Sunday, February 12, 2012

These are the ways you can love yourself.....


I'll sleep in. Just one more hour.... snooze button pressed. I can skip yoga for the day, I said. Heart heaving. Bad decisions. Raw text messages. Lifted the veil, to reveal the tawdry parts that embarrassed me. Guilt, thick and distinct like gasoline at the pit of my stomach... why did you do that, why did you do that....

Reluctantly, I pulled myself up, imaginary strings attached to my shoulders, lifting me out from my lackluster. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Release it and move on. Thirty minutes later, on my mat, staring down at my newly manicured sparkling turquoise toes (a color chosen for the very specific reason that it was a silly color), I said.... see, this is how you love yourself.

Feeling anxious, letting my unnecessary panic decide the course of my day is not an option. Getting up and going anyway, while your insides spin out of control. Holding the pose all the way through, when your mind teases you, telling you you can't. Staying when you want to run somewhere called "safe," but really it's just somewhere hidden. These are the ways you can love yourself.

I stared at the list, of my "to-dos" none of which included my "to-enjoys," and while en route to check off the items, I found myself instead in a bookstore, cranking my neck up to the ceiling seeking Hafiz, words that would ground me. I walked away with Rilke, anthologies and a cappuccino. These are the ways you can love yourself.

I told the cute boy at the check out who never smiles back, that I had spent most of the day laying on the floor painting a brown jewelry box pink and writing myself Valentine's Cards with crayons.... he cracked a smile and said he didn't like Tuesdays. Not a total success, but at the very least I had now revealed that I was a little odd, which is, I like to think...a little charming and truthfully, I just wanted to talk to someone. When you want to talk, talk. Tell people stories, without them asking first. When you have extra sequins, make Valentine's. Have sequins, in fucking general. Smile at the stranger who never smiles back anyway, these are the ways you can love yourself.

Not checking the time, or worrying about email. I sat outside and I listened. I paid attention to where I was. To the man that was reading an article about tacos for a solid 45 minutes, which meant he wasn't reading at all but that was probably listening too. I listened with him, I wonder if we heard the same things? Ask yourself questions. Eat tacos. Wonder what a 60 year old man wearing White Converse sneakers does with his days? Imagine that he's a cartoonist, with a propensity for Pez and a collection of rare flutes. Make up funny images in your head. These are the ways you can love yourself.

I watched the couple that walked holding hands, buzzed from bottomless mimosas, still fluttering, they kissed by the car. Innocent, sweet. She left. He walked back, holding a bag of oranges and bundles of greens. I watched him smile and thought, how lovely that I got to witness how happy he is... I wonder if she can feel him smiling. Ten minutes later he walked back the other direction, this time with a friend, retelling his day, erupting with optimism. "We went to the market, then we had lunch...it was a five. hour. date." He was beaming. A lucky moment to observe, that I would have missed had I been texting. Or checking Twitter.

Tell your friends the details. Grin that kinda silly grin. Feel insanely thrown off your game, then let the amount that you keep it cool be ZERO, let someone in and let them make you feel completely exhilarated, these are the ways you can love yourself.

When you can walk, but feel like driving.....walk. When you have lingerie, wear it. When you find your favorite poem, read it four times in a row out loud....record yourself reciting it and listen to your pretty feminine voice. Hear yourself the way other people do. Eat a spoonful of frosting, test your guilt meter and tell it actually fuck off. Make a purchase in anticipation for something....for instance, I bought a full length beaded gown. Yes, beaded. gown. With no where to wear it.... I anticipate that won't be the case for long.

When you want to look soft, like the girl who wants to open her heart to you....the girl who wants to stay up late and tell you about the recurring dream of her and the moon, then whisper to you some of her most tender admissions.... be that girl now, you don't have to wait for someones acknowledgment to unfold. Unfold. These are the way you can love yourself.

