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There should be no limits to which you feel that care is not deserved, no bounds to which you must think of what you must do to deserve it. Self love, is not "I feel strong today, I am worthy today" it is, "I feel weak today, what is it I must do to feel strong again." We live in such an achievement based society that we are naturally more geared to feel that way and instead of us putting away our notions of egotism to conform to the image society wants, we need to see the image in the mirror as what we want. To be content with yourself fully is part of self love. It is not, "I must be better and more like them and then I will be happy." It is knowing that despite the quirks and supposed flaws you are worth loving and nurturing for the simple fact that you are human and you are alive.
You do not look at a baby and say, "I cannot feed you today because you are crying too much," or "I will not hold you because you are not behaving the way I'd wish," or "Your mannerisms are strange, you have a funny laugh." My advice to others is the advice I give to myself, treat yourself as though you are a young child, imagine you are the reflection of a smaller version of you that cries that pleads, that laughs, that feels vulnerability and experiences it as a child would for the first time. Imagine that you have been hurt or wounded the first time, that no one has ever told you that there is anything wrong with feeling that way. Imagine no one ever told you that you had a funny laugh and instead someone had told you it was the most beautiful sound they had every heard. Imagine then that was the view that you always had, the words you carried with you. Carry those in your heart and imagine yourself receiving those words like a gift wrapped with a bow. Take the gift and accept it and don't just take it that far, eat those words and devour them. Let them be one with your soul.
Another thing, and lastly another part of self love is self comfort. If we have been deprived of it we will be in search of it, this is why many people struggle, they have never learned this. As babies, we go through the weaning process, a lot of people view this as cruel and not right but this stage does prepare us for what ultimately, in our world, people lack the ability to do, which is why we see the psychological and social issues people encounter. Where do people go when they look for comfort, ultimately all the places that will never bring them peace. Rising issues in our culture come from the fact that they try to find peace and assurance in things that ultimately make them feel lost and have an adverse result. You will never find peace in the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerrys ice cream, though I did think this for a while. You will never find it in a bottle of wine, or from running until your feet are blistered, you will never find it with the swipe of a credit card and piled up bags of unworn clothing, and you will never find it from people who have fake ideas of self importance. The only place you can find peace is within your soul, the only place you can find comfort is within yourself. In desperation we cling to what we can to find that "achievement" that will make us worthy of comfort, but in the end we are the greatest achievement of all, made for a purpose designed in the image of a force of life that molded us from the clay of his being. We also have played a part in the designing and making of who we are, we have risen from the ashes of what the world has made us whether it was circumstances that went horribly wrong or it was everything in our life that went just as planned, we went perfectly right and became who we are.
So when you feel as though you want to reach out and find anyone who will understand, before you do that extend your hand to yourself, hold it as you are holding a child's hand and brush it as though you are extending one part of yourself to another. Imagine you are extending the love you would to a friend, yourself, your own soul. At this time feel at one with your body and your soul, feel the love you have extended as though to a friend, for yourself. Think of the qualities that you adore, focus on nothing but those and close your eyes, open your heart and feel it expand and stay in that state remaining totally focused on your breath and your body. If you are in a resting position, feel the weight of your body reliant on the support of what is beneath you, let your body sink and be in sync. You are both establishing a oneness, a relationship and a trust all at once.
Lastly, I do not say these things because I have some idea that I hold the answers, I say these things because one who has had their own struggles with self love that have stemmed from body image, to mental health insecurities I have found one-ness with my soul and I want to share how we are all capable of achieving this and ultimately sharing what has given me comfort and peace in a time of healing from trauma and has made me the person that I hope will inspire and uplift others to do the same.