self-care / part 8 : forgiving yourself

self-care series
((part eight of eight))


i'm not sure how long the term 'self-care' has been around. some people might hear it and cringe because they believe it's something millennials came up with as an excuse to take long baths every night and prioritize laziness over responsibilities. some people might write it off as being overly sensitive and wasting valuable time. or maybe it just scares some because they've never taken the time to even think about what it would look like to take care of themselves. 

i think i can relate to the last example. this eight week journey has truly been an enlightening one. if you're just stopping by now, i'll give you the highlights. 

part one taking the time

some might argue that time is the most valuable currency. recognize that your contentment is worth an immeasurable amount. you deserve self-care.


each soul is as unique as a fingerprint. the better you know yourself, the better you can know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as gifts that you give in relationships, and what you need from others. knowing yourself is loving yourself.


pushing your limits and doing the things you are afraid of will build incredible strength and confidence. even if you fail, it is worth the wisdom gained from experience. 

part four accepting love

it can be difficult to take a compliment or really let someone into your heart. it's scary to be this vulnerable. but there are people that want to love you where you are, you just have to let them.


no one is perfect. we all have flaws, some we can change and some we cannot. recognizing the difference between the two is so important. once you determine the weaknesses you can strengthen on your own, set realistic goals to overcome these challenges. 

part six knowing your worth

you are more than a number. you are not your instagram followers, your grades, your weight, your age. you are a sparkling spirit that makes the world better. 

part sevenforgiving someone

if i haven't said it enough, we are all flawed. we hurt others out of our own brokenness. recognizing that your wounds were given by wounded people can be freeing. forgiveness (even if it's not asked for) is an incredible weight lifted off of you.


and now this brings us to the final part of our self-care season. personally, i saved the worst for last. or more accurately, the most difficult. so we've established that we're all flawed, broken, but incredibly special and wonderful at the same time. we've taken the time to bring light to our dark places and and realize that no one is free from insecurity and pain. we've maybe even taken small steps to let go of a hurt that we've been holding onto.

even through all of this, it may still be difficult to look in the mirror. maybe when you close your eyes at night there are painful visions of moments you wish you could change. maybe your grip isn't as tight as you wish it was. what i want you to know is that everyone experiences this. everyone falls and fails and cracks around the edges. 

i recently had a conversation with a friend about how everyone is 'weird' in their own way, just some people hide it more than others. 'normal' is relative. normal can change on a daily basis, or it can change after a traumatic experience. it's okay to shift and adjust your normal. it's okay to take five steps forward and then two steps back. this is the dance with life that we are all learning and will never truly master. 

the point is that you're trying. and the fact that you're still reading this means that you care about your happiness. you care about your mental health and clarity. maybe it's buried beneath layers of shame and guilt and uncertainty, but hope is there.

self-care is not just repeating phrases about loving yourself and maybe getting an occasional massage or pedicure. self-care is a life-long journey. it is a practice. take your time with it. breathe it in and let it make a home in your heart. you'll fail because we all fail. you'll get hurt because you're human. 

self-care is fighting for your joy through the pain. it's finding peace and contentment in any situation. it's being patient with yourself while you grow.

please never forget that you deserve it.


xo,

Ashley


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8 comments:

  1. This is so important, and beautifully written. Thank you

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  2. The whole time i was reading this i was thinking about my mom. She's always been disgusted by her weight (even though she's not even big) and she lets those numbers define her. It absolutely breaks my heart because she is the most beautiful woman i've ever seen but she just can't get herself to face it. I compliment her all the time, kiss her scars, and give her an unlimited amount of hugs but she still doesn't believe it. Thank you for this self-care series <3 this is something i will definitely show her and then we'll be better able to work through our insecurities together

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  3. I have so enjoyed reading this series. It is true that you are not alone in these struggles and I admire how uplifting your messages are to others and how you encourage us to lift each other up as well. You have a gift with words, but more valuable than that, you have something important to say. Thank you!

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  4. you are so inspirational <3 thank you so much

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  5. Thank you for this, I have been looking forward to these posts every week, they just brighten my day so much, and I honestly believe they have helped me, mostly in realizing that I deserve self care. So just... Thank you for caring about me enough to help me care about myself

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  6. "everyone falls and fails and cracks around the edges."
    This made me think of a quote I saw the other day in a church. It said "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

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  7. I've let numbers define me for longer than I should've. From an early age in school I've been needing to fit in and keep my grades up just to make myself happy. Hearing this type of thing at a youngish age has changed the way I look at myself through numbers. My weight no longer affects me, nor do my grades or the amount of people that follow me on social media. I'm me and that's it. I couldn't have changed without these posts that you take the time to write. Thank you Ashley.
    Xo,
    Destiny

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