I’m so excited about today’s guest post! Today I have Aly Harte, one of my closest friends, here with us. Aly is an artist, a blogger, and a bit of a fitness expert (her weekly workouts on Instagram are my favorite!) based in Belfast. I knew I needed to have her involved in the wellness challenge in some shape or form, and I was so excited when she wanted to write a post about self acceptance and being kinder to yourself. Her post is heartfelt and personal; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I could really relate to the tendency to over think every detail and self destruct.
Ironically I write this post on a day when I need self acceptance most.
We had friends over last night, eight adults and ten kids to watch the first game of the six nations rugby (FYI Ireland won with a cracker drop goal in the last few minutes!). My hubby and I cooked beef bourguignon and the whole shebang was swell.
Nonetheless, the fun of the evening is clouded slightly as I am tempted to obsess over my drinking a tad too much wine. Easily done, I hear you say. However, I am upset at myself for pouring the last glass. I know I should laugh and move on but my natural instinct is to focus on that glass that makes the last hour of the evening a little fuzzy in my memory.
We all had drinks and the night was absolutely fab, but I have a pattern where, when something like this happens (you’ll be glad to know I don’t over indulge too often!) I over think every little detail and spiral into self destruct mode. Worrying about what I did and did not say, reflecting and focusing on minor scenarios and generally feeling low…No doubt the mild hangover I am also experiencing isn’t helping my heightened sense of self!!
So this attitude towards myself of anger, doubt, worry and mistrust is exactly what has happened my whole life and I realised last year that something had to change.
Throwing myself into a pit of these negative feelings every time I experienced something challenging or out of my comfort zone was draining for me and for those around me. And so, at the grand age of thirty-four I discovered self acceptance. Putting an end to years of chasing futile friendships, hating myself inwardly and outwardly if I made a mistake or dwelling on past events.
The road to self acceptance is part of my every day life now. I see this as a journey where my decision making and my subconscious are affected and influenced by my ongoing commitment to self acceptance of myself.
I am passionate about people knowing themselves, recognising their past and their fears, dropping the hold of regrets and seeing the good in themselves. There is room for everyone on the self acceptance train!
Self acceptance goes beyond the physical which is what the world thinks we should focus on. It is a way of life.
The “baggage” and “hang ups” we associate with ourselves and our behaviour (perhaps body image, self doubt, fear) rest alongside a whole dose of love and your unique qualities as a human being. I want to help you to celebrate this!
Everything we experience in life serves us and we (YOU!) can live a fulfilled life of happiness and self worth.
I have compiled three ways to start your journey to self acceptance from today. It’s a simple process but one that involves grafting and commitment. The beauty of reading that which is already familiar to you is that by doing this you are letting the words seep into your subconscious- one of the most powerful tools in this journey of self acceptance. I want you to learn to love yourself from your brain to your bones.
Choose your words carefully.
Words carry so much power and we can be really unkind to ourselves, can’t we? Another example of the self destructive nature I can have towards myself was when I crashed my car. I had only bought it two weeks previous and as soon as I heard that crunch I immediately spoke aloud in front of my kids about my disappointment in myself “If you had just listened to the parking sensors we wouldn’t be in this mess, Aly” “Why are you SO stupid Aly!?”. I had to take a moment to be still and to realise that the damage was done and no one was hurt.
When an unexpected moment shifts your day try to turn the negative words you tell yourself into positive reaffirming words “At least I have …” “Well done for making it in the first place”. This allows self acceptance a way in and believe me, we self criticise hundreds of times a day. Let’s change that.
Say your name out loud.
Sticking with the theme of words. This is not intended as a chauvinistic exercise to have you walking around on your tippy toes. This is a reminder that there is only one of you in the world, ONE of you! Yes, people may have the same name but they don’t have your eye color, your ambition, your smile. Give yourself permission to accept yourself and stand by your name.
Dr Seuss says” There is no one alive who is youer than you”.
Reminding yourself of your name and your identity is a super way to get real about the fact that you have one go at this life, your feet are the size they are because you were designed that way. This is it and here is your opportunity to get acquainted with your amazing strong and awesome self.
Many of us are familiar with the idea that taking time at the end of our day to actively be thankful for what has happened is beneficial. By thanking ourselves and recognising what went well, we are promoting resilience and breeding positivity. Take a moment or two each day to do this. Often I like to practice gratitude at the beginning of my day so it sets me up and stops me from over looking the good stuff before me. When we list the good in our lives we learn about ourselves and what makes us tick. The deep inner core of our senses and our emotions which lead to an acceptance of self. It’s an exciting change in your day when you stop for a moment and smell the roses. Your words, your identity and your thankfulness will encompass a greater sense of self.
There you have it! A little start in your new wave of self acceptance. I am a flawed human being but I am also accepting of my late tendencies, my loud voice, the fact that once in a while I let my hair down and indulge in a little too many glasses of pinot noir!
Sadly, my dear cousin passed away last week after a short illness and it has taken the wind from my sails. Near the end of her life when in hospital we asked if she had any regrets and she said “No”. I want to be that way and hope you will also feel the same about yourself- you are an incredible human being with so much to offer the world!
Feel free to read more about my love for the journey of self acceptance on my website and please do share your own journey with me.