By now you should've heard of the term 'Self Love', if not where the hell have you been hiding?
The world and his wife have been preaching about 'Self Love Saturdays', having a lie in or having a long soak in a petal topped, essential oil laden, potentially super slippy and dangerous, bath.
But is this really going to make us feel ANY better?
There may be a moment of relief but I can almost guarantee that you get in the bath and within 5 minutes you are to-do listing and mentally completing endless unfinished tasks in your head or feeling guilty about how much time you've already had to spend away from baby as he stayed at his Dad's three nights last week.
For most people, let alone us single super mums, its gonna take a bit more than a bath to get us to a point where we are completely in love with ourselves, our situations and our lives.
So what do we do instead?
We know that this is the foundation to a fulfilled and successful, down right HAPPY life, but that doesn't take us any closer to having it!
It has taken me around 4 years to get to a point where I finally do love myself, and my life and even my single mum journey!
There will be days when I slip back into the negative self talk, the over doing, the over pleasing, looking for external acceptance mode but generally those days are less and less.
Even yesterday I noticed that I was getting frustrated with J, which is completely normal and ok, he's 3 and fairly hyper to say the least, but what wasn't ok, but probably is quite normal , was the inner chastisement I subjected myself to for getting a little impatient and for eating a whole chocolate almond bar to myself, for the feeling tired and not really that keen on going to work that night, which obviously meant that I am lazy and a bit hypocritical considering I spend most of my days motivating and encouraging other Mums to take inspired action every day and move closer to their goals!
BUT none the less, today I am back at the helm, feeling as motivated and self accepting as I possibly could.
so how did I get there?
After a good few years of reading, learning and more recently working with amazing coaches there were two big take aways for me on the concept of true self-love:
1. Accepting all that you are and seeing light and positivity in even the darker sides of our personality!
2. Letting go of FEAR and trusting myself and my journey!
So let's head straight into No. 1
Accepting that without the dark there can be no light!
The dark or shadow sides of ourselves can be described as those sides of our personality that we consider undesirable attributes or emotions.
We are talking FEAR, ANGER, DOUBT, JEALOUSY, SHAME, GUILT... really whatever you try to push aside or denounce as part of who you are.
As a single Mum by choice I harboured a lot of shame and guilt.
Feeling like J had somehow lost out as a result.
That I should just suck it up and live in unhappiness for his happiness.
That I was somehow less of a mother for the choices that I made.
There was also a lot of anger, the whole why me? why did i have to be the one this happened to? scenario going on.
Trying to place blame on others was also in play a lot.
Being jealous was perhaps the biggest part I had to swallow and accept.
I was jealous of everyone in a relationship at one point, and then because I thought that I needed to hide that and bury it but I couldn't came the guilt and anger again all directed at myself.
So the first step to self love was to accept that these feelings are valid.
We are feeling them.
So they are true and valid.
If I notice myself slipping into jealousy for example, I witness that emotion and just state to myself
'I see you'. This is key!
Just agreeing and accepting that feeling is there and allowing it out into the light rather than denying and hiding it where it gets pushed down until it just bubbles over in an explosion and becomes a complete poor me breakdown, like a champagne bottle thats been shaken about that many times that the cork can't hold in the contents any longer, is the most important step.
The next would be to 'Thank' the emotion for what it can positively do for you. In this example jealousy could actually be seen in its light and with positivity when we consider that actually without it we would not feel as propelled forwards, we would not have anything to strive for.
It helps us see the contrast between where we are and where we want to be and this allows us to get specific about where we want to be headed and how we may get there.
So the key is to reframe emotion positively.
How do ALL of your emotions serve you?
Feel it and feel grateful for it too!
Onwards to No. 2
There are no wrong turns or mistakes, only learning to be gained so there need not be so much fear!
Understanding and accepting this has literally changed and saved my life!
It has taken me from victim to heroine of my own story!
Choosing to see the twists and turns, the lonliness, the hurt and disarray caused by becoming a single Mum as opportunities to learn and get to know myself so that I can move to a better place has been overwhelmingly powerful for me!
That way I no longer need to punish myself for the things i did or didn't do and start to love myself more.
This is the ultimate self love fest!
No petal bathing required!
Just looking back on your journey and knowing that the darkness led or is leading to the light!
You see we are all on a journey, we are being guided by the universe, god, spirit, source, whoever you like, to a higher version of ourselves where we are truly at peace and content.
Life is abundant and freeing when we see that every mishap or crash is just a bump in the road that we need to travel and that we can learn to handle ourselves better and move more quickly towards where we are headed.
Whilst we can't deny all personal responsibility for our actions we most definitely can say that no matter which option I choose I trust that I know where I am headed and love myself for my choices as they bring me learning and light.
The moment I could see that I had been on this rollercoaster for a reason, for a purpose, so that I could develop skills and be able to share experiences to save others having to experience things in the dark way that I did, I felt lighter, more confident and more content with my lot!
And most of the fear of moving forward with life went away.
I no longer had to worry about making a mistake or choosing incorrectly again!
Love is the only way I can describe it!
Love for me, my journey and my life!
So the next time you enter into that familiar why me self talk pattern, just remember that after the storm the rainbow appears, after the night always comes the morning!
You were given this path as you are strong enough for it!
Walk it with pride!
And that my gorgeous single sisterhood is how to bring more self love into your life right now!
If you'd like more support on your journey hit me up for 1-2-1 coaching on email@example.com, we can sort out a free introductory session and work out a payment plan to suit! You've heard the call! Let's answer it!