If you missed the first post in this Break Fre(ed) to Live the Life You Want series, click here where I give the 7 Motivational Milestones you will gain from going through a recovery. I promise, no matter how difficult it may seem, having the courage to go through a recovery will be worth it.
In this second post, I will be talking on how to love ourselves more.
I will be talking on:
1. The reasons why our hearts might be ‘empty’
-Why we tend to ‘feel guilty’ in taking care of ourselves
2. Why it’s essential to fill our hearts with love
3. Fun ideas to give yourself LOVE!
This self-love thing might seem strange to you.
Because it did to me in the beginning of my recovery journey.
Up until then, I only knew that we were supposed to:
-Care for others
-Treat others kindly
-To not disappoint others
-Be nice to one another
This was what I was taught growing up and yes, we are to love one another. But there’s something missing to this love equation. Loving others is only the result of daily nourishing ourselves with love.
We cannot truly love another if we have not learned to love ourselves first.
Imagine our heart as a cup. If our heart is empty, we cannot give love. Even though our intentions is good in caring for another person, or we try our best to make them happy, if our own cup is empty, when we do these loving acts, we will be unconsciously expecting something back in return.
We might feel that the other person owes us something back in return.
That’s not genuine love. We cannot give genuinely when our hearts are empty.
1. Why our hearts might be empty?
We were born in God’s love, created in His love. Now, God might be the Divine to you, others have called it the Universe, a Higher Power, Gabrielle Bernstein have called it our -ing (our Inner Guidance). I call it God because that was the religion I was brought up in. Each of us is a manifestation of God’s love.
God does not make extra people, He brought each of us into this world with our specific gifts, experiences, with a purpose in mind, which is to express uniquely His Love as a gift to the world. When we operate in our natural state of Love, our hearts is fulfilled, each and every part of us is nourished and satiated and overflowing with love.
Love is what nourishes us, strengthens us, love is our natural state.
When we continue to grow in love, it would be natural for us to take care and love ourselves.
But somewhere along the way, we might go through experiences that convinced us that we didn’t deserve love.
I did and I didn’t know that I had unconsciously put up a cage around my own heart and had caused me to not give myself any love.
Our experiences might be different, but perhaps on some level they are the same.
As I was growing up, I had gone through 2 divorces. I had witnessed countless fights between my parents and heard how two people can say such hurtful things to one another.
I was brought up mostly by my mom. She’s a strong and incredible woman. But like any other child, I have gone through my fair share of being disciplined by her when I wasn’t exactly behaving.
As a result, I grew up being skeptical of this thing called love. I had witnessed so much pain, fear, sadness, and emotional turmoil, that how could such a beautiful thing like love exist??
More than that, the experiences I went through had left an imprint on my heart that I didn’t want to get hurt anymore, so I would close up my emotions, and if I carefully guarded my heart, nothing could hurt me anymore right?
Yet, as I depleted my own nourishment of love, my starving heart started looking for ‘love’ in all the wrong places. I grew attached to pleasing people, putting others’ happiness before my own (even in the times that it hurt me), people’s approval, grades, achievements, and sought emotional fulfillment through food and mugs of black coffee. All of these external security I had built up in order for me to appear strong & ‘protect’ my heart from breaking anymore. In another way, I had kept myself busy to avoid addressing that what my heart had truly yearned for, which was true genuine love.
Throughout my recovery, I needed to go back to basics. I had let the experiences of the world block my natural capacity to receive and nourish myself with love.
2. Learning to nourish our hearts with love
In understanding the ‘blocks’ that I had put up to receive and nourish myself with love, I could slowly unravel the cage that I had guarded by heart in. This took time, and it will for you too. That’s okay, as we continue to practice in nourishing ourselves with true and genuine love, our hearts will heal and it will no longer need those external safeguards to feel loved or safe anymore.
Watch this video as a part of the Oprah’s Life Class series as she chats with Iyanla Vanzant about self-love.
I love it when Iyanla Vanzant says that it is ‘self-full’ when we take care of ourselves.
It’s not selfish to love and take care of ourselves. There’s no need to feel guilty when we want to fill our cups full.
So, how do you learn to keep your cups full?
