~REAL LOVE ~
BY PHOENIX C. BROWN
I was so busy being envious of others and what they seemed to have that I wasn’t taking the time to figure out what was right with myself. We are so quick to name our flaws and so hesitant to compliment ourselves. It’s a sad reality for most of us that we will praise everyone else and find negativity in everything that we do. Why is that? Why can’t we allow ourselves the same grace that we give to others? After much thought, it was clear that the culprit was self-love and my ability to demonstrate the same compassion for myself that I do for those in my life.
The truth is, without self-love, none of our endeavors will truly meet our expectations for ourselves. So, part of the wellness journey is to embark on the self-love one first.
Here are a few simple ways you can start the process:
Can I get real for a minute? Like real and raw with you? Half the time, hell most of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. The past few years have been rough for me, and I’ve been living in a façade of happiness while sinking into a moat of uncertainty and, if I’m being real, living in a functional depression. There are days that I scroll my social media sites or look around me at other beautiful, successful women and wonder: How do they do it? How do they manage to look flawless while working out or just doing everyday errands? And then I told myself to stop! Stop the comparisons!
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Let’s be real. We have been raised in a world where comparing ourselves to others is natural. Television commercials, magazine articles, and even social media tend to sell us images of what perfection should look like. But this is your wake-up call - There’s no point in comparing yourself to anyone else on the planet because there’s only one you. Instead of focusing on the comparison, take that energy and focus on yourself and your journey. Stop worrying about what society thinks or expects of you. You can’t make everyone happy, so this is a waste of time and will only slow you down on your journey to be the best you.
Allow yourself the grace to make mistakes.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “nobody’s perfect, everyone makes mistakes.” But it feels like the older we get, the more pressure we put on ourselves to not fail. If a friend came to you and had failed something, the first thing you would do would be to try to reassure them that they would succeed the next time. You need to do the same for yourself. You need to learn to cut yourself some slack! Embrace the past. Learn to grow from the mistakes that you make. Make a habit of asking yourself, “what can I learn from this?” The beauty in life is that we are constantly changing and growing, so we need to learn to allow ourselves the grace to grow through what we go through.
Don’t be afraid to let go of toxic people.
Protect your energy. It’s not rude or wrong to remove yourself from situations or the company of people who are draining you. The harsh reality is there will come a time when you will have to decide to walk away. Your wellness journey will require you to figure out who can continue the journey with you and who will need to watch from the stands. Not everyone will take responsibility for the energy they put out into the world. If there’s someone who is bringing negativity into your life and they won’t take responsibility, then you might need to step away from them. Don’t be afraid to do this. It may be painful, but it’s very necessary for your well-being.
Put yourself first
Women are often conditioned to put others first. There will be times when the needs of others may have to take precedence, but it shouldn’t be a habit that costs you your mental or emotional well-being.
Find the time to decompress. Whether it’s spending the day in bed reading, working out, or a spa day, find what helps you decompress and carve out time in your schedule to do it. The timing is never going to be perfect, but that shouldn’t hold you back from allowing yourself the “me time” that is needed. You can’t reach your goals and dreams unless you are operating in the capacity of taking care of yourself. You wouldn’t expect your car to keep running without keeping up on the maintenance for it. Why would you expect your body to be any different?
The world is full of people who will have harsh things to say — don’t add yours to the mix. Speak kindly to yourself. Celebrate yourself. You’ve come so far and grown so much. Think of all you have overcome. You are a survivor. You’re here, right now, alive and powerful. Be patient with yourself. Self-love may not happen overnight. But with time and daily practice, you will conquer it just like everything else in your life. That is where the real love resides within yourself.
THIS COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY SOLISTIC CLOTHING
soulistic. Pertaining to the soul; the part involving the mind, will and emotions.
Soulistic Clothing was designed to pay homage to the matriarch's of our family who have passed on. While they are no longer here on earth they left a legacy of character and faith that we wanted to share with the world.
The Ollie Rose Collection is scripture based designs inspired by our grandmother's prayers and faith. We wanted to continue their legacy by creating designs that showcase some of their favorite scriptures.
The Marilyn Ann Collection was inspired by our mothers and their ability to help us change our mindsets. The designs and sayings are self empowering and serve as reminders of how to remain focused in a chaotic world.
We want those who rep Soulistic Clothing to know that it's more than just a clothing line, its a mindset.