When you feel like life is wrapping its fingers around your spirit, clenching its fists around you energetically, placing its strong hands on top of your head in an attempt to say, "stop. growing." push back. It's a test. When you wonder if you're invisible, or perhaps no one will love you or see you, or that you may have to compromise your spirit because, "that's just life".... remember that the ground beneath you will always support you, that the heart that's beating inside of your chest is always your steady companion and that your life is YOURS, that you decide your shine, the only person who can switch on/off INNER LIGHT, is you. These are the ways you can love yourself. Light, on.

Listen to Joni and Whitney, Carole and Patty. Sing out loud. Create for the sake of creating, whether anyone sees it or not. Dance naked, feel ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Admit you need to be held and touched and don't feel sorry about it. Tell your friends you need alone time, make less excuses and make more truthful declarations. Tell yourself you look nice today. Spend an extra ten minutes on something. Wave at a baby. Tell someone ELSE that you think they're beautiful if you're thinking it, even if you're out at a loud bar where everyone is trying to act cool, but everyone really needs someone to tell them, "you already are." Read people's name tags, look them in the eye. Dorothy, at Gelson's made my day. What a great name.... follow the yellow brick road.


Remember that the judgements you make towards yourself are harsh, unnecessary and tactless. That you pretty bird are a delicate, extraordinary miracle. Speak accordingly.


...these are the ways you can love yourself.



How will YOU love yourself?
















56 comments:

Janelle said...

I love this post...you are an amazing writer and I absolutely look forward to seeing each and every new post from you in my google reader!

Jenny said...

This is beautiful. I smiled the whole way through. Still am, in fact.

Kristin Rads said...

Yes. Times a million. Pitch perfect, raw, and just in time for some self-love on Valentine's week!

sarah ashley said...

i love this post so much I just had to pass it along! Thanks for your honesty and beautiful writing.

Shannon said...

I love myself and hate my job.
So I'm quitting, going back to school, and changing my career.

It's a huge jump, and I've spent every day for two weeks crying myself to sleep about it. But I know in my gut its the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

You just hit that place in my heart that movies, music, and books sometimes disappoint when I need them most. <3

Sid said...

*sigh* I can't express how much I loved this. How much I want to try all of these things. That because of THIS, I will dress up in red, wear make-up and present cupcakes to some of my colleagues.

Peter said...

I let my brain meander around in this post. Getting lost in the sections that pulled me in.

That's one of the ways in which I'll love myself today.

Anonymous said...

Love the way you write! Always look forward to seeing your posts on my reader! keep up the good work and thank you!

laurennicolelove.com said...

Hallelujah. Thank you.

Phoenix said...

I can't adequately express how much I love this post. So deeply, amazingly fantastic. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luna said...

This is awesome! Thank you. :)
Luna

truth said...

thanks so much for sharing this! wanted to also offer this challenge to readers to make valentine's day cards for ourselves this year over at theunlost.com. checkout the creativity:

http://www.theunlost.com/relationships/the-great-valentines-day-hoax-why-the-love-we-seek-is-our-own/

blessings--

Leelee said...

This. Is. Beautiful.

Chelsea said...

These days are the best kinds of days. Sometimes I feel like no one understands that sometimes I just need to put on something sparkly and walk around outside and draw pictures even though I'm terrible at it and say hi to the stranger at the coffee shop. I also like to think it's charming.

Sometimes you just need those times where you do whatever on earth it is that makes you happy!

Love this post! XO

Larissa said...

Thank you for the smiles and inspiration, Chelsea.

This week is all about the love! =)

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, thank god I found your blog. This is amazing. Wonderful. Thankyou. I've been a ruined wreck over a guy...I'm trying to get on with life and your words are absolutely wonderful. THANKYOU!!!xxxx

The Girl with a Dream said...

Today, a stranger gave me a red rosebud. It was the only flower I received for Valentine's Day. I looked at it and was brought to tears. I just took it in, breathed...received love...
This is how I love myself...

Nicole said...

Beautiful as always Chels, thank you for sharing your amazing talent and beautiful words.

Elise Stephens said...

