Loving the Whole You

Loving myself has been a journey. If I am honest, I must admit that I’ve got a ways to go yet. That isn’t to say that I haven’t made any progress. On the contrary, I have made huge strides, leaps and bounds in this area.  I am doing well in this process, but, I must always remind myself that it IS a process and therefore takes time and work, which is not fun for an impatient person. I often battle inwardly thinking I should have arrived already at some great accomplished place of perfect and complete self love.

Sometimes I think to myself, where does this expectation come from?  Why do I think I ought to have “arrived” by now, somehow?? Is it because I’m a certain age? Because I’ve already accomplished some other major goals in life? Because of society’s pressure bearing down upon me? The answer is all of the above. There are internal and external pressures involved; pressures I put on myself and pressures I feel from forces outside of myself.  You could say to me, “You don’t have to accept external pressures,” and you are correct. But, it’s often not that simple.  External pressures and expectations, whether from individual people (family, friends and strangers) or from media or from society-at-large are often overwhelmingly present.

For instance, have you ever been chatting with a friend or colleague something on your mind? You were thinking maybe they’d commiserate with you or make some small comment about it.  Instead, they proceeded to give full-on advice laced with a few veiled insults in the process.  But they were just “trying to help”, right?  That’s happened to me a time or two and usually the full impact of what was said didn’t hit me until AFTER the conversation was over.  Sure, sure the insults may not have been intentional but they still made their impact and left me feeling a bit hurt, angry and temporarily insecure about something I had no business feeling insecure about.  I then would have to go into “damage control mode” to counteract the impact of the negative words. I’d remind myself to “consider the source” or that they were “trying to help and unaware of their insult” or that “this person tends to be very opinionated so I must take their  ‘advice’ with a grain of salt”.  I’d have to remind myself “I am beautiful, capable, intelligent, and I love my body” or whatever other positive self-talk phrase was applicable at the moment.

Thankfully these types of interactions don’t happen often, but, they do happen.  Maybe they happen often for you with a particular friend, family member, coworker or boss.  It’s not easy to remain unaffected when people are critical towards you. But, let’s talk about another item that may undermine our ability to love ourselves fully… the influence of media.

Perhaps you are scrolling through your social media (or media of choice) and you see an article about, “How to have the perfect body” or “Getting beach body ready” or “How to get rid of those love handles” and along with the article is a picture of a person with seemingly zero body fat and toned muscles and curves in the ‘right’ places.  Then you look in the mirror at YOUR body and see something different.  Is your body less perfect? Less desirable somehow? Less beautiful?  The subliminal messages of these articles and pictures is that if you are not perfectly toned and in shape with zero body fat, or if you don’t look like the image that is portrayed by media, then something is wrong with you.  You begin to feel as though you are not measuring up or that your body is not good enough.

These articles and advertisements may have good intentions. They may want to promote fitness information. Or… they may be advertising a product or service that they want you to buy, so the advertisement / article plays on your personal insecurities about your appearance, your body shape, etc. in order to sell their product.  These subliminal messages tell us we should only go to the beach if we have a ‘beach body’.  Or when we see the that photo of the model with amazing abs has over 100,000 “likes”, we may incorrectly internally rationalize that have to look like that model in order to be “liked”.  It is all in the marketing and we fall for it.  If we are not careful, we feel like we are not measuring up somehow.

Then, there are the articles saying things like, “Things you should accomplish in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s¨ or “What you should wear in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc¨?  Who are “they” to be saying what we should or should not wear or what we should have accomplished by a certain age?  Sure, you can use these types of articles as a LOOSE guideline if you’d like, but, people are defying age stereotypes daily!  But, if we buy into these articles as more than for just entertainment or opinion, we could get caught up into thinking we’ve failed somehow by not reaching a certain goal or marker by a certain age.

