For the first 40 years of my life, I didn’t love myself. I listened to my inner critic which was harsh, and never saw the good in me.
I saw my impatience.
I saw that my body that was never perfect.
I struggled with anxiety and worried about what people were thinking about me.
And I always strived to be something I wasn’t.
I never felt good in my skin, it was like I didn’t even know her. This beautiful light that lived inside me. The one that wrote stories. The one that had the ability to connect with people in real life and on television. The one that was filled with love.
But thankfully, I was gifted two girls, who made self-care ridiculously impossible. They wore me down to the point of exhaustion every single day and made me yearn for some alone time. Some time to get to know the real me.
And it was there, in the illness of perimenopause and adrenal fatigue, and the throes of motherhood that I finally found what I was missing.
Time for myself.
There were little signs the universe gave me. Little quotes that would show up in all corners of my house, and of course a run in with a stray cat that taught me I needed to take care of myself. But little did I know that the first step to self-love and self-acceptance was truly self-care.
We hear about self-care all the time online and in the media. Some scoff at it and call this generation of mothers self-obsessed, but I see it differently.
How can we truly love and accept ourselves if we don’t make time for us? How can we be our truest and most authentic spirits if we are always caring for others and leaving scraps for ourselves?
So I set out on a mission this year to not only give myself self-care each day, but to honestly learn to surrender all the old beliefs I had about myself, and fully embrace and accept ME. Even the messy parts.
I started with our home that had been filled with stuff that was clogging up my every corner and decluttered.
Then I created an office space just for me. I painted a wall in our guest room, bought myself a white desk simply because I loved it, and made a place for me to create.
I deleted Facebook from my phone and silenced all notifications. Instead of being beholden to emails and social media, I determined when and if I would respond.
And I made time for me every single day. It could be a workout, writing, meeting a friend for coffee, joining an activist group, reading, or watching a Hallmark movie. And I did this without guilt, even if it meant missing one of our girl’s events at school.
I learned how to say no to others and say yes to myself.
Did that mean that I neglected my duties as a mother, wife, and friend? No, quite the opposite. It meant that I was filling my own cup, so I could fill theirs.
It meant that I finally believed I was worthy of time and attention.
It meant I was finally learning to love myself.
Don’t neglect yourselves friends, I know it’s hard. We have work, and life, and school, and kids, but we also have ourselves. And we all deserve to do something every single day that we love.
Because the first step to self-love is self-care.
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