With this month centered around SELF-LOVE, we want to take a moment and feature one of our lovely friends over at Lit Without Limits and She Is Without Limits who published a FABULOUS and EMPOWERING guidebook encouraging women to find their place in the world, to collaborate rather than compete, to support and love each other until the end of time.
This book is heartfelt, inspiring, and most importantly, authentic. It speaks from the heart and highlights many concepts that women have faced, and are still facing. It encourages self-reflection and empowers the reader to step into their full potential. Contributors such as Olympic medalist Lauren Sesselmann, GirlTalk founder Haley Kilpatrick, and She Is Without Limits LLC co-founder Kelly Hart share their secrets to success, in knowing we are capable of living without limits.
By beginning this book, you are beginning a journey to the ultimate self-love. Thank yourself for the desire to look within. Get real, get messy. Lean on the women in your circle, and know that you are supported – in heart, mind, body, and soul. – Haley Hoffman Smith
Chapter 11: She Is Learning To Love Herself
This may be the most important topic in this book – and one of the most empowering concepts you will implement into your life. We talk about self-love in many respects, in each of the preceding chapters. Merely taking the time to read this book is an act of self-love. It’s a statement that you want and deserve to feel your best and live your happiest life. Heightening your self-awareness is self-love. Being introspective is self-love. Taking the time to answer the questions at the end of the chapters is self-love. So, kudos to you for that.
Self-love is a lifestyle. It’s about releasing negative self-talk, critical thoughts, shame or guilt for things said and done. The desire to be better is normal. It pushes us to be our best. But we must also be comfortable in our own skin, and know that we are enough.
What if we just took the time to sit and be with ourselves? What if we committed to loving every facet of our personalities, souls, and bodies? What if we loved unconditionally, and always accepted ourselves? What if we chose to love ourselves as we are, today, no matter how insufficient we believe ourselves to be? There is no “I will love myself when…” because the only moment is now. I will love myself now. I will implement this self-love so deeply within my frame that it will never escape me. I will re-affirm this daily. I will correct any self-deprecating thoughts, but continue to love myself for having them.
I WILL LOVE MYSELF.
Spending time alone is critically important to learning how to love yourself. Relying on others for the love you deserve leaves a void that will never be filled until you focus on your relationship with yourself. It’s intense, but taking time for this is critical. I’d like to share two deeply personal journal entries, as a reflection of the transformation that self-love inspires. These are timed about three months apart:
I miss simpler days when I didn’t lean on my backbone as I do now. When I could fall into his arms. “Come here,” he would say, and I would free fall. He would always catch me. And now I’m falling and falling and falling and I keep reminding myself that I am strong enough to catch my own weight, but when I release I collapse because it isn’t him and I’m scared to rely on the tiny frame of this tiny body to give me what I’m used to receiving.
Because it dawned on me: I loved myself. My tiny frame, this tiny body could lean on itself. My heart, despite any moments of weakness, could will itself to beat with fervor. My soul, however far it wandered at times, could call itself back home. I did not need the sweet words of an admirer or the physical presence of a loved one. I had all I needed within. The biggest change I made in those three months was the way I talked to myself. I began to pay attention to my inner dialogue. Instead of chastising myself when subconscious criticisms appeared, I examined them to learn about my insecurities and opportunities for growth. I still find myself saying comforting words at times, soothing myself, rather than reaching out to others for support.
Try it for yourself! Begin replacing negative thoughts with ones full of love and acceptance. When you look in the mirror, whether you are fresh-faced or covered in sweat from the gym, say to yourself, “I’m a beautiful girl.” Be your own biggest cheerleader. Dance inside creativity, knowing it is perfect because it is yours. Give yourself credit when you try, regardless of whether you succeed. Rather than justifying a mistake, accept what you learned. Forgive yourself and others, and let go of the pain. Listen. Know when to stop and when to push. Give yourself permission. When you need to sleep an extra hour, do it (without the guilt). If you want to treat yourself to a decadent coffee on a particularly stressful morning, take yourself on a date. Hold your own hand, hug your own frame. Love yourself, and step into your full power. My dad always reminds me, “wherever you go, there you are.” You can guarantee that you will be with yourself for life. That’s a long time. Dissonance within hinders your ability to live your happiest life, or give your best to the world. When you love yourself, you will thrive beyond your wildest dreams.
- What do you love about yourself?
- What are common affirmations you say to yourself?
- Write down the first sentences / thoughts / phrases thatcome to mind when you think about your inner dialogue.
- What words of approval and admiration have you always craved from others?
- Take these words and tell them to yourself. Write them down and stick them where you’ll see them. Hold your own hand, hug yourself. Everything you have ever relied on others for, you can do on your own.
You can now purchase this book online – hardcopy or electronically! Visit here for more info.
Here’s to a girl without limits.
Founded on an ambition of helping girls succeed in becoming their best selves, DiscoverHER Project advocates the right to education for girls and women around the world. We aim to educate, invest, and empower in young women globally by offering a platform with programs, tools, and resources to enable them to succeed.