Thursday, 2 March 2017

It's all about you... It's about you.

If you read my New Year post on getting back to me and last week's post, you'll know that my goal this year (as well as becoming a brilliant mum), is to learn to love myself a little more and to help Chris love himself a little more. In the hope that we fall deeper in love with one another (too cringy?)

I feel it's an important topic to address with you guys because so many of us simply forget about loving ourselves. We're so busy loving others or waiting for someone to love us that we forget about the most important person we need to love first: ourselves. It's when me and Chris hit a bit of a rocky patch (which I've talked about in previous blog posts) and started to look into our relationship in more depth that I realised that we both needed to actually love ourselves more, rather than each other. Sounds silly doesn't it? But it's not.

While we were growing evermore distant, I began to explore love more. Why had we become distant? Why were there holes forming in our relationship? As well as many things (such as poor communication)we both had fallen out of love with OURSELVES, not each other. 

The fall out 

It's so easy to fall out of love with yourself or to never have really loved yourself in the first place, because for most of us, it takes continued effort and an actual realisation that this is something we need to do. 

I've had a pretty tough time with depression, eating disorders and anxiety, so much so, that loving myself was something that never crossed my mind. I hated myself. Chris, similarly, had a tough time with his weight growing up. However, when we met each other, we both turned that around, together. Chris had already lost weight and was hitting the gym most days, eating healthily. I found things in myself to love and enjoyed spending time alone, as well as with Chris and friends. We were both feeling better than ever and dived into a new relationship with one another, both happy and free. 

But a year down the line, Chris had stopped the gym, I had a tough time and needed to see a counsellor again. We dived deeper into our relationship, supporting each other but forgetting ourselves. In turn, this started to reveal cracks in our relationship. That grew bigger and bigger, until we broke.

And it wasn't in that time apart that I realised this. But rather looking back at our time apart. I surrounded myself by people. I was never alone. I was out with friends most evenings or curled up on the sofa with Barney and my parents. I never had a moment alone. Why? Because I didn't love myself? I hated myself once again. Spending time alone with myself was a cruel task I didn't want to do.

Looking back on this at the beginning of the new year I realised it wasn't that we had fallen out of love with each other, but merely ourselves. And since then, this has been a big goal of mine for our relationship, to fall in love with ourselves, which in turn, will make up fall deeper in love with each other.

The love for each other is there, so strongly. I know he loves me, he knows I love him. But do we love ourselves? Not yet, but we're getting there. How are we doing this? I've added some tips below on how to love yourself a little bit more. Whether it's before your search for love or while you're in a relationship, like me and Chris. 

1. Give yourself a break

This is an important one for me because it took me a while to realise, I am not perfect. No one is. And you don't always have to do everything right. Mistakes happen, you'll get things from time to time. That's just life. But it doesn't mean you need to stop loving yourself and who you are. Embrace your imperfections and forget about your bad days.

I've always had such high expectations of myself and felt like a failure if I didn't meet them. But it's that realisation that in fact, this is perfectly normal to not get everything right or how you want every single time. 

Don't judge yourself. Give yourself a break.

2. Use positive affirmations 

Try positive affirmations to focus on self-love a bit more. A few favourites of mine are:

"You are enough.  You are so enough. It's unbelievable how enough you are." 
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." 
"I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents."

3. Accept who you are 

This is another difficult one. We've all made mistakes at some point in our life, but we tend to be harsh on ourselves because of this. Family and friends may sometimes say harsh and upsetting things when we make mistakes and those words can whizz round in our minds for a long time. 

Focus on your positive qualities. Your strengths. Your abilities. And let go of any harsh judgement or words said in spite. 

Accept you are who you are. And love you for how awesome you are most (actually, ALL) of the time. 

4. Embrace you

When I was going through a bad period of self-hate, I couldn't spend any time alone with myself (I'm slowly getting better at this again). I always had to busy myself and my mind by keeping others around me. When I was alone, all I felt were feelings of anxiety, fear, judgement, hate, sadness. 

To overcome this, practice small moments of alone time and learn how to treat and look after yourself. This may be painting your nails once a week or going on a short walk alone. But learning to be with yourself will help you to be more comfortable in your own skin. 

5. Be grateful 

One of the things that actually helps me the most is being grateful for what I have. Whether that's simply saying "I am grateful for my family and friends around me" or "I am grateful I have a roof over my head", it helps me actually love myself and my life just that little bit more. 

It can be so easy to feel down about your life and blame yourself for this. Practising being grateful actually makes you realise how good your life is, how lucky you are and how awesome you are!

Does self-love come easy to you or do your struggle? Is it affecting your relationships? Are you following any of these techniques to overcome those feelings? Let me know! 

1 comment

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