The hardest thing you’re ever going to do is love yourself in spite of yourself and despite how you perceive the world around you. Each of us will have to figure out a way around the temptation to despise the image we look at the mirror, typically denoted by the need to alter our appearance, create mystical perceptions of ourselves, chase and expect validation and perfection, etc. Finding peace within ourselves is not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor is it something that remains the same. We often have to re-assess and adapt to the changes of everyday life.
Personally, I have devoted the last few months to discovering beliefs about myself and how I should look, feel, and respond with intention to dismantle the rituals performed attached to them. Since, I've had to repeatedly speak alternative thoughts and disconnect from things that reinforce the beliefs I am trying to replace with better serving thoughts. For example, I completely stopped rigorous workout routines and settled for long walks that help to clear my mind. While walking, I listen to affirming recordings from YouTube, music, vibrations, or nothing at all. I did this because I wanted stop engaging behaviors that lend to the belief that I should look a certain way to be healthy, happy, and appealing by others' standards. This belief could totally make or break my day depending on what I told myself that morning, afternoon, or night. It was no longer (if ever) serving my happiness and ultimately, disrupting and destroying my peace. I did begin to gain weight and I then had to practice telling myself that I am not defined by my weight and at this point, neither is my health. I also stopped weighing myself and decided to listen to my body about what size and shape felt comfortable.
After months of this, I finally discovered the root of the problem was simply overeating for various reasons. Eating was my response to boredom, anxiety, and stress. It was also the center of every gathering orchestrated by friends and family, instead of just asking others to gather because there was a want for companionship or fellowship. In response to realizing that I had made eating my go-to response and reason, I set my calorie range to 1400 calories a day, but didn't beat myself up if I went over a 100-200 calories. I also stopped eating things that clearly didn't agree with my body and caused bloating, swelling, and mood changes. While it took a few months to figure out what caused unwanted reactions, I finally was able to decrease to appropriate intake amounts or steered clear of them for the most part.
Lastly, in about a week you will have access to the first week of me ditching social media and replacing it with quality and intentional communication with others. You'll be able to find it in the drop menu labeled, My Social-less Experience. Each blog post will include my response to no social media for a week and my perceived gains and losses. So far, I've spent less time scrolling in the bed, on the couch, and in the BATHROOM, and spent more time playing outside with my kids, sitting in the living room, playing board games, and reading and writing. I believe I have experienced yearning and withdrawal. And I'm only on day 3!
In conclusion, it's important to recognize what serves us and what does not. While my issues may be my consumption of food and social media, yours may be something totally different, like negative thoughts you tell yourself based a prehistoric set of beliefs that should never have been invented or passed down. They could be related to success, how well you keep your house up, your appearance, attitude, job title, prestige, gender stereotypes, whatever. If it does not lend to your happiness and is constantly causing self-doubt, anxiety, or a mental struggle, it's time to assess its value to your life. I pray that this message helps you to embark on a journey of releasing things that bring you anything outside of strength, peace, happiness, joy, wisdom, and comfort.
As always, please leave your comments and share this post with others that may need motivation!
I am a 36 year old wife and mother of three children. I love all-things creative and writing thought-provoking posts. I began documenting #MyEarlyMorningThoughts about two years ago and have since received many requests to begin blogging and to continue posting about everyday life, growth, maturity, and christian concepts. Don't be shy, feel free to comment your life experiences and wisdom on any post.