One of the first things I did in my recovery was to ask myself, what were my favorite things to do that I truly enjoyed doing?? For me this was, painting, reading fantasy books, writing, baking, running, taking naps, strolling in the park and walking in the grass barefoot, yoga, playing basketball, doodling, watching movies like Narnia and The Hobbit over and over again. These were the things that I truly enjoyed doing, where time seems to fly and I feel happy when I do them.
So, ask yourself, what are the things that you truly enjoy doing and could do for hours on end? (without someone else telling you that you need to do them). This is important, since after operating for years in seeking approval from others, I realised that I had neglected my own talents and doing things that came naturally to me, and instead spent time doing things that other people told me I had to do but didn’t resonate with me.
After that, you need to commit to nourishing your heart. I made time to do my favorite things, stopped working 24/7 and learned to nourish my heart regularly.
Commitment is important, since it is only through practicing a repeated pattern regularly, that self-love will come natural to us.
3. Ideas to fill up our hearts with love!!
-Prioritize your health and self-care
This means getting your 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. Eating when you are hungry, nourishing yourself with balanced, nutritious meals and snacks. Oh and chocolate too. 😉
-Learn to say no.
Be true to yourself. If someone is asking or wanting you to do something that does not resonate with you, it’s okay to say no.
-Listen and dance along to Lady Gaga’s or Cover versions of her song Born This Way.
‘There is nothing wrong with loving who you are because He made you perfect babe…’
-Have some down time.
It’s okay to have some chill-ax time where you do nothing at all. So treat yourself to a bubble bath, or spend time reading your favorite book, or watching your favorite TV series. When we give our active minds rest, our subconscious mind goes to play and will help our mind to reboot.
-Spend and make time to do your favorite things!
-Treat yourself to this fabulous tank by THINK!
I personally love this brand. Mariel Heather is the founder of THINK.
I completely resonate with the concept behind her THINK brand. The slogan of the THINK brand is ‘it’s all in your mind.’ After having my own experience in shifting my mindset from fear & negative based to a more positive & loving way of thinking, I was able to recover from anorexia and severe clinical depression and completely turn my life around. If you are going through a period of recovery, no matter how difficult it seems, stick it through, because the journey is worth it, and I believe you can heal!
Other than THINK love, there are THINK Beauty, THINK Courage, Strength, Think Hope & THINK Positive. Hoodies are also coming up shortly to purchase.
Look out, there will be discounts available soon for you to be able to purchase her fitness apparel and hoodies! Follow me on Instagram @Wellnesstogo and Mariel @thinkallways to receive first notice 🙂
10% of your from your purchases will be donated to charities and non-profit organisations that promote women’s health and empowerment. So this is a treat that you can feel good about!
-Spendtime catching up with your friends.
It’s always good for the heart to have a heart-to-heart soul chat.
-Treat yourself to a day where you break out of your normal routine.
Get dressed up and do up (or let down) your hair and go out somewhere nice for a meal. Or book yourself a trip to travel where you can spend time to unplug and explore the world.
-Head on over to my Love Board on Pinterest for some more fun ideas!
Feel free to follow my board as I will be continually updating it with sweet treats and ideas that will melt your heart!
your Wellness to go in this 2nd post of the Be Fre(ed) series is:
1. Reflect and understand why your heart may be running on empty.
Have you put external safeguards around your heart? Have the courage to let down those guards and begin to nourish your heart with true & genuine love.
2. Learn to nourish your heart with self-love
-Keeping our hearts full is not selfish, it is ‘self-full.’
-What are your favorite things to do that you enjoy doing?
-Commit to regularly doing your favorite things
3. Make a list of all the fun things you can do to nourish your hearts with love!
Now it’s over to you!
What are the things that you do to keep hearts full? I would love to know!
If you like this post, please do share it with others and spread the love!
From my heart to yours,
Much LOVE and may your days be well,
This Be Fre(ed) series is dedicated to helping those of you who may be struggling with food, or body image, or feel trapped in their minds with negative / harmful thoughts that may be weighing you down.
I want to get to know YOU more, what are some of the struggles that you have with food or body image? If you are recovering from an ED, what are some of the difficulties that you have been encountering?
Feel free to comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with me via Instagram @wellnesstogo, Facebook, or Twitter @thewellnesstogo. I read every single email, or comment that comes through and will answer to your questions! I am here to serve you so that you can find food, body, and mind freedom, and be the healthiest, happiest and most loving version of yourself!