Why I have been so afraid of self-love

 

I’ve lived my life so far thinking that I should run from the idea of self-love. After all, if I loved myself wouldn’t that just mean I am self-absorbed and prideful? A total snob?

The fact is, in fear of this, I’ve turned my focus to the opposite of that of self-love, taking”deny thyself” to a whole new level. Sure, being a wellness advocate I understand the idea of self-care… but I have sometimes forgotten that the first part of self-care begins with the way I view myself. I care for myself on the outside for the betterment of myself- but how am I speaking to myself in the quiet moments?

I’m Worth It

This belief that I should run from the idea of loving myself has fueled my anxious life for years and spurred me on to make many destructive decisions about how I care for and about myself. I’ve believed the lie that I am never enough, not worthy of a whole lot of anything. And this belief has driven me to become highly motivated (to the extreme) to always perform, to constantly output into other’s lives without taking the time to draw upon anything for my own good. This has probably fueled most of my life, frankly. The driving thought that I can “always be better…”

At my lowest point, I felt like there was no safe space away from my self-criticism. Even in my own home, alone with my own thoughts, this was the worst place I could find myself. Sound unhealthy, much? My own thoughts spoke so loudly against myself, I could have screamed. That’s when I knew I had to make a change. But I had no idea that simply turning toward how I valued myself would be such a game changer, such a critical turning point in my wellness journey.

A number of instances, people, scenarios and Godsent opportunities had finally brought me to this realization of how far I’d really fallen.

I knew I’d never find rest until I could rest in the knowledge that I was enough just the way I was. And I am! This is me. I am worthy of receiving grace, love, success, and all of that is okay. I may not always get what I want, but I was made for better purposes than that.

I kept thinking “Okay, I need a plan! A self-love plan… I don’t even know where to start or how to do this…” But there again, I was making things too difficult. I simply needed to start. To just begin.

So I just looked at myself in the mirror, face completely soaked in steaming hot tears and said to myself, “It’s gonna be okay. You’re worth it. Let’s get to work.”

The Real Life Change

We can all look at specific moments in our lives that have changed the game in one way or another. This was yet another one of those. Each life has several. This is just one – brief and monumental.

I definitely cannot continue to blog about my wellness passions without addressing the beauty and importance of self-acceptance, self-love, and the positive effects of that on physical and relational health.

Truth is, my relationships were beginning to rot away. I could feel it. As I tore down myself in every scenario, I was experiencing tunnel vision, not noticing the needs of others, not showing others unconditional love, not accepting the grace of my Creator, and for that matter, not giving my Creator any credit for creating me! Good grief.

My digestion, another topic, has begun to steadily improve with each day as I re-learn how to speak to myself.  So much less upset. More on that later.

So can loving yourself help you love others? Yes, yes it can. And this is my key takeaway for myself, and also the message I want to spread on to you.

Don’t deny yourself day after day in the name of humility and self-sacrifice… and pretending to be awesome and unaffected.

Get right with yourselves, let the Creator show you what love looks like. You cannot be love until you know what love feels like.

 

Further Reading I found especially helpful!…

 

https://www.compellingtruth.org/Bible-self-love.html

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12250/20-awesome-side-effects-of-practicing-self-love.html

 

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Inspiring Real Wellness

Restoring the day. What does that look like? Real total wellness, what does that look like? It’s a journey, right? An intensely personal one, at that!

When I started this blog, I was toying around with making it a food blog for plant-based lifestyles. I follow several of those and I refer to them often. There’s always a need for good resources like that, always! And that may become a reality in the future as I grow.  But Restoring the Day is more about realizing and supporting our quest for restoring real wellness. Creating a healthy, safe space from which we can live and thrive and benefit others! Real wellness encompasses so much more than just healthy eating. 

When looking at true, real wellness we have to look at the food we eat, the environment we live in, the people we surround ourselves with, our self-talk, our spiritual health, our physical activity, emotional health… we could go on! And then of course within those categories, whatever activities we partake in to flesh this wellness thing out in real life is where we start to see results.

