You Should Go and Love Yourself
Hiiiiii. So, I’ve had a couple of really great experiences over the last few weeks, and whilst life is never perfect, I have to admit it feels good when you start to see a little pay off for your hard work. One of the great things among these experiences has been the opportunity to write for some really incredible new artists.
Working with other young females is one of my favourite things about what I do, because there’s always a level on which we can completely relate. It never ceases to amaze me how many of the same things young women go through regardless of their backgrounds – particularly young women in music. The exact scenarios and experiences we have may be different, but the emotions are the same – loneliness, addiction, heartbreak, insecurity … they’re all very real feelings for all of us, but these artists and I get the chance to share them with each other and create something beautiful out of it.
Today I don't want to get too much in to the depths and details of those dark bits. We’ll save that for the songs. What I do want to do though is share some of the ways that, as a young woman in this crazy industry, I’ve learned to protect and care for myself. Some are simple little things, some are much bigger. All are important, and I’ve been thinking about them a lot over the past few weeks. About what those things are and how I figured them out – or should I say how I “learned them the hard way” (there it is again, that reoccurring narrative on my life!) As always, I would love for someone reading to be able to take some advice from my experiences, but I’m also writing them here to serve as a little exercise in self love for myself. So here we go …
Find the people that get it.
Straight in with the big stuff. This is paramount for me. Not everyone in your life will understand every part of you – especially if like me you’re really trying to get in to the nitty gritty of who you are and what you’re called to do. It’s OK that not everyone in your life gets it. But having a handful of people that do, and that you can talk to is seriously important. These are the people that in my experience help us to grow the most, and challenge ourselves to be better. If you don’t feel like you have those people in your life, seek them out. They’re out there waiting to be found!
Online and in real life. In other words: stop looking at things that make you sad! Your ex’s profile, the fitness model’s instagram that makes you feel like a whale everytime you scroll past it (am I oversharing???), that negative person’s Facebook feed who makes your blood boil. Celebrities, “social media influencers,” friends, ex-friends … whoever or whatever it is, if it makes you feel bad about yourself, stop making yourself look at it. This doesn't just apply online either. There's several people I've had to remove from my life, not because they're necessarily bad people, they just don't allow me to be the best version of myself. For whatever reason their energy was no good for me. So they had to go. You have a choice who you give your time to.
Obviously for me this is my go to when it comes to self care. Writing a song, some lyrics, a poem, a journal entry, a blog, it’s all part of my own little therapy process. So whenever I’m feeling a bit lost, this is where I find myself. One of my favourite authors and women in general, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) says that “If you’re alive, you’re a creative person”, so with that said, even if you wouldn’t label yourself as “a creative”, creating is good for your SOUL! So go make something. Anything! Guaranteed you’ll feel good.
It’s so rewarding when we stop being so wrapped up in our own problems and find a way to do something for others. And it’s win win – you improved a situation for someone else, and in turn you stopped worrying about your stuff for a while. You also get that nice warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you did something good. Everyday giving doesn't have to be something epic or financially focused (as incredible as those things are). It just needs to be about putting the needs of someone else before yours. Maybe you could take the time to call a friend and talk about what they’ve got going on. A few weeks ago my friend paid for my dinner and bought me flowers “just because” – she thought it was no big deal but I appreciated it so much! When was the last time you did that for someone? Give your spare change to the person you walk past when they ask if you can spare it – you absolutely can. Time, money, energy - the more you give the more you get.
Sometimes you need to lie in bed until midday. Sometimes you need to turn your phone off. Sometimes you need to eat a pizza/chocolate bar/cake/all of the above at the same time … and that’s OK! We need to learn to be more gentle with ourselves, so if you know you need something, don’t feel guilty for giving it to yourself. I’m pretty bad at this one – I haven't had a holiday for a VERY long time, and I pretty much always have my phone on. But I am getting better at not feeling guilty when I know my body and mind needs a reset. For me I normally just need a change of scenery for a couple of hours or a good chat with one of those people who “gets it” (coffee and cake is nearly always involved too which definitely helps.) Whatever it is that does it for you, do it, reset, and get back on your grind.
Figure Out Your Purpose
OK, so I just jumped from talking about cake to the meaning of life like it was no biggie, but I have to mention this. There are entire books, courses, religions even, that are centred around this huge question – why am I here? I’ve touched on this a little previously and I’m going to talk about it properly at some point (maybe when I write a book or do a TED talk … ??) but I’m leaving it here as some food for thought. Basically, when you know your purpose, it’s so much easier to get through your knock backs, because you know that you’re working towards something bigger. If you don’t feel like you know your purpose (or you feel like that all sounds like a load of BS) then I dare you to just start exploring it. It’s quite literally the best thing you can do for yourself.
I could go on but I think the main points that I believe are all in there. If anyone takes anything from this that would be amazing, and I really hope someone does, but it felt good to me to write all those things down. I’ve done a heck of a lot of beating myself up (no doubt will continue to do so) but I’m learning this self care thing gradually. I hope this helps you figure out it’s importance faster than I did!