I am finally writing these series! I announced it in March, and then…. nothing. It’s really embarrassing.
But why has it taken so long for me to write these posts?
Probably cause I struggle with this first part of this series every single day; Respect Yourself.
I struggle with it so much to that point where I don’t feel “good enough” to blog about it, or where I should even begin talking about it. But this whole thing is a learning process; I’m not only helping others with Show & Tell, but I am also helping myself. So, here we go.
In my very personal opinion, there are two major ways to respect ourselves:
1. Respecting yourself physically.
2. Respecting yourself emotionally.
Trust me, I struggle with both. But let’s get down to it.
For some reason when someone says the word ‘physical’ our minds go straight to sex, that’s probably all thanks to Olivia Newton-John. But I’m not necessarily talking about sex, though maybe how you need to work on respecting yourself physically is in your sex life, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make today. What I am talking about it how you take care of your body, because how you are physically will affect you emotionally.
Let’s take a look at my life. From the outside I look fit and in shape; I’m average height, I fluctuate between 119-123 pounds, and I love to dance. Sounds good, right? Totally… not. Fun facts; I get out of breath runninh up my driveway, I go to sleep really late and wake up really early, I eat fast food about every other day, I drink way too much caffeine, I have a gym membership that I pay $14 a month for and I haven’t been since August, and I get migraines pretty regularly. Just the fact that I eat fast food is going to make half of you have this reaction, and the rest of it well… don’t hate. But it’s very clear I don’t take care of my body.
All of this cause a chain reaction and this chain reaction causes a very nasty result; I get horrific migraines. Not like migraines that you fall asleep and it goes away, migraines as in a few times a year I have to go to the emergency room and get an IV put in for hours to make it go away. Simple version; because I get between five to six hours of sleep, I don’t eat breakfast, I go to work for six hours where I drink tons of coffee to wake up, and I don’t have anything nutritious and instead eat muffins or cookies while I am there, I come home with a migraine and I am unable to function for the rest of the night, therefore ruining my evening with my family, friends, and boyfriend.
… that doesn’t sounds like respecting myself physically, does it?
So maybe your struggles are similar to mine; you eat like crap or you don’t get enough sleep. Maybe you work far too many hours and it exhausts you. Maybe you struggle with an eating disorder. Maybe you struggle with self-harm. Maybe you have an addiction on some sort. Maybe you don’t get enough exercise. Maybe you go tanning too much. There are so many things that we struggle with physically every day, some of them can simply be solved with going to be a little earlier and some of them are extreme and you may be terrified to even admit you have a problem.
But we all need to respect ourselves physically. Why? When you don’t respect your body, when you don’t take care of your body, it affects how you respect yourself emotionally… Which leads us to my next point.
I am the queen of self-condemnation. Every time I mess up, I do something wrong, I get a migraine, I don’t follow up on something, I drop something, I forget my debit card, I wake up late, pretty much do anything that isn’t “good” I condemn myself.
And what do I mean by ‘I condemn myself’?
These type of thoughts go through my head, “Ugh, you’re such a screw up. You messed up AGAIN. You suck. Now you’re not going to do anything worthwhile today. This is why you aren’t going anywhere. Now he’s going to dislike you. You keep messing up because you’re not good enough.”
You know what types of thoughts I am talking about and they aren’t fun. In fact, for me at least, they tend to cause a ridiculous amount of stress which causes me to have more migraines.
Because I don’t physically take care of myself and do the things I need to do, I end up hatin’ all over myself which makes me miserable, stressed out, and sometimes depressed, which leads to me being lazy, unmotivated, and causes me to get more migraines.
It is one big, ugly, painful, and vicious circle of disrespect.
Your circle probably looks different from mine, because we are all different, but we all have some sort of circle of disrespect that takes a toll on our lives. It all comes down to two factor; that we don’t respect ourselves physically and we don’t respect ourselves emotionally.
And the even crappier part about all of this?
We are all completely capable of respecting ourselves, but we are choosing to do the opposite. We are choosing to disrespect ourselves and when we realize this fact, it makes us hate on ourselves even more.
So what do we do?
My pastor said it very simply this weekend; we have the resources around us, we know what we have to do and the steps we need to take. We have the clothes we need to put on so we can go on with our day, but it is still up to us to put on our own clothes. Our clothes aren’t going to jump onto our bodies all by themselves. We still have to take the time to do it. We have the resources it takes to take care of our bodies, to eat better, to wake up earlier. We have the resources it takes to break free of our depression, to find someone to talk to, to learn to respect ourselves. But we still have to take those steps and actually do it.
And that leads to the other amazing, simple fact that my pastor said; we have to break free of these habits, essentially kill of and put to death these habits… and doing so is messy. It’s not easy, you’re going to mess up and it’s probably going to get harder before it gets better. But we have to do it. We have to get through the mess in order to get to the beauty that is on the other side.
You have to do this because YOU ARE important.
Because YOU ARE worthy of respect.
And the first step in all of this is respecting YOURSELF.
Today I challenge you in taking a step to start respecting yourself, both physically and emotionally. Write a list, take a day off, find someone to hold you accountable, write me an email, call up a therapist, reach out to a friend, whatever that first step may be for you… Do it.
I’m right there with you. And it’s going to be messy… But it needs to be done.
Because YOU ARE important.
Because YOU ARE worthy of respect.
Because YOU ARE worthy of love.
What is your first step?