I wanted to wait a bit to write this blog but I think it is beyond timely because of everything that is going on concerning the spread of the Coronavirus, which has a lot of us who are able to, practicing Social Distancing. Fear, panic and anxiety are extremely high on a global scale. This also means you have a lot more time to think and be in your head more. So in an effort to help where I can, I wanted to share and add to the conversations that are happening in our personal relationships, communities and through the interwebs about self-kindness and gentleness. It is a very interesting time we are in, and possibly a good time to remember to love on ourselves.
Now that I’m comfortably in my 30s, I’ve worked [expletive] hard to get to a place that I don’t talk down on myself, my body, or my talents as much or at all for that matter, not that I get it right every time. Getting to a point of true self-love and self-acceptance is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that a person will have to go through. My hope is that if there are any younger women and men in their 20s, in particular reading this, that you begin to recognize the areas of your life that you can ease up putting pressure on yourself. Remember, It. Is. A. Process.
I used to define forgiveness differently than what I now understand it to be. Just like many of us, my idea of forgiveness, whereby you essentially forgive wrongdoings that were done against you by others to allow yourself a chance to successfully move on with your life. This is still basically true, but what I did not fully grasp is the idea that you can and need to forgive yourself for experiences and things you participated in, that may have caused harm to you.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is actually the true definition of being kind and gentle with yourself in my opinion, to be honest. Forgiving yourself means to let go of the feelings of anger, guilt, shame, resentment and any other emotion that negatively emotionally suspends you from developing healthier emotional habits. This can include what you deem to be failures, mistakes, or the “shoulda-woulda-coulda’s”. A lot of times we carry things that are not our own, but rather projections of peoples and societies expectations of us. You’re obligation is to your wellness first and forever.
Love your Body
Our bodies hold a lot of joy and a lot of pain. Our bodies are sometimes the physical manifestations of childhood and adult traumas, but also our bodies are vessels of inspiration, triumphs, and life creations. Regardless of what it is, our bodies hold all of that. I have a gazillion stretch marks that I think look awesome. I’ve had them since I was a pre-teen, so we basically grew up together. I can rundown the list of the body parts that used to cause me emotional, mental and physical strife. I forced myself to stand in the mirror daily last year and speak positive things about my body. It worked wonders.
The reality is we only have one body and it is our responsibility to take care of it, the best we can. This may be hard for a lot of people because of resource constraints, but it does not negate the fact that we should be more conscious of our physical health. Feeling good about your body is hard, especially when messaging around beauty and body politics historically have favored and praised Eurocentric beauty and body types, virtually leaving 90% of the world’s population out of the discussion. Your body is yours. Uniquely made. It is perfectly, imperfect. The sooner you love on it and affirm it, the sooner life will begin to look different, as well.
Slow down your mind and block the noise
One of my personal challenges and struggles has been slowing down my mind and thoughts. I have struggled with this since I was a kid. I believe it has a lot to do with the uncertainty and instability that my family experienced early on. I also have a tendency to want to fix or mitigate problems or potential challenges quickly, not to mention I was an infamously shy, nervous, and fearful child, going well into my 20s. I didn’t like causing problems or being a problem.
This caused me to have intense bouts of anxiety, insomnia, and my mind constantly racing. I learned to slow down my mind by taking one day at a time, meditating daily, and immediately stopping certain negative and harmful thoughts. I would literally say, “No, Loy. Do not go there. You have grown and you are amazing.” I worked hard on not replaying “bad things” or experiences from the past because those were the ones that had me up at night. There are things you can control and things you cannot control. Everything is temporary. Slow down and breathe.
Be honest and vulnerable about your life as it is
Honesty is vulnerability and vulnerability is honesty. Do not forget that. It is easy to want to believe and live in alternate realities, that are different from your present day to day. A lot of us do it actually as a defense mechanism because if we come out of that mental space, we might unravel. It can be a survival tactic. Most things in this life are absolutely and positively temporary. It is important that you accept your reality and life as it is, now and continue to build and affirm your future and things you want to accomplish in life.
When you become more vulnerable and honest about your life, you also take back your power and you own your ish. Owning your ish is absolutely empowering, especially when you know you are striving to be a better person for yourself and the others around you. There is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed about. Everyone’s journey is different and yours is uniquely your own. Own it.
Allow moments and experiences to be just that
Life is also a series of moments and experiences or how we experience and understand moments and events that happen in our lives. You have to enjoy the good ones for what they are, as they happen. Experience them fully.
Commit to feeling the good ones again and making sure that you can be your happy and authentic self as often as you can. The bad, harmful or not-so-good moments and experiences, will also happen, but your task is to not stay in those moments. Those moments can easily bring you down and impact your day. Just like I said before, everything is temporary. Nothing will ever remain the same forever. Life constantly ebbs and flows and you will have to find your rhythm. Embrace the moments that make you feel good, give you inspiration and feed your spirit.
What types of things do you do to be more kind and gentle with yourself?
I am a doctor but not the medical kind of doctor, so information and content presented on Akullu (“we,” “us” or “our”) on https://www.akullu.com (the “Site”) blog is purely to share my personal experience and for educational and entertainment purposes only. As always, check with a medical doctor or specialist before making any fitness or nutrition changes or a trained professional if you are seeking to achieve personal and professional goals. Read Full Disclaimers