an eight year battle with anorexia, she now writes about her experiences, self love, acceptance, and how you too, can break free from your own eating disorder. You can read more about her at She’ll Be Free .

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