Compassion, kindness, gratitude and love are not just for other people...you need to feel those things towards yourself most of all.
Before cancer I had no clue what self love meant, and to be honest I never thought in a million years I'd ever be able to love who I am. I was way too good at hating myself, at picking myself apart and knocking myself down.
But then I got cancer, and surviving that nightmare made me realise there was no way I was putting myself through anymore unnecessary pain and heartache. Sure, there is going to be some pain and heartache along the way...but I am certainly not inflicting it on myself anymore.
I made that decision and I stuck to it.
I found incredible tools and tricks to show myself more compassion, kindness, gratitude and love.
Here are a couple of them...
1) Say I love you... to you!
When you wake up and go to the bathroom to brush your teeth, before you pick up your tooth brush, look at yourself in the mirror.
I don’t mean judge yourself, I don’t mean criticising your bed hair or the new zit that wasn’t on your chin last night.
I mean look into your eyes, like you would look at somebody else that you really love…like your partner, or a parent, or a child or a pet. Look at yourself like that and then say...
“I love you (insert your name)”
Yes, out loud.
I do it every morning without fail. And at the beginning I hated it because I felt like I was lying to myself, and it was felt so uncomfortable saying something so nice to me.
But I kept doing it anyway, and gradually I said it with more conviction until the day came where I actually meant it.
Yes you might sound mad telling yourself you love yourself out loud but who cares???
What’s more important? Not feeling like a dumb ass? Or showing yourself some kindness and love?
Do it for ten days straight and you will be amazed at how it starts making you feel.
2) The difference between self care and self love.
Self love isn’t just about telling yourself you love you, it’s about showing yourself you love you.
It’s about doing things for no other reason than they make you happy and feel good.
For example, a bubble bath, with candles and music doesn’t just have to be for a romantic rendezvous…why not romance yourself? Why not do something incredibly romantic and loving just for you.
Go to the florist and choose yourself a beautiful bunch of flowers… the flowers you think you are beautiful, then put them in a vase by your bed and thank yourself for such a lovely gift.
I make it a habit now to buy myself a bunch of flowers every week.
Go the expensive deli…you know the one, the one you avoid except for special occasion like an anniversary of visiting your parents. Pop in there and treat yourself to something yummy like a mini bottle of champagne, a bar of artisan dark chocolate or smoked Spanish almonds.
Don’t save all the good stuff for other people, you should be your number one.
3) Remember that comparison is the thief of all joy.
Comparing yourself to other people is showing yourself no compassion at all, so please try and stop doing it.
Stop comparing yourself to that girl in a bikini on Instagram who is half your age.
Stop comparing yourself to the accomplishments of your best friends.
Stop comparing your yoga position to the expert who's sitting on the mat next to you.
Comparison is one of the cruelest things you can do to yourself, trust me I know, I did it constantly and suffice to say I never ever felt worthy or good enough!
You cannot compare your journey to anyone else’s in the entire world. Your journey is just that—yours.