To Love or To Loathe?

This ezine has been a long time coming! I’ve been thinking about it for so long and I am reminded to write it every day through dealings I have with some of private clients and dealings that I have with my inner self!

The question is whether to love or to loathe? It seems that for many people it’s an inner tennis match between these two attitudes! To love oneself or to loathe oneself? Which attitude is better for you? Which gives you that inner drive and the motivation to do things or change things in your life? Personally, I used to think the answer was to loathe (and to be honest, sometimes I still have that inner tennis match back and forth in my head!) But the really interesting thing is that I’m not alone in this.

Some people will say that they only way they can give themselves that kick in the ass to go to the gym, to change a job or to get through a degree is by looking in the mirror and loathing the person they see looking back. For these people, nothing they do is ever good enough, no achievement is ever enough. They are always seeking the next challenge, the next test, and the next chance to prove themselves. Great achievements are barely even acknowledged. There’s a word for this- perfectionism.

Many people think that perfectionism is a quality to aspire to. The word itself gives the impression of someone who is organised, calm and who has their shit together! We believe that perfectionist tendencies motivate people to do their best, to strive higher, achieve bigger goals and accomplish more in their lives. However, from my own experience I can honestly say that it feels like suffocating.

When we strive to be perfect, we strive to hit an impossible target. Answer me honestly; is it possible to be perfect?

What happens when we strive for ultimate perfection is that deep down we really know it’s impossible; we know that we will never reach it and all of a sudden it dawns on us that we’ll never be good enough! So we get scared of rejection and what other people would think of us should they ever find out just how imperfect, weak and vulnerable we really are.

The result of this is to self-loathe. We start to tell ourselves that we are imperfect, weak and not good enough, smart enough, talented enough etc. We abuse and harm our own minds and bodies because we loathe ourselves. We become our own biggest critic and worst enemy.

I feel I can speak about this topic because I know what it feels like. Self harm, self abuse and self loathing were all a big part of my life for many years. In the beginning, it did give me a kick in the ass but, after a while when I realised that I would never be perfect; it just dragged me down into what I now fondly refer to as the ‘pit of despair!’ That’s what it felt like; a dark, cold and lonely pit and I was trying to claw my way out but I kept falling back in.

It was birthday when things shifted. In the depths of the pit of despair, someone threw a rope and I grabbed it. That particular day, my phone had been buzzing constantly, my facebook profile was bombarded, there was post with my name on it and it wasn’t bills, there were flowers sent, friends called in, family called in – it just dawned on me all of a sudden, I was loved and I had been completely blind to it. It was my birthday and I had an army of love surrounding me and it was amazing. In that moment, I chose to love myself and to start with, I think I cried for 3 days straight! That’s where my life was about 7-8 years ago!

It’s my birthday tomorrow and my gift to myself is to allow myself to be vulnerable, to be the real me 58804_547399381959846_682211406_nand to share this part of my life with you. You see I now know what it’s like to love myself, to appreciate myself and to accept myself for who I am; warts and all! My mission for the past 3 years has been to encourage and support women in their 20s and 30s to feel good about themselves, to smile and honour themselves, to have self love and self respect and to choose a life that works for them. My life is completely changed and I feel incredibly lucky and blessed.

So ladies, to love or to loathe? That is the question. What will you choose?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress. If you can relate to this, I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and your stories with me and the rest of the community over on facebook!

Until next week, be kind to yourself!

P x

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