Hello again friends!
Last week, I wrote a personal essay on my blogging experience over the past six months and it had such a beautiful reception from you all so thank you for your kind words. It genuinely means a lot to me when people express how my writing has inspired or helped them in some way.
I also sent out my first ever “official” Dating Bitch Newsletter last week!
In the past, my newsletters have all included a short note from me and a recap of my blog posts, but I’ve decided to create a more in-depth newsletter for my email subscribers. It still features a recap, but I’m also including additional content, so hopefully those of you who are current members enjoyed it. (And, hopefully this subtle little self-promotion will urge those of you who aren’t yet members to sign up, which you can do here *hint, hint*) 😉
Anyway, today I have a guest post about self love to share with you! Self love is such an important, and difficult thing thing to work on so I’m really excited about this post.
Tangela is a mental health blogger who writes about self-care, wellness, and mental health issues. Her first book, Sad, Black, and Fat: Musings from the Intersection, a collection of poems and essays, is coming out in August. You can learn more about it on her blog, Tangela Writes the Things.
I absolutely LOVE what she’s written for me today about her personal journey with self love and I hope you will too.
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Finding Self Love
BY: Tangela Williams-Spann
Being loved is an amazing feeling. That’s why so many of us are out in the world looking for it. We need that feeling of being appreciated and cared for more than anything. The trick is to realize that we don’t have to stalk the bars or dating sites to find our one true love. They’ve been with you the entire time.
I can practically hear you rolling your eyes. Fair. That was a little cheesy, but it’s true. There is a huge change in your life when you decide to love yourself. I know it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible to make this happen for yourself.
In my non-professional opinion, I think that the key to loving yourself lies in changing the way we speak to ourselves. The messages you tell yourself really define your mindset. Which tracks because our reality is shaped around our perception. What we perceive becomes our reality.
I didn’t believe it at first. I spoke terrible things to and about myself. Nothing was positive and I hated myself quite thoroughly. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I moved in the world. Everything was doom and gloom all the time. I was no fun to be around. I didn’t bother others with my self-loathing intentionally. It seemed to surround me, like a bridge in the morning fog. It went where I went.
Self love and acceptance are difficult to learn. Many of us have a lot of internalized traumas to work through that can block us from reaching our potential. I see so many people hurting in the world. People in pain tend to push that pain onto others. They may not realize what they’re doing but it happens.
What’s worse is when they do know what they are doing. People are moving through this broken world with sledgehammers, making things harder for everyone else on purpose. I can guarantee that these folks have some kind of internalized self-hatred to work through. That kind of venom cannot remain contained. It has to get out or it will kill you eventually. I knew that I didn’t want my self-hate to become hate for others. I didn’t want to be “that guy”. I got some help instead.
It took a lot of work to start turning around. Therapy did wonders for me. I learned how to recognize the signs of my downward spiral when it started and to put a stop to my destructive self-talk. One skill I learned was the inner child technique.
Imagine that you have been tasked with taking care of a younger version of yourself. “Little you” can be whatever age you want as long as they are a child. Now, “little you” is your constant companion. They hang out with you and learn about the world and how to take care of themselves. My inner companion is six.
Now, think of all those nasty things you think about yourself. Would you say those same things to a child about themselves? Most people wouldn’t.
The change was slow. Painfully slow.
It didn’t feel like my mindset was changing but I stayed the course. I kept looking in the mirror. I made myself say nice things to and about myself and my life. I kept doing the work of taking my meds and going to therapy. I kept being nice to “little me”. I consistently made the effort to change.
Now, things are better. Not perfect, but better. I can compliment myself and not feel like an arrogant jerk. I’m really cute with a beautiful smile and a good heart. I’m even making progress with liking my body the way that it is.
I’m not walking down this road alone. I mentioned my therapist, but I have friends and relatives that love and support me. It means the world and I am eternally grateful for them.
Healing is work and it has to be your work. The person that saves you has to be you. No one can fix your inner world for you but there is help out there. You can get that valuable assistance with your heavy burden, but the brunt of the hard work is yours. You can take ownership of your life and love yourself fully.
You can do it, cutie. I believe in you.
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Thank you, Tangela!
I think so many of us can relate to exactly the type of self-loathing internal dialogue that Tangela was talking about, and using the “inner-child technique” is a fantastic way of working on changing that. I know for me, and probably for a lot of you, self love is sometimes a challenge.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Make sure to check out Tangela’s blog, Tangela Writes the Things and give her a follow on Twitter. If you’re interested in writing a guest post, too, you can learn more about that here.
As always, thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!