Actively CREATE Your Healthy Space

If you’re like me, I need consistent encouragement and inspiration to keep fighting for my wellness. Let’s face it, our environments are not aways a healthy place. We have to actively create that healthy space, and sometimes that takes some hard work and discipline. But we know it can be fun. We love it! Right? We love how we feel when we take good care of ourselves and make the better choices.

But how do we keep that momentum going the next day and the next when it’s so easy to give up and give in? (I say this in total realism!) For me, the key is staying inspired. We need to support one another, surround ourselves with encouraging people, things, and situations so that when life inevitably gets tough, we are well enough to stand up to it. Support slower healthier living that encompasses more than diet, also stepping into the mind and emotions, our environment and our relationships. I think this is total wellness.

I want to inspire all of us to bridge the gap of all these diets and wellness fads, to cut through the clutter of all of this “advice” available to us, and just remind us all to “restore the day” as best we can to peaceful, compassionate, healthy living. To bring life back to being as close to the earth as we safely can.

What did “the day” used to look like? What should it look like? Well, this is not an ideal world –  but don’t you think that in an ideal world, we would be touching the ground a little more often? We would be more active, we would eat better foods, and yes, we would be less anxious and less busy?

No one can argue that the closer we stay to nature, the healthier we would be. We live in a world where nearly everything we do is artificial. We live in apartment highrises instead of in huts on the ground; maybe we sleep on multi-thousand dollar mattresses, we work out on treadmills for heaven’s sake! We drive cars to our workplaces where we sit within four walls and communicate with one another through wired (and wireless) devices. A bit odd, when you think about it, right!? 

 

We may never truthfully know which diet or wellness modality is the absolute healthiest on the planet. And I am not in a place to suggest that one is, over another (although I’ll cheer for plants all the way!) I’ll leave that to those more educated than I am. 

But as we learn more about how we can create that safe space for wellness in our lives, we talk about practical tips and the benefits of each, let’s remember to embrace our wellness journey as our own, tune out the external noise, and create our own journey.

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Slow & Grateful Living (part two): the one lesson I wasn’t expecting

Happy Friday Friends!

If you made goals for this week and are following through with them, let me know, I’d love to cheer you on. Those of you who have told me what your week’s goals have been, how amazing are YOU! You have inspired me beyond belief.

Throughout the week I have been eating the cleanest of clean. My eyesight is brighter, my mind is even clearer, and my energy is quite impressive, especially since sleep is rather an illusion right now with my babes in tow. My intentionality to reach for my Bible first in the morning and shut my mind down a little earlier in the evening have been beautiful aids in regaining some of my brain space and helping me better collect myself each day. All of these benefits from the week have been amazing enough to stand alone, but combining them with my interactions with others, I was reminded of my vision and was able to refocus my mind on my role in community.

This week I had a conversation with at least one person each day going through some kind of difficult situation, some of them even significant traumas. My own personal experiences flooding back. Additionally, My husband experienced a re-injury, my daughter has been teething and sleepless… my heart is heavy for many people right now. But my perspective from the week has been beautifully shaped by this Slow & Grateful Living Challenge. I’ve been seeing day after day the importance of being able to love deeply at a moments notice and what it takes to be prepared for that. Really, to be ready for anything. To be at a place, as far as it depends on me, where I am centered, in Christ, my body and mind in great health, where I am able and eager to respond to the needs of others as genuinely as possible.

I am a very goal driven person, and I’ve come to appreciate that about myself. It helps me get stuff done, and keeps me powered up and motivated. One weakness of mine however is becoming so goal focused that I can sometimes forget to look for growth opportunities moment to moment.

Through all of the conversations, all of the upsets, the daily chaos, my goals for the week kept me well centered on what was important, and I am delighted by that. But I also have realized a new level of community and my significant valuable role.

 

I am one person, insignificant to some, but to the people close to me, my family, my friends I am valued and I am needed. I need to have the emotional and physical energy to live this life with all of these people I love. I want them to experience community with me the same way I desire it with them. I want to be joyful and present, there to care for them and allowing them to care for me too.

I want to be ready to love in a moments notice. I want to be inviting and safe to be around. I want to feel my best so that I can live my best and be ready for anything.

Be open to learning whatever it is that is in front of you today. It might not be what you’re expecting!

What would it take in your life to create that space and take care of yourself and your well-being so that you can be ready to live out your unique role today? Maybe you need to create space to live more slowly and more thoughtfully. What does that look like practically for you today?

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Slow Grateful Living Challenge: 7 days of creating more space in my life for gratitude

Dear friends, I am SO very excited and eager to announce that I will personally be embarking on a challenge this next week, the week BEFORE Thanksgiving, to really prepare my heart and create more space for gratitude and joy. I am asking you to please consider joining me! I would absolutely love to have the accountability and partnership of us all doing this together! I am completely ecstatic about this, and I’m hoping some of this enthusiasm will rub off on you so that you’ll do this with me! (Pretty please!)

Here’s what you could expect from a challenge like this. I am going to start on Sunday, the first official day of the week, and I will at least carry on for seven days, if not all the way up until Thanksgiving Day. You can personally decide exactly how long you go for, and what is right for you. You can also set your OWN goals for your week! This challenge will be powered by YOUR goals and what you feel you need this week. Maybe your goal is to not engage in the consumerism around Thanksgiving time and Black Friday. That would be an amazing goal. Perhaps you want to eat clean this whole week. Perhaps you want to get in daily exercise and have been having trouble doing that- whatever your goals are, write them down, sleep on them, dream about carrying those goals out and making them happen this next week, and share them with your friends –  and with me! I seriously CANNOT WAIT to cheer you on.

I am so very passionate about slow living, creating space for joy love and gratitude even in the midst of all of our business. I love being busy, I enjoy being productive, but I want to be productive with a purpose, and be totally mindful and aware during all hours of my precious days here on this earth with those I love most. So lets do this together!

Just to give you an idea of what I am personally going to do this week, here are three totally achievable goals I’m setting for my Slow Grateful Living Challenge. I would totally have more, but sometimes I can get carried away (I’m quite passionate.)! Ha! So I’m going to stick with just three so I can make absolutely sure I achieve them all realistically.

  1. Many of you know I am vegan (for many reasons) and for this week I will be eating a totally raw food plan for 7 days. If this seems extreme to you, remember- This is MY goal. It does not have to be anywhere close to yours! It is slightly extreme. It’s not extreme for me, for me it just means going the extra mile. I cannot wait, you guys. Raw food gives me incredible clarity, and my senses are heightened and clarified, and overall it makes me feel amazing, but I don’t have plans to continue it throughout the winter, but for these seven days I absolutely cannot wait. So that’s part one of my plan for this week. That being said, please do not make this your goal unless you are totally prepared, and are aware of how to embark on this safely and healthfully. If one of your goals is food related, I will be sharing some of my recipes and what I eat in a day so you can add them into your days for some of your own awesome healthy recipe options.
  2. I will touch my Bible and my daily planner every morning before I reach for my smartphone. I’ve noticed that especially since my smartphone is my alarm clock, my access to my work, my friends and family, my bank account, and even the daily weather, that I’ve slipped into some bad habits. So here’s to changing that.
  3. Screens off and no housework 30 minutes before I close my eyes to sleep so I can read and have time to think clearly and journal about what I’m grateful for to help me sleep better and get the most out of the next day. I’m very excited about this. I’ve never been 100% successful at keeping up with this habit, but I KNOW I can keep it up for 7 days. So thrilled to share with you all how the week goes. I’m passionate and ready to go. Follow me on social media to see how I’m keeping up with my week!

Are you ready? Will you take the challenge and set some goals for yourself this week to live more intentionally, more slowly, and more gratefully as we move into this beautiful holiday season? Let’s keep in touch during this challenge, share your goals with me so I can help cheer you on as well! Let me know if you’d be willing to share your experience doing this challenge after it’s complete, and how you plan to move forward after the week is done, intentionally and thoughtfully keeping that momentum. Let’s restore the day, one day at a time this week!

Please reach out to me on social media with ANY questions you may have, or for some extra personal inspiration. Like my page for Restoring the Day on facebook here! – and follow along with me throughout the week! I’ll be posting inspiration for us all. Here’s to starting out the holidays with the right heart. Good vibes to all!

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