What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more? All the parts of you. The physical, the emotional, the spiritual, the intellectual....each and every part of you. You are special and you deserve it.
I'll tell you what will happen. You'll not give a shit. A single shit about shittyness will not be given. I know. I did it. I made a conscience decision to pursue me. To pursue the best me that I could. Once I did, my care and concern for the outside noise started to go away and the detailed focus just started to happen.
My fuel for my journey is love.
It sounds easy enough, but it's not. To walk around this world and love is probably one of the hardest things that I've ever done. Our society seems to thrive on drama, chaos, and competiveness. I can't even write in a blog without hearing through the grapevine that I'm competing with someone or hear about someone trying to one-up me (joys of a small town). It's exhausting once you really, really bother to look it straight in the face. If you're own of those people who let your thoughts go here, maybe you should focus on doing some looking for yourself.
I'll go so far as to say that I'd bet loving is one of the hardest things that anyone can do. I knew plenty of people that love and that's for them was what I thought. I'm more efficient. I'm more skilled. I'm busy doing other great things. I was a skeptic. I love just fine I thought. I had lingering thoughts of discontent though. I wasn't always happy. I sometimes felt like something must just be wrong with me. Then I realized that I wasn't practicing one of the most important kinds of loves. I wasn't loving myself.
Self-love is the most important kind of love.
I think that there are a lot of women who don't truly love themselves. I think there are a lot of women who put themselves on the back burner. I think there are a lot of women who think that because they are a mother that they have to. That it's their motherly duty.
I think those people are doing it wrong. I think that setting yourself up with a foundation of self-love is one of the most important things you can do for your family. I think to do that, you need to make your life and your pursuits about you.
Let me explain what I think loving yourself looks like. Like most things, it isn't cookie-cutter but I'd say that a great first step for everyone is determining what you want. What YOU WANT. Not need. Not your family. Not your spouse. Not your friends. Ask yourself what you want. Let go of the guilt. If you feel it creeping in, you'll have to be strong and put your foot down. Do it. You'll thank yourself later.
The what-you-want-part is completely up to you. It could be that you want to feel better physically. It could be that you want to learn to cook an awesome steak. It could be that you want to read a new book. It could be saying no. It could be standing up for something you believe in. It could be that you want to learn a new skill or save some money or climb a mountain or whatever else it is that suits your fancy (small or big!).
Once you have what you want, you can start creating a path to get there.
I'll use my steak cooking experience to highlight what I mean. I've always wanted to know how to cook a steak. I like watching cooking shows and I love steak and I get a lot of joy out of making a big home-cooked meal...that revolves around steak! :) I literally have thought for years that I wish I knew how to cook a great steak so I decided to focus on that (something I wanted that I wasn't making time for!). I started buying some steaks and playing around with techniques and recipes. I intentionally spent time reading up on different cuts of meat and approaches to cooking it and seasoning pairings and then I started practicing them. I did this in the time that I was usually surfing the web mindlessly anyway. It made me feel so accomplished! It might seem simple, and realistically I suppose it is, but I promise you that the result is nothing short of wonderful when you bother to invest in yourself. You end up with all kinds of great things.....like an amazing medium-rare steak seared in browned butter - ha!
I think that the world we live in makes it hard to remember what's real sometimes. It makes it hard to feel like you're good enough. Our social media highlight reels don't help. But, I don't think you need to quit with the highlight reels, I think you simply need to remember that's exactly what they are. You need to remember that you're important and that your pursuits are important as well.
If you're struggling with loving yourself, let this be your year. The more you love yourself, the stronger and happier you'll be and a better version of yourself will emerge. A better professional, family member, spouse, mother... a better and happier you.
Happy New Year!