What Loving Yourself Actually Looks Like

I wrote this as a Facebook post a couple weeks ago, and I received such an amazing response that I thought I would use it as a base to the blog and elaborate on it a little more this week. 

Nobody feels good about themselves all the time.

It's easy to scroll through social media or the cruise the internet, and think that everyone is always happy, always beautiful, and always doing fun, amazing things. 

I believe it would be a disservice to you all on my part if I didn't come right out and say, "This simply isn't true." 

I am a coach and self-love evangelist. I am someone who absolutely wants to foster your belief in yourself. To make you believe that you deserve all the love you crave. I want to remind you that you actually have access to all the love you could ever need or want, right NOW. It's in you. Not outside of you. You don't have to do anything to get it. You don't have to meditate for hours. Or lose the 10 extra pounds. Or be nicer, or more fun, or have longer hair. You already have everything you need to experience everything you dream of. 

Now, that is something that is most certainly true, and something I, most certainly, want to help you remember. 

However, I don't want to pretend that once you "realize" these truths, that life turns into soft, fluffy pillows and you never, ever again suffer or feel pain or feel bad about yourself. 

This isn't the point. 

For one, life would be pretty boring if it was always a breeze. AND we wouldn't get the chance to experience growth. We wouldn't get the opportunity to recognize the sameness in all things (the things perceived as 'good' and the things perceived as 'bad'.) and love them. 

The other day, I didn't feel good about myself. I was noticing the fact that my stomach wasn't as toned as it used to be. I was realizing I had some wrinkles that hadn't been there the last time I looked.

I was hearing the voices that say, "You're not good enough," chatter on. Citing the fact that I had slept in late and not had the time for my morning meditation. I heard them say that my dreams, emotions, expectations were too big. Too unruly. Too wild.

Who am I to think that I have something important to contribute? There are people with much more compelling stories and words. The world is full of people who are better than me, more "real" than me, more knowledgeable, more savy than me. And on and on. 

For all the time I spend talking about loving yourself, I'm telling you right now, I'm no stranger to doubt, guilt, shame, resistance to change, and smallness. And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Days like the other day, waking up with the inner critic whispering incessantly in my ear, used to send me into a downward spiral.. an experience of doubt, overwhelm, and it would take hours and days away from me.

Until I figured out how to really love myself. Love my whole self. 

This is how I do it:

I allow the feelings. I allow these voices. I listen to them, carefully. I ask them questions. I sit with them and drink tea. I get still with them and allow them.  THIS makes all the difference.

I learn what they are here to tell me, to warn me about, and I respect them for their good intentions and tell them so.

I tell them I allow them and that they can have a voice. Typically this is all they want. However, I also tell them that after I've listened to them, after they've sung their songs and told their stories, I (my higher self "I") get to decide what to do next.

I am going to keep pursuing my BIG dreams, experiencing my BIG and UNRULY emotions and express myself. 

My self-doubt and fear can come along, they are actually a gift after all. A gift that keeps me safe. A gift that keeps me from growing too quickly. But, fear and doubt don't get to drive anymore. They get love and understanding, but they don't rule me.

This is what self-love looks like. Loving all parts but realizing when you're holding yourself back unnecessarily, and being brave enough to carry on even when doubt is present. 

So yes, sometimes we all feel like crap and we don't like the way we look and don't like the way we feel, and we cry and we yell. That's what this beautiful life is. It's full of flavor and texture. Full of differences, juxtapositions, spectrums, and relativity. It's our job to love it all.

It's your job to extend your love to yourself; ALL the parts of yourself, not just the ones that fit a certain definition of good.

Like the sun extends its warmth: without bias or judgment, without needing anything in return, without demands or an agenda. Loving whatever is there, simply because it is there. 

Today and all days. 

To self-love, forever. 

 

Clara Wisner

Clara Wisner is a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She attended school at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver, CO from 2012 to 2015. Clara Wisner is also a Certified Primal Expert and a Certified Sugar Detox Coach. She has a BS in Resource Conservation and Economics from the University of Montana. She is a world traveler and is working on cookbook tentatively called Paleo Around the World: A modern Take on Traditional Recipes. Clara organizes the Paleo Pop Events in Denver, helping to create a healthier, stronger, more connected community. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband and the paleo puggle, Ooli. In her free time she crossfits, cooks, writes poetry, walks dogs (other peoples’ and her own), listens to A LOT of podcasts, reads fantasy novels and also loves to read about biology, neurology, and marketing.