The other day I was trying to normal (yup, I just made normal a verb) and watch a corny holiday movie with my mom. One of the simplest pleasures of life.
Ya know, netflix and chill. The netflix part was there, but the chill, not so much.
I tried so hard to relax, but I couldn't just be and enjoy a nice slow moment without thinking of 1,000 "better", "more productive" ways I could be spending my time. (Which was not a new feeling to me because this was just the anxiety that I am used to living with, but it still bothered me.)
I realized my addiction to productivity was getting out of hand, but I didn't know why. #confessionsofaworkaholic
The next day, I was talking about it with my friend, who also happens to be a shaman, and he hit the nail right on the head when he linked my anxiety and perfectionism to the root of all evils, I simply didn't love myself unconditionally.
I would only love myself after writing a certain number of books, changing a certain number of lives, making a certain amount of money, working out a certain number of times a week... The conditions of accomplishments, contributions, dollars, and pounds were just that, conditions. Not to mention they were also endless. Endless conditions that I had to meet in order to accept and love myself.
This was surprising to me at first, but also not.
I was surprised because I've always considered myself a pretty self-loving person. After all, I can comfortably look at myself in the mirror and say "I love you" (silly, but it helps!), I take good care of my body, I admire lots of things about myself, I'm extremely confident in who I am, I even spread the message that people need to start loving themselves! (Hence all these articles.)
If someone were to ask me if I loved myself, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them, "Hell yeah I love myself! I'm awesome. What's not to love?" But the catch is, if they where to ask me why, I would probably start listing all the accomplish- I mean, conditions.
At the same time, I really wasn't that surprised because I've always been an anxious, type A, perfectionist and now there was finally a good explanation as to why! #itallmakessensenow
Plus, I think everyone struggles with self-love issues to a certain degree and it manifests in different ways for different people. For me, my (not-so-obvious) lack of self-love has shown up in my perfectionist tendencies, my addiction to productivity, general anxiety, and even my workout routine. Things that I've always considered normal were really side effects of the common sickness at hand, lack of self-love.
Which got me thinking, what if I just loved myself for being me... What if just existing was enough a reason to love and accept myself?
What if we all just loved and accepted ourselves, unconditionally, with no strings attached? What if we worked out not because we didn't accept our bodies, but rather to care for them? What if we didn't need to get an A on every test to feel guilt free? What if instead of keeping busy we could just sit in stillness and marvel at our own presence?
So, in my new realization I've made a pledge to myself, one that you can make to yourself too. Every time I catch myself going to that anxious workaholic place, I'm going to remember that I am enough and that I don't need to be, do, accomplish, or obtain anything in order to be worthy of my own love.
"I am enough. I don't need to be, do, accomplish, or obtain anything in order to be worthy of my own love. I love myself, because I am me and that is always enough."
Use this mantra (or maybe a more personal one inspired by this one) to come back to a space of love whenever you need to. #loveyoself Another great tool for cultivating more self-love (and life-love) is my new book #ActuallyICan: The Art of Affirming Yourself to Greatness! (There's a whole chapter of affirmations that will help you love and accept yourself just as you are.)
You deserve the love you so freely give to other people.