For as long as I can remember, I always had a loving relationship with myself.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago, and as a very mature 29-year-old who had found her path and was truly going after her dreams, I was now struggling with self-love in a very real way. Or more accurately self-doubt and self-loathing. It was shocking and honestly, disappointing. I knew better! Self-love is something I focus on with my clients often. But I couldn’t help it. I was overly critical, judgemental and unforgiving. How had I become my own worst enemy? Although my business was still in its infancy, I had very high expectations, unrealistic at times, and constantly felt like a failure when I did not rise to meet them. The voice in my head was a serious bi-atch. I would never speak to anyone else that way. I started to feel depressed, lost, and hopeless.
Then I stumbled upon a book called The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I started reading it at night before bed, and got so into it that one morning I woke up when it was still dark out and finished the book-furiously highlighting, taking notes and sobbing while shouting things like, “Yes!!!” “Enough is enough!!” “No more!!”. I must’ve looked like a crazy person. But it quite literally woke me up.
After finishing the book I had a little talk with myself. First of all, I decided that loving the s&*t out of myself would become my #1 priority. Second, I looked at my business and life that I had the privilege of creating and made sure that I was doing everything out of love. Not because I felt like I should, or because I thought it might bring me success. But because these things would fill my heart with joy, peace, fulfillment, and fun. Anything that didn’t fit into those categories got scrapped. It was a huge moment for me. I then wrote out positive thoughts, messages and goals on post-it notes. I put these post-it notes all over my apartment. I wrote things like, I choose LOVE over FEAR,Thank you for today, and two of my favourites from Brene Brown, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. And, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
Words have power. So we must choose our words carefully as they impact our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. My head went from being filled with negative, hateful words to positive, uplifting ones filled with hope and most importantly, love. I believe that we can only love others as much as we love ourselves, so loving ourselves must come first.
Do you ever say mean things to yourself? If so, how can you replace those toxic words with beautiful ones? Write them out and put them on your walls. You might feel silly, but what do you have to lose…except for those negative thoughts :) When I did this, I thought my boyfriend would come home and make fun of me, but instead he came home and said, “I really needed that today.” Loving ourselves is something we need to practice Every. Single. Day. Now is the perfect time to start.
Canada // Loves learning from other people’s stories, Chocolate, and Beyonce
Talia Chai is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Clean Foods Chef, Founder of Talia Chai Wellness.
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