This post is wonderful! I loved your suggestion of what to tell the guilt meter! Whether single or in a relationship, we have to learn how to love ourselves. This is a powerful post.

Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy said...

Absolutely adore this post. Beautiful.

Alexia said...

Oh Chelsea, THANK YOU for this!! It was something I really need to read. I am going to print this out and keep it in my journal. Truly, thank you for showing me some ways to find some much-needed magic.

Thush said...

I needed to read this! I do love myself like this mostly, but that battle with negativity remains sometimes :-) thanks!!!

look a little closer said...

i stumbled upon this today and this was exactly what i needed to remind myself about self-love. thank you. :)

Jandy xx said...

i came here thanks to the wild and wily ways of a brunette bombshell. i wish i had the words to tell you how much this post touched me

Wandering Mind said...

I also came here by way of the wild and wily ways of a brunette bombshell. You are awesome. Thanks for this :)

forward [e]motion said...

yes yes yes!

so inspiring - i've just linked up this post on my blog

x bel.

Ron said...

My daughter is 8 years old, and I set her up with a gmail account a few years ago so that I can send her little messages when I am at work and thinking about her. She loves to read them and respond with little notes like "me too" and "Thank you Daddy".
Lately she has been getting bullied at school by some other girls. Not physical, but the kind of emotional warfare that some girls seem to engage in. Comments and actions that exclude others and are very hard for teachers to detect or react to. Very different from what I experienced growing up as a boy.
After reading your blog I copied this paragraph and sent it to her, and promised her that we would discuss it tonight, and what it means.
"When you feel like life is wrapping its fingers around your spirit, clenching its fists around you energetically, placing its strong hands on top of your head in an attempt to say, "stop. growing." push back. It's a test. When you wonder if you're invisible, or perhaps no one will love you or see you, or that you may have to compromise your spirit because, "that's just life".... remember that the ground beneath you will always support you, that the heart that's beating inside of your chest is always your steady companion and that your life is YOURS, that you decide your shine, the only person who can switch on/off INNER LIGHT, is you. These are the ways you can love yourself. Light, on."

Thanks.

gian hernandez said...

Amazing amazing words! Thank you. :)

Brei said...

Such a great post. I caught myself smiling and reminding myself I need to do most of those things.

The French Mouse said...

Wow...awesome post Chelsea, and so bloody timely for me! I finally opened up about this the other day on my blog...I'm loving myself by kicking my Monster in the teeth!!! (That makes more sense if you read the post) If we could all just learn to love ourselves and get over our fear we could do such awesome things!

Thanks so much for the pick me up!
http://thefrenchmouse.blogspot.com/2012/02/monster-on-other-side-of-door.html

KittyCat said...

Hmmmm
I just live in the moment
Do what I want
Keep the have to's
To a minimum
And live with no regrets.
Sometimes having a disease that there is no cure for
Gives u a different perspective .

Peace
The kittycat2969@gmail.com

Captain Serenity said...

Came here thanks to my daughter Alaina (adventuringheart@wordpress)and now have material for Sunday's sermon :) Read it, went to youtube and listened to "These are Days," by 10K Maniacs, and came back to post this. "We are all meant to shine, as children do..." Marianne Williamson.
You are a blessing
Peace,
John

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Oh my goodness. I literally have tears in my eyes reading your comments- THANK YOU all for opening your hearts. xx

Ron, give your baby girl the biggest smile and hug of sunshine for me and tell her to keep her chin HIGH. shine, shine.

Captain Serenity- thank you so much, what a magnificent compliment, truly.

Amanda Kasper said...

obsessed with this. thank you.

Katie said...

I totally love your post. I love my self =D and I'm lovin' you. thanks thanks thanks. You have such a wonderful point of view towards life. keep inspiring women =D

Simone said...

I LOVE THIS.

I think we all need to be kinder & go a bit easier on ourselves. Thanks for the reminder! xox

Dani said...

Beautiful words! You have such an engaging way of expressing yourself, and this post was a much-needed reminder that hit close to my heart. Thank you for this!

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