How to Truly Operate Out of Self-Love

February is known to be advertised as the month of love. For some of us, we get excited about making plans with our honey’s, friend’s, and/or family member’s. There are also those of us that despise the month of February because, it reminds us about heartbreak, being single, and possibly our low self-esteem. Lastly, there is a small group of emerging individuals that have found and grown a new love within themselves that get excited because, they get to treat themselves to all the Valentine goodies. Sounds a bit over the top…well when it comes to loving oneself…it should be. 

Self-love is taught to us by society to be an act that you do to show love, care, comfort to yourself. Most times we are set to believe that our acts of self-love must include bubble baths, vacations, physical grooming, the bar, a night on the town, etc. The reality is that self-love can be the simplest act of making sure you get enough nutrients and water for the day, taking a shower, taking a deep breath through-out the day when you get overwhelmed, saying no, etc. According to Dictonary.com, self-love is “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness”. Wow look at how much room that leaves you to define it for yourself. Quickly ask yourself these questions:

  1. What does happiness mean to you? 
  2. What does happiness look like for you?
  3. Are you taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
  4. Now, name one thing you did in the last week for each of those categories.

You might notice that you were able to answer those questions quickly, with hesitation, or with enlightenment; either way you just gained some self-awareness of where you stand with self-love currently. 

Over the past couple of months, due to life experiences and providing therapy to others, it has come to my realization that it takes one very important thing/act in order to operate out of self-love. This particular thing people often say they have, but in reality aren’t actually putting it into action. People sometimes fake it until they make it. Sometimes people try really hard to have it, but something triggers them and makes it difficult. Sometimes people feel like they are going out like punks if they provide this type of acknowledgement because, they want no one or nothing to take advantage of them. By now I bet you are saying, “okay say what it is already”.

In order to truly operate out of self-love, one must practice acceptance!

Notice I said practice, rather than have acceptance. To have means to be in possession of and to practice means the act of continuing to carry something out to become better at it. Acceptance is usually a daily decision that one has to make, you may have it for a second, then you can choose to no longer have it. In order for one to fully feel freedom in acceptance they must practice it daily, choose it daily, and allow themselves to acknowledge it daily. Acceptance takes commitment. When one accepts, they are allowing themselves to be free from the burden of stress, anxiety, sadness, fear, and so forth. Each situation we have in life can require various acts of love to reach acceptance. Some acts of love you can indulge in are:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Prayer
  3. Journaling
  4. Therapy
  5. Meditations
  6. Positive Affirmations
  7. Forgiveness

Once you begin practicing acceptance, you allow yourself to be free to move forward and create a new narrative, a new way of living. Acceptance take maintenance, so you can’t move forward with your old way of thinking. You must put a new perspective in place to have a new framework to operate out of. There is beauty in acceptance because, you hold the power to do so. It doesn’t mean certain behaviors or acts are acceptable, it doesn’t mean accepting an unhealthy habit, or anything that negatively impacts you. What it does provide you with is self-awareness and a starting point to build upon. The moment I accepted various situations in the past and present that were impacting me in a negative way, the easier life became. There’s a quote that goes, “life isn’t about what happens to you, but rather how you react”. You get to choose. 

Always Live Lovely,

                          Chetina 

Reference:

Citation. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from  

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/self-love?s=t

Helpful Resources:

Need tips on how to reach your new year goals…read this blog here.

For a technique on how to overcome anxiety… read this blog post here.

Considering going to a therapist…read this blog here.

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written : February 18, 2020

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .

Book Review: KeKe Palmer’s “I Don’t Belong To You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”

THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED. THERE ARE NO SPOILERS BELOW.

Reading opens the gates to one’s imagination and provides an opportunity to connect with others’ stories. Recently, within the last year, I had the opportunity to read KeKe Palmer’s book,I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”. I was super excited, as I always say that we have similar insights. Palmer is an award-winning actress and singer. She was also the first African-American to play Cinderella on Broadway and the youngest to have her own Talk Show on BET. From the very beginning the book opens with A Letter from KeKe and I couldn’t wait to turn the page. One component that captured my attention was the graphics. I truly enjoy a good quote and so does KeKe! This book is filled with colors, visual references, and motivational quotes to help inspire you along her journey. She also adds emoji’s, which makes it feel like she is having a conversation with you through text.

