I've never struggled with giving myself a break. As soon as I feel the tiniest bad feeling, I allow myself to drop whatever it is that gave me that feeling and indulge in whatever will make me feel good.
Maybe I'm feeling unmotivated, maybe I'm sleepy, maybe I just feel like doing something else.
Whatever it is, I always let myself do it. Or rather, not do it.
Some may see this as a girl who's really found peace with self love. Not being afraid of letting people down. Not being afraid of never finishing anything. Not being afraid of growing something that I can be proud of.
But there's a line. And I think I've crossed it.
Something I have struggled with a lot is finding a balance in self love. At what point are these breaks hurting my true happiness? At what point am I taking instead of giving to myself?
Well, I think that point is now. Through "self love" I have never been consistent with projects. I've not been very good at making friends. And I have missed out on living a great deal.
The problem here is bad habits paired with a lack of tough love. I'm learning that as we grow up and become adults, we still need to be parented. Only now we have to parent ourselves. Being an adult does not mean you have endless TV time and junk food for days just because your mom can't say no. Your mom said no for a reason and now it's your turn to take that responsibility.
There are so many areas in life where simply letting yourself do what you feel can actually be harmful. Not all of us grow up with proper desires and some of us form terrible habits on the way to adulthood that we have to be tough about and just say no.
THE BALANCE IN SELF LOVE AND TOUGH LOVE
There are many aspects in life where doing what you feel seems like the right thing to do. I always feel like I should go with my gut. Like my gut can do no wrong because what I want is what's right for me. Recently, I've started feeling the affects of too much self love. It's a balance.
I think people are the most difficult subject for us to find the balance of self love and tough love. I've seen people on both ends of the spectrum, but rarely in the middle. Relationships are tricky because they are a balance in and of themselves. It takes an equal amount of people loving themselves and loving each other to form a healthy relationship. Whether you're friends or married, you need a balance.
For me, I've always been one to blow off plans or avoid making them all together. I know. I'm a terrible friend. But I do this for a few reasons. The biggest being the fear that as people get to know me, they won't like me.
So I go and avoid making friends altogether. I coddle myself and think, you don't need them, you're just an introvert. I use self love to avoid the pain that comes from liking someone that doesn't like you back. But all that has done for me is keep me alone. I have my husband and son who are both wonderful, but a girl needs friends, you guys! Everyone needs friends.
That is where self love ends. I'm not loving myself by saying it's okay to be a hermit. It doesn't truly make me happy in the long run. That is where tough love begins.
If there are people in your life that are nice and genuine that want to be around you, be around them even if you don't feel like it. Even if you get cold feet five minutes before you have to leave. Just go. Let self love protect you from the people who truly hurt you, not prevent you from forming relationships that might (but probably won't) hurt you.
Productive people use self love to keep themsleves productive. They use it to get through their rough patches, even when it feels impossible. They push their own boundaries and discover new possibilities within themselves.
I use it to say, "Eh, I'll blog tomorrow because Boy Meet World is on Hulu and I want to do that today."
You know what that really means? I'm afraid of failing so I won't even start.
I understand the value in giving yourself a break all too well. I have this thing where I'm either on all the time or completely off for weeks, even months. I've formed habits that have left me lazy. If it weren't for my son, I'd be living in a pigsty sitting on my butt in front of the TV all day. Luckily we don't live in a pigsty for his sake, but TV is a hard one to shake.
Every time I turn the TV on, I know it's bad. But I say it's okay because I'm just taking a break and I'll get to my work soon.
Then, soon never comes and I'm left feeling like I've waisted my life on mindless activities.
I believe in breaks. I believe in turning your brain off and indulging in mindless activity. Sometimes. But we need to be tough. We need to take away our crutches in order to do our best. Productivity isn't everything, but it is something.
I think the balance here is down time vs. productivity. Giving yourself breaks, but pushing yourself to do more. Ultimately, you will feel best if you're accomplishing something. But if you don't take breaks, your work will get sloppy and you won't be adding value. So get to know yourself. Know when you really need a break and when you're just being lazy.
I don't even know where to begin. I guess to start, why can't healthy food taste like unhealthy food?
But here we are, it doesn't and it won't.
The past two nights, I've had Totino's pizzas for dinner. I get fast food all the time. I have a smoothie every morning! ...unless I feel like having donuts.
Yes, I indulge. When I have cake, I don't have a little slice. I get a honkin', mac-daddy slice that's basically half the cake. When I eat chips, I don't go for a small bowl of semi-healthy chips. I get the family sized Cheetos bag and eat half of it in one sitting.
I say, "It's fine. I eat healthy.. enough." But I don't really.
It's hard with this one. I think food is one of the easiest things to get addicted to. All the MSG and whatever else they put in things these days to keep you wanting more. I know I feel better when I eat better. I know it helps me to overcome everything else on this list when I feel good because I eat good.
Self love is gagging your way through some squash because it's good for you. Tough love helps you do it. Life is better when you cut the crap and only let in the good stuff.
So what do I do with this information?
I'm weak, but I'm trying.
I think it starts with one thing at a time. I think it's starts by realizing habits are formed, but you can break them. Not over night, but eventually.
You start with one. For me it's TV. TV triggers the staying in more. TV triggers the bad eating.
You put limits on yourself. Maybe take it out all together. You practice tough love because you know in the long run, tough love and self love are one in the same.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz