“In order to be yourself you have to learn how to choose yourself, which means you have to learn how to accept yourself, and yeah it’s hard” – Tamika Arnold
I enjoy taking this time during February to focus on self-love as Valentine’s Day is approaching and whether you’re in a relationship or not, self-love is still something I believe is a necessary part of the discussion during the month of love.
Like Tamika said, learning to choose and accept yourself is hard, it’s not something we can all do with ease or without much thought. Sometimes we have to put things in place to get us into the habit of choosing ourselves.
So How Does One Begin To Choose Themselves?
Self acceptance is definitely part of this journey and I believe self-awareness is equally part of the journey as well. In order to get to a point where you are choosing yourself intentionally and purposefully, you do need to be aware of some of the things and individuals creating those barriers.
What or who is stopping you from choosing yourself? What do you think choosing yourself looks like for you?
Start with Self Awareness
Become aware of yourself, become aware of the things you feel, think and say about yourself. Is that your true feelings, thoughts and words? Or are those the words of others? Are those your feelings or are they someone’s else? You may not know the answers straight away or it may take some time for you to get the answers you want, and that is fine, there is no time limit on self-awareness it is a constant part of our journey as we are constantly changing.
When we become aware of ourselves and our true feelings and thoughts of ourselves, the way we see ourselves changes. You can start to accept yourself for who you are and create the space to choose yourself once you know what to focus on.
Practice Self Acceptance
When we think about self-acceptance we think we have to accept the good, the bad and the ugly, but that isn’t necessarily the case. You choose what it is that you wish to accept. Yes, acknowledge the bad and the ugly, but you don’t have to accept it, you can choose to change it, work through it and understand what place it has in your life. Does it serve a purpose? Do you need it?
Self Acceptance does not mean you only have the best and most positive thoughts and feelings towards yourself, that is not realistic. However, self-acceptance allows the space for imperfection. Accept the good and accept that you’re not perfect and that it may mean you have negative thoughts about yourself sometimes, or that you don’t always have the most positive words to use for yourself. Find ways to affirm yourself even when you don’t have the kindest things to say to yourself at the time.
My mistakes do not define me
Where I am now is not the end of my journey
I accept that the journey I am on is going to be challenging, and I will keep going because I deserve to experience self-love.
I am making room for more self-love and self-acceptance in my life.
I choose to stop apologising for being me.
The love and understanding I have for myself grow every day.
Create the Space To Be Chosen
Choosing yourself can be uncomfortable, especially when you have spent a significant amount of time choosing everybody else over yourself. A large part of self-love is choosing yourself, prioritising yourself and attending to your own needs first.
My favourite quote is “you cannot pour from an empty cup“. We have tried many times but pouring nothing into someone else’s empty cup leaves you both with nothing but a sense of temporary joy. At the time we may feel we have done a good deed but in reality, you have chosen someone else over yourself and that can lead to feelings of resentment and feeling unappreciated. All valid emotions, however, we need to be in a position where we can say no to anything and anyone that wants us to pour from our empty cup.
Learn to fill your cup, before pouring from it, that is how we choose ourselves. Like I said it is uncomfortable and you will have thoughts of giving up and giving in to old ways.
We grow when we are uncomfortable, we learn more about ourselves when we are uncomfortable, we let go of the expectations of ourselves and others when we are uncomfortable, we learn to accept more of ourselves when we are uncomfortable, we learn how to be gentle to ourselves when we uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is an unpleasant feeling, which is annoying because it is the same place we grow and learn to choose ourselves.
‘Hotep Repeller‘ Tee: Dorcas Creates