In this book, Palmer addresses a variety of topics such as mental health issues, childhood fame, relationships, friendships, career decisions, self care, and overcoming to name a few. She uses catchy and relatable titles such as, With My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind and Hold the Phone. One chapter title to highlight is the #GrowingNotGrown; which is the very last chapter. As we grow up, we are to believe that once we turn 18 and then 21 we are GROWN. Technically we are, but once we get there a lot of the times we either don’t feel that way, wish we could go back to being a child, or wish we could for once be a child because we didn’t get the chance to truly be one (WELL).

Grown is essentially the relative term for the popular term called ADULTING. Adulting is a verb and the act of doing adult things. To be an adult takes a constant effort filled with experiences, decisions, and responsibility. Anyone can turn a particular age, but what does being an adult truly mean? That is up to you to define (maybe I will do a post about that soon; leave a comment below saying #yasssss if you’re interested). Anyhow, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself while becoming a young adult is to embrace the fact that no one is a pro and we are all trying to figure it out (BOOM, yeah I said it, *drops mic*). We are all…GROWING. KeKe discusses this by talking finding purpose, being humble, giving back to her community, acceptance, and finding balance.

As a young adult, you may get to a period in your life where you are frustrated because, you want to feel what it is like to be free to be authentically yourself. You can’t truly define who you are and tap into your inner voice if everyone and everything is in your ear and head. Going inward can be new and sometimes even scary, but getting to know YOU can be one of the best decisions you ever make. KeKe did a great job with speaking her truth; she learned that no one can do that for you, but you. When I think of the title I Don’t Belong to You”, it brings up for me the idea that you don’t have to belong to other’s perceptions of you.

You don’t have to belong to other’s dreams for you. You don’t have to belong to your past mistakes, challenges, pain, & disappointment. You don’t have to belong to social media likes and comments. You don’t have to belong to that major that you want to change. You don’t have to belong to the idea that what you choose to do right now will be what you have to do for the rest of your life. You don’t have to belong to debt. You don’t have to belong to labels. You don’t have to belong to what ever is holding you back and keeping you from becoming the young woman and man you dream of being.

MATTER OF FACT…LET’S DO A QUICK MINDFULNESS ACTIVITY:

Take a moment. Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out slowly through your mouth. Be still for a few moments. What did you want to be when you were growing up? What is your dream job? What talent’s and skill’s do you hold? Can you see yourself doing what you love? Do you see yourself dressed for success? What qualities do you have? Who are you as a person? Who and what is apart of your life? If you can envision yourself living a life you dream of…you can accomplish it! Take another deep breathe in, exhale, and go make it happen.

Palmer’s approach to writing this book was unique and refreshing. It was very clear that although this book is a memoir, she wanted to be sure that her readers could relate and connect with her. I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice”, is a great representation of what it means to Always Live Lovely. KeKe found a way to elevate her thinking to help herself aspire to new levels to be her best self. This book was a fun read and I recommend it to youth and young adults. I often found myself highlighting sentences and writing “YASSS KEKE” in the sidelines. KeKe Palmer, is a wonderful young woman who truly embraces every part of her journey and who she is. She uses her voice and platform to spread the messages she feels supports millennials. She lives a life that flows and is all her own, doing what works for her. Showing up for herself, celebrating the highs, and having self compassion during the lows.

KeKe recently did an interview on the Breakfast Club, which is a popular radio show based in New York hosted by Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy. She speaks on topics such as depression, anxiety, social media, sexual assault, compassion, adult children relationship with their parents, using your voice, going to therapy, and more. Some of the topics are similar to what comes up in her book. Watch it here.

Please be aware some parts of the interview may be triggering to hear. If at any point you are triggered take a break, breathe deeply, check in with how you feel. There are resources here that offer mental health support.

Always Live Lovely,

                                           Chetina

Written: April 22, 2018

Reference:

Palmer, K. (2017). I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice. New

York, NY: North Star Way.

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and registered associate professional clinical counselor, the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .