I read this quote once, I don't remember where, but it goes, "we can't hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love." This struck me as so profoundly true, and so deeply obvious (even though I had never thought of it before), I wanted to remember it. To really work it into my mind and heart. So I put it in as a reminder on my phone. Everyday a notification pops up reminding me of that truth. It popped up, in fact, as I was designing the graphic above for this blog post. Totally didn't plan or expect that, and it made me smile.
Isn't that a fascinating thought? We'll never be able to achieve self-love through hatred. Constantly fixating on our flaws and berating ourselves for them will never make the flaws go away or change. Holding a grudge against ourselves will never cause the past to change. Punishing ourselves for shortcomings will never make us into our ideals. Hating won't create change. It just digs a deeper ditch. Hating won't cause us to become something we can embrace.
So how does one move from self-hatred to self-love? Well, I'll be honest. I'm not entirely sure what that looks like. It's something that I want, and believe is possible for me, but it's something that is a work in progress to explore. There are better days than others. But progress has been made! What did I do to start the change?
- I started with making a pact with myself. I couldn't go right to loving, or even liking myself. But I decided to at least move from perpetuating hateful thoughts to being in a neutral state. I was trying to not actively hate, and just let the like and love grow on it's own time. I let go and let life do it's thing.
- I've become more comfortable with the fact that I'm human and function in the exact same ways as everyone else. I don't have to pretend that things like going a week without shaving my legs doesn't happen. Real life is real life. It's messy, and that's what makes it fun. I stopped moving away from the idea that I needed to have a facade of perfection. Not only was that freeing, it's a lot easier to not be so hard on yourself when you realize that a lot of things don't really matter in the long run.
- I actively seek out the things that keep me grounded and keep my mind from spinning out of control. I put reminders on my phone to pop up throughout the day with inspirational thoughts. I learn about ways to lead a more balanced, authentic, healthy life. I check in with myself to see how I'm doing and what I'm feeling. I explore my thoughts and feelings from various angles to try to learn what they mean and how I can smooth the rough spots. I stop regularly to breathe and meditate.
- I got real about the way bashing myself was impacting my life. When we fixate on negative, unpleasant thoughts, not only does it put bad vibes into our souls, cortisol is released in the body. And constantly bathing yourself in cortisol wrecks your body with inflammation and lots of other nasty things. I realized a lot of my health issues were either directly related to my inner attitude, or intensely worsened by it. I didn't want that for myself, so I started the journey to change.
All of those things have helped me start to embrace parts of who I am. Other areas, well, I'm still working on it. And that's ok! I hope this little post inspires you on your own journey to health, self-love, and bliss. I love to share my thoughts and help spark others into something fresh.