Sometimes I swear this system is meant to keep us living in a state of dissatisfaction with ourselves and our lives. We can fall into the trap of endlessly striving to be some ideal rather than learning to actually LOVE ourselves as we are.  Not that we will never need or want to improve in some areas or facets of ourselves because we will.  But, we must first learn to accept and embrace ourselves FULLY.  We all have shortcomings, flaws, things that we don’t necessarily prefer about our appearances, etc., but we must love these parts of ourselves as well, and love them wholeheartedly.  Do you have stretchmarks?  Love them.  Do you have “love handles”? Love them.  Do you have scars? Love them.  Do you have a tendency to chatter on and on? Love yourself.  Do you stutter? Love yourself. We are all imperfect and it’s okay.   What’s not okay is allowing your own self-talk, other people’s opinions, or other external sources to make you feel less worthy as a human being.  You, I, we … do not have to be perfect people. We should strive to be good people. We should strive to be the best version of ourselves and that is different for everyone.  But, do not cast aside who you are at this moment.

It can be very difficult to manage if we have people in our lives who constantly tear us down. Or if we are in social situations on a regular basis where we must deal with negative and/or bullying type people (work, school).  There is no easy solution in those situations. The dynamics are not always identical.  But, if you are being bullied at work or school, talk to someone you trust and someone who can help you.  Try talking to a teacher, administrator, friend, parent. At work you may also want to speak to a manager you trust or to the HR department or to a friend outside of work who can give you wise counsel.  Also try using Google to look up information for resources who might be able to help you.

The last thing I will mention is this.  When it comes to learning to love your whole self, the only caveat to this is if you know that you are harmful to other people or to yourself. If you know you are someone who purposely hurts others or if you purposely hurt yourself, loving yourself does not mean staying the same.  If you struggle with some dark parts of yourself or something that is bigger than you can handle that you know is destructive, then loving yourself would mean getting HELP for yourself so that the harmful behavior does not continue.  Loving ourselves also means doing what we must to help ourselves to get better.

These are my thoughts.  Blessings.

Kay Dee // @kaydeespeaks

https://iamkaydee1.wordpress.com
Facebook, IG, Twitter @kaydeespeaks
YouTube: bit.ly/KayDeeSpeaks

Photo credit: pexels.com

Random Bits of Wisdom

Random Thoughts:

  • If you don’t deal with your own stuff/issues & keep ignoring them, they’ll seep into every other area of your life.
  • Sometimes you have to be alone to figure out WHO you are, what you want & what’s important to you. It’s in that alone time where you get to know yourself best, because there are no other distractions.
  • Waiting is not fun, but, sometimes it’s the best option. We tend to want everything immediately & immediate gratification is not always best. If we got everything we wanted immediately, (1) we might not be able to handle it all (2) we might not fully appreciate it or know how to take care of it properly (3) we might mess it up.
  • Sometimes when you get back what you lost, you realize that it needed to stay lost.
  • Sometimes lessons learned the hard way are the most lasting & life changing.
  • You have to purposely decide to work on yourself, improve yourself, be your best self. No one can do that for you.
  • You can want the best for someone, but, THEY have to decide to want the best for themselves. You cannot change them.
  • Don’t you love when you finally “get” something you’ve been trying to learn or understand? It’s the best feeling!
  • Oftentimes, it’s not until later in life that you can look back and understand WHY something happened the way it did (or didn’t).
  • Some things we will not understand on this side of heaven.
  • Learning to love yourself and accept yourself is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.
  • Truly experiencing the love of God is life altering and life-elevating.
  • Stop boxing yourself in. Stop putting limitations on your capabilities and dreams.  You can do infinitely more than you can imagine.
  • When you get knocked down, get back up, dust yourself off, learn the lesson & keep going!
  • When you’re going for your dreams and goals, you may face many hardships & failures along the way. Remember it’s all part of the process & don’t give up.
  • Surround yourself with good people.
  • Some friendships are seasonal. They’re not meant to last forever.  And that’s okay.  Thank God for the blessing of that friendship at the time you needed it.

