Tag Archives: strength

What is Self-Love? 

To my daughter and the women I love ~  

  
The key to learning to self-love is that you must first fully understand and make a decision that your “self-love” is not dependent on the approval of others! 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, a blog I created to share my journey and to hopefully share pointers, advice, and/or a simple reminder that you are not alone. That as women, we face and overcome so many challenges and barriers, but if we have community, a platform to share, love and the support of each other and others who believe in our growth and evolution – then we can truly grow! 

Self-love! I see the words everywhere. I hear the words spoken by so many, but do we really know and understand what it means? 

I’m convinced that while there’s a recurring theme – that one thing we can all agree on when it comes to what self-love means; the fact is that self-love, much like success and relationships, is really defined by you! 

What does it mean? I can’t speak for others but to me, it’s really learning how to put myself first in a world that has defined our roles as women. We have so many ever-changing titles/roles and to choose one over the other can sometimes feel impossible, let alone overwhelming! We are mothers, wives, partners, sisters, daughters, employees, employers, doctors to our families, caregivers, mentors, therapists for our family and friends, friends, best friends, hosts, lovers, givers, doers, etc etc! Shhheeezz….that’s a lot! 

If I were to ask you or if you asked yourself “who am I?” chances are you would list these titles/roles… but rarely do we answer “I am a woman – strong, empowered, smart, beautiful, giving, balanced, driven…

Self-love to me is being able to say all these things before I say that I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, etc etc… It means to me that I hold these self-attributes, strengths, actions more important so that I can successfully be all those titles/roles that the world has clearly defined for me/us without feeling guilty or ashamed! 

Self-love takes time, a long time! I’ve been blogging and writing for years and just when I think I have it, I realize I’m not quite there yet! I’m constantly evolving as a woman: reading, meditating, reflecting, learning, expanding my intake of readings and Ted Talks that reaffirms my feelings and adds to my growth and writing. 

Self-love is not easy! We are taught to stand strong, to put others before ourselves no matter what! We are warriors, we are doers and yet we often fail to see in ourselves and our fellow sisters how strong we truly are! Self-love to me also means that we have a community responsibility of building our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our youth and our communities! To work hand-in-hand in sharing, nurturing and building all that is a woman! 

Self-love is work in progress… It has to start with you and has to be about you before it can be about others, and once you understand that, then only then can you begin to help build others…

For so long, I was guilt ridden! Felt horrible at the idea of putting myself first! How could I do this? What will others think or say? I bet you know this all to well… It’s hard as hell!

I recently read that “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.” 

The author shared and I now share with you, her Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love: 

Become mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.

Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.

Set boundaries. You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.

Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemies that I learned from my younger clients. It describes so well the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My suggestion to you here: Get rid of them! There isn’t enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, “I genuinely love myself and life”. You will love and respect yourself more.

Forgive yourself. We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsiblity for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.

Live intentionally. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions, to do this.

These 7 steps, together with a host of other resources are what has helped me to further understand what self-love is for me and in turn, learned to live it. I hope it can help you. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s work in progress but the key words here are “work” and “progress”! By simply working on one thing, you are well on your way to building strength and in turn – SELF-LOVE! 

Peace & Love 

Excerpt above is from this article if you care to read in its entirety! 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love

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One month today…

One month ago today I embarked on the biggest journey of my life – I walked away from a 25 year marriage and moved into my very first apartment! It was indeed the hardest, thought-out, soul-searching, painful, heart-wrenching and yet, most liberating decision I have ever made!

While I had been contemplating my decision for years & had been separated for months; running every possible scenario, emotion, feeling and thought in my mind – I tell you that nothing, and I mean nothing, quite prepares you for the moment when you walk away from a home you called home for 25 years, and into your new home, your new home as a single woman, a woman alone, and there is no one there but you, your soul, your spirit, your mind – you can hear your heart beat, and there’s no one there to tell you to quiet the sound down! Your knees feel like they are going to buckle but you have this inner strength that keeps you standing tall. You feel like you are going to burst, you feel like yelling “why” but instead you tell yourself “you got this”!

You realize in that moment that there is no turning back, that your life has just begun and that there is no room right now to cry, to hurt, to regret, to think too much about life (other than your own); that living in the moment must be first!

It is at that moment that you realize that life goes on, that there is in fact a tomorrow & a world of endless opportunities. That you can in fact endure anything that comes your way regardless of what your mind & others tell you!

It is at that moment that your life flashes through your eyes. It is then and through the next couple of weeks, that you realize who matters & what matters in your life – who is & was your friend, who is your acquaintance or someone you once knew; who was there for you – even if for a moment, and who continues to be there for you in your new journey ~

A month later as I sit laying on my couch talking into Siri because I’m too lazy to type the words that are coming out of my mouth, I realize how strong I am, how resilient I am, how blessed I am, and how loved I am by those that really matter! Those that took & continue to take the time despite their own personal opinions and feelings, to check in on me, to tell me that they were or are thinking about me, to send me positive vibes, and to send me strength and love because deep down inside they know that it is what I would need to get by. To send me notes of encouragement, or notes of gratitude because I displayed strength for many women who don’t have it!

Some days are easy and great, other days are mediocre but I get by, other days are amazing because I get to spend them with people who have added amazing energy to my soul & my life; other days are emotionally & mentally difficult and perhaps there’s that moment or need and/or urgency to cry – but yet no tears come – it is at that moment that I realize that I have cried & shed all the tears I can possibly shed; that my soul and heart are not as broken as I thought and was told they would be; that I am not lost or confused or regretful; that I now have an ex who has been civil & respectful of the process & my decision; that I have a couple of amazing friends left who always find the time to check in on a girl despite the strength I display to the world because deep down inside they get it; that I have an incredible community of support; that I am truly blessed to have my children; that I am incredibly lucky & blessed beyond words to have been allowed by the universe to explore a burst of energy that has been tolerant, patient, understanding, loving, giving and supportive of me.

I now know that I have had more good days than bad, and I owe it all to God, to the universe, to my amazing friends and support, to my children who love their mom no matter what, to me for loving me first.

I can write on and on and on, but I will end this post by saying that life does go on regardless of what you’ve been through, what you think you cannot endure, and that as women, we have this incredible strength that lies deep within our soul, and if you can reach for it – it will never let you down!

Peace, love & soul!
Lanette

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