Written by: Gracie Mayer, contributing writer here at Unpolished Journey
Hate breeds hate.
Love breeds love.
Negativity breeds more negativity.
Positive energy breeds more positive energy.
One of the most power tools that I have learned in recovery is the power of my own thoughts. Your feelings shape your thoughts and your thoughts shape your actions and your actions shape your reality. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that my lack of self-compassion and self-love was fueling the belief that I didn’t deserve good things. I began to believe that I wasn’t worthy of a future full of opportunities and possibilities. I didn’t love myself enough to want good things for my life. In maintaining these beliefs, I denied the truth that I was a powerful force with the capability to shape my own future. So I began to choose to believe that I was worthy. Even when I didn’t believe it for myself, I chose to give my eyes a break and see myself through the eyes of those who love me. I softly whispered statements like: “I am light” to myself. I had to fake it to make it, but once I began to show myself the love and compassion that I would show to my best friend a world of possibilities opened. I could imagine myself happy. I could imagine myself healthy. I could imagine myself content and I could imagine myself giving back to my community to create change.
Ok, cool, Gracie, but how? How do you just flip a switch? How long does that take? I don’t want to believe that I am loved, lovable and worthy because I’m a piece of shit.
I’ve been there.
I’ve been in that dark place.
And to be honest, I could be back there at any point in my life because that is the nature of mental illness.
But self-compassion starts from recognizing and embracing your humanity. When you realize that you are not the first person to make mistakes and you are not alone if you feel that you have messed up, you can find the grace to see the beautiful life you deserve. If you are a survivor of trauma, you are just that–A SURVIVOR. It was not your fault. Darkness tries to take our the strongest, most powerful lights.
The world has plenty of hate, it does not need yours. The world has plenty of criticism, it does not need yours. The world has plenty of negativity, it does not need yours.
This life will throw unknowns, trials and tribulations at you and what your soul needs is for you to build yourself a fortress of compassion and armor of self love. It sounds cliche, but life will give you enough hardships that being kind to yourself is necessary and imperative.
Imagine the compassion and love that the universe has for you–enough to bring you into this world. The fact that you are here means you have a purpose. Do not look at the trauma and near death moments you have lived through as evidence that you should not be on this earth. ALL of the trauma and experiences that you have lived through and survived are proof that YOU ARE STILL MEANT TO BE HERE. YOU HAVE A PURPOSE. YOU ARE A LIGHT. YOU HAVE INHERENT VALUE AND WORTH SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU ARE ALIVE.
The more you can foster self-compassion for yourself the stronger you light will shine. Self-compassion is contagious and if you show yourself grace and compassion, those around you will begin to believe that you will show them the same compassion. Those around you will begin to develop the same self-care and self-love. I want to broadcast that I work to forgive myself and care for my spirit each day because I want my friends and family to know that I will treat them the same. I speak kindly about myself so that those I love will begin to shift their focus to their gifts, talents and beauty. Compassion for yourself creates more compassion in a world that needs transformation. Transform the way you see and treat yourself and you transform the world.