Love Yourself

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First.
Before trying to fix.
Before you return.
Before the repair.
Before the journey on.
Before you take one more step.
Please, love yourself.

Love the legs that got you here, and the ones that will
step bravely into the wilderness.

Love the heart that did not give up, the one that beats to a song, your song.

Love the eyes that trusted beyond the darkness enough to go without for a little while.

Love the body that grows, the one that will one day perish, for now it holds you, and you have it, it does not have you.

Love the mind that examines this landscape, constantly learning and responding to endless mystery.

Love the pockets of memories that it holds, and the ones that it will one day let go of.

Love the infinite consciousness that your soul holds in a cosmic embrace, love the fact that NOBODY can truly tell you who you need to be, because nobody really knows.

Love this moment, because it’s all you will ever have. It’s all you ever needed.

Love yourself as a companion, one that will never leave your side.

Love your fear, enough to know you can conquer it.

Love your ability to decide, the one thing that can never be taken from you.

Love yourself for all of this. Love the self you have been and what you will be.

Love.

Now carry on.

Photo: Justin Kern

Taking A Break From Self-Improvement

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Be your best.

Do your best.

Find happiness and success.

There are thousands of self help books, sites and videos. Everyone wants to be their

“best self”

But what if it wasn’t about who you needed to be, but instead being okay with who you are?

Be the most fit, most healthy, most successful, most happy that you’ve ever been. Achieve happiness and live up to your full potential… ahh the dream.
We have this idea that there’s a point where it will all fall into place.
I want that. You probably want that. Of course, I mean who wouldn’t?

I could try and make all of this about self-help, the path to success (yeah, as if I know anything about success at 20 years old).
Even if I did feel I fit the criteria to inspire that kind of motivation, I think there’s something that most of us need first.

What if right now all you want is to be okay?
What if to you, self-help just means getting yourself to make it through each day of school, work or life?
What if you don’t even know what your dreams are, or what you want?
What if you do know what you want, but there’s no chance you would ever have the confidence to go for it?
What if life is overwhelming enough, let alone trying to be fit, healthy, happy and successful?

Sometimes it seems like other people are already so far ahead, what’s the point in even trying?

It’s easy for me to write with success as the goal. To tell you that if you just believe in yourself your life will be great, to just follow your dreams and it will all work out. But I don’t know that. Furthermore, I don’t know if anything is that easy.

Self-improvement is great, and it’s worthwhile to be looking ahead and trying new things. There are always things that we can improve on and learn if we so desire.
But sometimes… it feels like that’s the only option. This overwhelming pressure to move forward. And if you’re not going anywhere then you’re stuck, you’re doing something wrong.
Many people have the energy to achieve, improve, succeed. It seems like some never stop. And that can be really intimidating.

Because sometimes we don’t even believe that we deserve to be our best self.

As I wrestle with what this blog is really about, what my main idea is, what I ultimately want you to know, it’s this:

It’s not about who you need to be, it’s about being okay with who you are first.
It’s not about being strong and motivated, it’s about first knowing that you’re struggles don’t make you weak.

It’s not about seeking perfection, it’s about shaking the idea that you have to be perfect.

Because motivation doesn’t work if you don’t feel you have a reason to be motivated. So before all of that, before setting goals, making plans or discovering your calling, I believe you need to be loved.

You need to know that you are loved without being defined as “successful”.
You need to know that you are loved when you don’t have it all figured out.
You need to know that you are loved when you have no freaking idea why you’re here on this earth.

When you’re overwhelmed with all of the things you need to be, or do, or become, just stop for a second.
Are you okay with where you are?
If not, maybe it’s time to put your gym schedule on hold, and go for coffee with that friend you’ve been meaning to talk to.
Or write down how you’re feeling.
Or connect with a counsellor.
Or treat yourself to a day of being unproductive.

You need to know that your best self is when you are okay with being yourself. It’s hard. I’m not there, not even close.
But I believe that’s what will allow you achieve your dreams with confidence, rather than out of obligation and desperation.
Your best self isn’t what you achieve, it’s loving what you are.
The rest will come.

Photo Attribution: Atos