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"How Often Do You Criticize Yourself?"
I have been doing a lot of inner work, soul searching, and focusing on how I am feeling at every given moment, and I have discovered in doing so that I have been criticizing myself and some of the choices that I have made. Whenever I criticize myself, I am left feeling awful about my choices, and then regret rises to the surface. I then wonder how long its has been lying underneath causing me to experience things that I don't like.
If someone were to ask you if you loved yourself, the answer would be yes, of course you would say that immediately. But our actions tell a different story of love. The things we do to ourselves and others tell a different story of love. The thoughts that we allow ourselves to repeatedly think tells a different story of love. I have thought about some of the choices that I've made over the years, and told myself that I could have made a better choice. I made the choice that I made and it was the best choice for me at the time, and that would be me accepting my choice instead of condemning it. The Universe has my fate in its hands and I trust it. I know that I am not getting out of here alive, and I will use every part of myself that God gave me while I am here.
"We are doing the best we can with the understanding, awareness and knowledge we have. As we gain more understanding awareness and knowledge, then we will do things differently." Louise Hay
How many times have you beaten yourself up for making a decision that didn't turn out favorably for you? How many times did you replay what happened trying to restructure it so that you could feel better, but that didn't work either? It happened so that you could learn. It happened because the Universe has something better planned for you. It happened so that you could meet these people along your path. It happened so that something else could happen.
I have done a great deal of replaying, reenacting, and mentally tried to undo things that were long gone, it just makes you anxious. It also starts a manifestation process of creating from the past, and a past that we don't want to create from.
Many of the problems that we have are all stemmed from lack of self-love and lack of self worth. I am not talking about physical attributes where we have a vain sense about our outer appearance. That is far from loving ourselves, it is more of insecurity, with hopes that people don't see us, the real us. When we are focused more on our outer appearance, there is something being neglected in our inner world. Inside we are running from pain and what we fear when we are enamored with our outer appearance and other people's outer appearance. When we truly are wise, we realize that the outer is just a shell, a house for our soul.
When we truly practice self-love and knowing our self-worth, we take care of ourselves inside and out. We make decisions, but they aren't reckless decisions, and they aren't based on what someone else thinks that we should do. We see the red flags in people and situations, and we go the other way. We know that we have a right to change our mind about people and situations. We turn around when we feel ourselves straying out of alignment with ourselves.
We don't try to change people or the situation, we change ourselves. When we practice, and I mean practice self-love, we know that it is everyday work of being aware and conscious of how we're feeling. We check in with ourselves to see how we are feeling. We stop doing things that we are not energetically up to doing. We don't say yes to satisfy someone else when we really want to say no. We say no.
Not only do we say no, we say no more. We speak up when we want to be heard, we allow ourselves to feel our true emotions instead of suppressing it. We are honest about the way we feel and we work through our emotions. We show up for ourselves first before trying to show up for others. We are honest with ourselves about our mental state. We are open to correction and learning from others, that is lessons from the Universe. We don't try to project on others, and we definitely don't allow them to project on us. We recognize the slightest bit of miserability within ourselves, and we don't project that outward onto others, looking for someone else to blame, to dump on, to play victim.
You may still believe that you have been practicing self-love and self-worth, but I will ask you this question. How many times have you mentally punished yourself for an unfavorable situation that you have found yourself in? You found yourself right? When you were in that uncomfortable situation is when you found yourself, right? It's in the choices that turn out poorly for us is where we find our true selves. It is where we begin to do a self check and look at ourselves differently.
When we say that we love ourselves this means that we treat our bodies with the utmost respect.
Do you scold and criticize yourself?
Do you mistreat your body with food, alcohol, and/or drugs?
Do you charge what you're worth for your services?
Do you feel like your life in chaos and disorder?
Do you attract lovers and mates who belittle you?
Do you feel used and taken advantage of?
Do you attract lovers and mates who treat you like you're not good enough for them?
Do you stay in relationships where you are being mistreated and/or taken for granted?
Do call yourself fat, too skinny, or criticize your outer appearance?
Do you set boundaries for yourself and stick with them without allowing others to blur them?
Do you feel like you're not doing enough?
Are you able to look yourself in the mirror, directly into your eyes and say, "I love you," "I forgive you?"
Do you work a job that you're not satisfied with?
Are you doing things that make you feel better inside?
Do you over-explain, especially to people who don't deserve an explanation?
Do you apologize to people who are projecting their mess onto you?
Do you apologize when you are wrong?
Do you admit when you are wrong?
Do you say yes to spare someone else's feelings or expectations?
Do you realize that the most important thing is for you to feel good?
This list can go on and on. When we bear down on ourselves from some choice that we made, some situation that we are living out, and for what we didn't do it is a practice of self-hatred. We will feel pain when we feel we need to be punished for some choice that we made that didn't turn out well. Because pain has to be met with punishment right? You ever notice that little children don't have these aches and pains? They don't have a past to regret, they have a short memory of what happened. They allow themselves to feel their emotions completely. If they're angry, they will let the world know. If they're happy, they'll let the world know too, they are going to be authentic in their world. They don't care what you think about them. This was you, this was the origination of you.
We stopped practicing self-love and loving ourselves when people started telling us who we should be, what we should do, and how we should feel.
When we know our self-worth, we don't settle for anything less. When we know what feels best for us, we do that, and we do it unapologetically. You know that you are practicing self-love when you begin doing what's best for you without focusing on what others may feel about it. When you begin to fully express yourself without worrying about being judged or criticized for what you are expressing. When you don't beat yourself up for having an off day, you see it as a rest and recovery day, sometimes you need two. When you don't feel like you have to be doing something all the time or you feel guilty, that is not self-love.
We hear people and see them posting and talking about self-care all the time. Self-care is defined differently for every person, but there are some things that are Universal when it comes to caring for one's self. The first order of self-care is how we speak to ourselves about ourselves. Is this a day where you're coming down on yourself about where you are in life? About what happened in your past? About a decision that you made? Did you meet with some unfortunate event that led you to have this full argument in your own head about what happened? Do you constantly say to yourself that you should have done better? You could have done better?
You probably could have, but that is done and over, and now it's time to move on to doing better, instead of focusing on what you didn't do. You will do better next time because you recognize what you need to do. You did your best for the current time and moment, you did your best. Practice saying, "I did my best." This is practicing acceptance of what you did do. You did what you thought was best and you did the best that you could do at that time in how you felt. You did the right thing.
If you have to post an affirmation on your bathroom mirror to look at and say everyday, "I am enough, and I love myself, " you could do so and it will begin to cause a major shift in your mind, and your life. You will hold firmly to what you want to do for yourself. You will know that nothing is more important than you feeling good. If you must cancel, then you cancel or reschedule, but you will break the habit of feeling like you're betraying someone else. When we go against our own bodies, our own feelings, we are betraying ourselves, and placing ourselves in a position to be betrayed by others.
If you don't know your worth, no one else will. If you don't recognize your worth, no one else will. You can't be out here acting like you're not worthy. We can't be out here acting like we don't love ourselves. The wolves will eat us alive.
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Infinite love to you all,
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Raquel Givens Jones
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