Now that I have returned from a much needed vacation for some R&R down south, I want to catch up on some long overdue blogging.
So, as you all know, I am a yoga and pole fitness instructor. You also know that I am an avid yoga practitioner…but that’s about all that my blog has so far expressed. That being said, I figured now would be as good a time as any to share a little bit about myself and my experience (I love snowboarding, eating deliciously nutritious food, have a guilty pleasure for buttery movie theatre popcorn and a highly addictive personality when it comes to fitness-based activities – this bracketed bit is obviously a bit about me and less about my experience…just so we’re on the same page here).
There are days (much like that of today) where I am fully aware that I need to focus on allowing myself to be me – to live my truth and speak my truth. For much of my life, I have struggled with the concept of self-love – What is it? Where do I start? How do I know if I’m doing it right? How do I maintain it? By saying this, I by no means mean that I’m hateful towards myself, but have found myself merely a little lost from time to time, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced. This concept of self-love was not one that I recall having been taught (thoroughly, at least), though it may have been shadowed by the expectations of others (whom shall remain nameless) who expected that I always go above and beyond desires that were not of my own. With that said, over the last while, I’ve really started to figure it out.
To clarify with regards to self-love, I do not mean practicing conceit, arrogance or being egocentric. The love of Self I speak of is the
simplistic challenging idea (for some) to be fully aware of ourselves – our strengths and what we need to work on to make us stronger – as well as practicing utmost care and respect for ourselves. If we don’t fully love ourselves, how can we expect others to love us? Better yet, how can we fully love others if not ourselves first? True love of self comes from accepting our beauty and flaws…and allowing them to create a harmonious union within the two.
Without disclosing too much, I grew up feeling as though I was in a state of unworthiness and, sadly, this has left a small (but definitely removable) footprint on who I allow myself to be from time to time. For so long, instead of approaching life on my own terms and allowing my own light to shine, I tended to try to keep everyone happy, avoiding conflict and oftentimes feeling as though I didn’t deserve something unless it was earned (or worse yet, feel as though I did deserve the
crap less pleasant things I received).
The big news here? You can’t please everyone, no matter how much effort you put in. That’s just life. You are responsible for your own feelings, actions, reactions and well-being.
With age and experience, I find myself realizing that (as happy as we need to be with ourselves), there is always that room for improvement. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to “fix” ourselves. We are not broken and we do need to realize that we can be complete as ourselves without anything/anyone else. That being said, there will always be that room to grow, accept, love, become more aware and so on, so forth.
Slowly, but surely, day by day…one step at a time…I give myself permission to let go of the need to people-please and take the time to embrace myself and all of my
imperfections brilliance that makes me so perfectly and uniquely me exactly as I am…right here and right now.
What does self love mean to you? Does acceptance of yourself as a whole come naturally or is it a challenge? What would it take for you to let go of your own expectations of yourself in order to be truly happy in your own skin?