That’s it for today.  Be blessed folks.

@KayDeeSpeaks on FB, IG, Twitter & YouTube & WordPress

©2017 Kay Dee Speaks “Random Bits of Wisdom”

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com

Motives 11/10/2016

leaves

Upon following the post-election social media storm (still in progress) – I see passionate people expressing varied views.  My personal election viewpoints aside, I felt the need to express myself in some way.  So for part of my expression I chose to write what I see and what I feel.  This may be the first of many installments, or just a single post.  Time will tell.   This may go largely unnoticed because the media frenzy is so fierce and passions are high, and likely will be for a while.  But, still, I need to share… for me.  And hopefully it will be a blessing to someone else.  ♥

 

Motives – by KayDeeSpeaks

Are we talking AT each other?
Or talking TO each other?
What is our underlying motive when we speak?
Are we trying to UNDERSTAND one another?
Or are we just trying to be RIGHT at any cost?
Before we so quickly point the finger at others,
Let’s first point it at ourselves, each individually.
Take a serene moment and
Let us examine our own hearts.
Let us quiet ourselves and reflect inwardly.
Let us get down to the roots in our own hearts.
What is their origin?
Is there anything that needs to be UP-rooted?
Truly only WE know what really lies within.
And what we do not know, God can reveal.
For the seeds of division were sown long, long ago in ages past.
And the roots of division are long, and strong, and deep.
And the tree, yes the TREE bears bitter fruit and will continue, unless we look beneath the surface.
If we do not deal with the roots, then we are only dealing with the leaves, the fruit, the external, the surface…
And surface issues will continue to cycle back around like the seasons.
We must do the harder part.
We must go deeper.
But be warned…
Old wounds resurfaced are painful.
They tend to elicit feelings of defensiveness, anger, fear, sadness and the like.
Before true healing can happen, there is some upheaval that first occurs when facing issues head on.
But until we deal with the roots, true change will not be established and lasting.
Deep wounds are only healed when they are acknowledged and dealt with.
But, they must be dealt with with honesty and with CARE and truth and repentance and forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and of others.
Shall we begin?
Or will the cycle continue?

 

My thoughts,

@KayDeeSpeaks – WordPress,IG,FB,Twitter

©KayDeeSpeaks 2016 “Motives 11/10/2016”

Delay & Denial = Set Up For Success

Sometimes we wonder why there are delays and denials. We wonder why some things don’t work out and some do.  We wonder at the timing of life events. We get frustrated with failures.  And we agonize over waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  Yes, we remember that God has perfect timing and knows when certain things need to happen, certain connections need to be made, etc.  But, sometimes we get discouraged in the process.  However, please don’t get (or stay) discouraged my friend.  Lift your head up.

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The delays  or the waiting sometimes happen because IF we moved too soon… we would not be prepared for the future opportunity.  We’re always itching for things to come to us quickly.  We think we’re ready.  But sometimes we have to go through various other experiences to shape and ready us for the future. What we experience as denial can be God setting us up for a better opportunity than anything we could’ve created for ourselves. Perhaps our choices would’ve caused us to have havoc and destruction in our lives… but we don’t always see that upfront.  Sometimes God allows us see in hindsight just what he spared us from. He allows us to realize what he was working to prepare us for.  He sometimes gives us those ‘a-ha’ moments so that we can see the full picture, not just the individual puzzle pieces.

Be encouraged my brother, my sister.  Keep pressing forward and keep doing your best to keep trusting. He’s got you.  He’s growing you. He’s preparing you. You are so special and you have SO much to offer.  Let that spark of hope re-ignite within you.  And keep moving forward.  Blessings.

@KayDeeSpeaks

FB-IG-Twitter and WordPress

©2016 Kay Dee Speaks “Delay & Denial = Set Up For Success”