It scares me that every day I see more and more women (and men!) who have given up or are giving up on loving themselves. The notion of making themselves their #1 priority has slowly melted away to fad diets and fast food, children, neuroses, clean households, overworking themselves and indulging themselves too little.
It breeds a lot resentment, unhappiness, and sadness in a life that should otherwise be filled with wonder, excitement, and amazement (have you WATCHED the Discovery or History Channel lately? Tell me there’s not a big world to get excited about. I dare you).
I won’t create a list of things I wouldn’t do with the aim of inspiring you. But more and more lately, I’m finding that being a doormat in my own life doesn’t make me happy, nor does it make the important people in my life happy (after all, the fella LIKES it when I challenge him and tell him what I want!).
So here are the ways I remind myself that I get to be the #1 priority in my life, and how I revel in it.
♥ Build yourself a totem and wear it every day.
For years I’ve worn a necklace with a unicorn pendant and lightning bolt. It’s been lost, it’s broken, but I won’t part with it. Similarly, I’ve been wanting to build myself a charm bracelet, to include fleur de lises, unicorns, lightning bolts, peacocks– all icons that resonate with me. Whether you wear it in jewelry, as a favorite shirt or scarf, it’s a tattoo or a love note in your purse, have something with you at all times that is the core of you and everything you stand for.♥ Create a playlist of YOUR songs: songs that resonate deep inside of you.
Pick songs that empower you, shake your emotional core, perk you up and make you stand confident. I’ve found that having a playlist of “Ashley Songs” helps me any day of the week- through the mean reds, bright days, and bottles of whiskey depression days.
- East End Girl – Cock Sparrer
- Someday You Will Be Loved – Deathcab For Cutie
- Candy – Iggy Pop
- Never Met A Girl Like You Before – Iggy Pop
- Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
- Help Me – Joni Mitchell
- Falling In Love – Lisa Loeb
- West End Girl – Pet Shop Boys
- Control – Poe
- Heat of the Moment – Asia
- No Regrets – Aesop Rock
Play them loud and proud, and love them, even if you’re not sure why.
♥ Find your safe space. Don’t let others invade it.
My electric bill spikes during certain months as I seek comfort in nightly hot baths, and I enjoy them when I want “me” time– the only one allowed in is the kitten. There are parks in the city that I will only visit with the fellow, as he’s content to sit quietly with me and enjoy the sound of the wind and the trees. Find the spaces that bring you a overwhelming ease & contentment. Visit as often as necessary.♥ Pick a favorite treat and eat it when you want, without thought about the calories.
For me, it’s those little birthday cakes you get in the grocery store bakery. Chocolate, with the sugar filled buttercream frosting. Sometimes I have one as often as once a month, split with the fella, just because we can.♥ Don’t compromise too much. Being a doormat’s no fun.
It’s easy to fall in a habit of “you can choose” with our partners and friends. I’m horrible, HORRIBLE about it. Some days, it really annoys me. So more & more, I try to say, “I don’t want to watch that on TV. I want to watch this. I know you don’t like it, but I watch (SHOW), and I don’t like IT.” It’s a small concession for most of us, and it’s not necessarily a major compromise. But if I received a nickle for everything a gal I knew did it & felt pleased with herself, I could buy a new pair of shoes.♥ Speaking of shoes… treat yourself first once in a while.
Don’t forfeit your dreams. Bring those in your life in to them, too. Plan your dreams out. Have imaginary dreams, realistic dreams, small accomplished ones.
Look, I’ve never had a dream in my life
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued
I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done
So I’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one!
Let’s start a Self-Love Movement! What are you tried and true ways of reminding yourself that you are your own #1 All Star Super Love?
original photo (without text on top) by Magdalena Roeseler can be viewed here