Self love: a dying reality

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Self-care is naming what you need without guilt or shame. Give yourself permission to speak up. Stand in your superpower and choose yourself.
— Alex Elle

One thing that makes me upset is how often we negate self love. 

Okay, bear with me.

I’m sure you just rolled your eyes but give me a minute to explain. 

Yes, the world is continuously pumping out articles, quotes, and Pinterest boards where “Self Love” is front and centre. It might as well be on a neon flashing sign in front of your face. 

But maybe because of that, because we hear those two little words so often, we have started to normalize it. 

We see it and we read about it almost daily that it’s not even a sacred, beautiful thing anymore. It’s mundane. Yet the kicker is that we don’t actually embrace it fully. 

It’s not like we’ve mastered it. 

We have forgotten what it means to truly take care of ourselves.

You hear so often quotes such as “you’ll never recognize what you deserve until you love yourself” and “read this for the best five tips to introduce daily self-care to your routine.” Self love has somehow turned into a mental image of women with mud masks, reading magazines with their cat in their lap (okay, but that sounds amazing, no?). Must we read articles and books about how to treat ourselves better? Must we have to physically allot time in our busy schedules to do something that fills us back up? It is so unnatural for us now to treat our own selves with respect that we need to take courses on the subject. Does anybody else think that is SO MESSED UP. 

We’re actually paying someone else to tell us how to speak with love and respect.

But sadly it’s true. We so freely give love and help to others but never extend the same grace to ourselves. We love our best friends for EXACTLY who they are regardless of weird quirks, physical appearances, and their greatest “flaws.” We simply love the entirety of them because that’s what makes them unique. And it’s what makes you love them. The whole package. 

It’s just so strange to me that we can’t flip this thinking on to our own selves. Why is it so dang hard? What’s stopping us. And why does it seem so unnatural? How can we be self conscious of one little thing on our body that probably nobody on the planet would even notice. How are we so quick to convince our friend that they’re awesome but we just compare, compare, compare our own lives to everyone else’s. We’ve been telling ourselves such terrible lies so often, each and every day, that I think we have started to truly believe them. They become attributes of ourselves that we just always dislike. There’s no changing our minds; we think it’s just how we are. And in contrast, the only thing that we’re focused on in others is how much they can make us laugh. How they can make us feel. 

It’s an emotion feeling. Not a physical standard.

Yet we treat our own selves so unfairly and so poorly. 

The emotional feeling is for everyone except us.

So I have AN experiment for you to do this week: 

Day 1: Over the course of the entire day be more aware of the things you are saying to yourself. Jot a few of them down. And then before you go to sleep that night apologize to yourself because we don’t need that negativity in your life. But do take note on how often those thoughts come. And how unfair they actually are.

Day 2: Time for the good stuff. Apologies have been accepted now time for a little change. 

Write down everything… yes EVERYTHING you love about yourself. From your eyeballs to your heart of gold to the way you make someone laugh to that constellation of little freckles. Write it all down, my friend. It’s an amazing reminder that YOU are the person you spend the most time with. YOU hear and act on your thoughts every minute of each and every day. So let’s make more of them positive ones, shall we? 

Day 3: Put that list somewhere you can come back to. Tape it to the mirror. Tuck it in your sock drawer. Write it on the wall. Hide it in your journal (heck… write it out again in your journal!). You deserve to be reminded of these sweet things. And it often takes a few extra tries to really embrace it.

* I’ll let you in on a secret: I have a little note in my hidden zipper in my purse. I read it a few times over on those really tough days. A reminder that I’m strong when I feel weak and that I can make it through this moment.

Day 4… 5… 6… 104,038,300,928,290…: Once you start recognizing those pesky negative thoughts, repeat to yourself “I am worthy and I am enough.” One of the most powerful sentences I think there ever was. Use it like a mantra to combat the negative thoughts and feelings that come creeping in. Continue repeating these words until you believe them.


I know it’s hard. And it’s kind of weird (okay, a lot weird especially the first few times). And maybe it feels even a little bit selfish. I just think that somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten what it really means to take care of ourselves. To speak with love and kindness. Our lifestyles are so jam packed with everything we naturally push our own needs to the side. There just isn’t enough time. And overtime we start believing what we continually tell ourselves. But when we finally do something that we label as self-care, we are expecting that one cup of tea and a book will completely transform us “back to feeling normal and great.” But the truth of the matter is it could take many cups of teas and many books (not the self-help kind but the fun for-pleasure kind), it may take weeks, even months, or a few seasons to come back to yourself. It’s not an easy fix. We are acutally trying to shift our habits and patterns. And to get there, we first need to stop thinking that self-love is going to equal perfection. I’ve recently written some things about this epidemic that our society is experiencing: trying, attempting, and WANTING to feel awesome every second of every day. 

To me that sounds exhausting.

Nobody ACTUALLY wants that do they?

If I negated all of my tougher thoughts and feelings I think that would also be taking away a lot of memories that have ultimately shaped who I am. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve spent the last five years after we lost my brother Connor pretending I’m fine when I’m really not. I think we all do that too much. I’d lie, not talk about it, push feelings aside because I felt like I had to. I felt like I couldn’t achieve my goals and grieve at the same time. I felt like I couldn’t still live my life and be desperately sad at the same time. But when I am forced to feel and forced to grieve, I am a total mess. During those incredibly difficult dark days is actually when I feel closest to Connor. I feel like shit, I think my heart is going to explode, and I wonder if I will ever be able to stop crying YET I feel so close to him. Why? Because it’s real. It is so real. Memories, albeit difficult ones too, come flooding to me. Those days are when I break down all the barriers, fully surrender, and become the most honest with myself. The most authentic version of myself. And I am so proud of myself when I make it through and let Connor’s memories come back to me.

We learn through our hardships, as difficult and messy and uncomfortable as they are. Those days are when we build the foundation of ourselves even if it definitely doesn’t feel like that at the time. That’s where we push the boundaries and do things we never thought we could. That’s where we start creating and moving towards who we were made to be. We need to feel all of it. That’s what life is. Why are we constantly trying to take that all away.

Just remember, through the pain and the messy and the uncomfortable, you can still be okay. You can still love yourself through all of it. THAT is self care. Not going to the gym and eating a batch of cookies instead, sometimes you just need that amiiiright? I don’t think we need to hate ourselves and call ourselves names because we needed six cookies. Or because we are still single. Or because our marriage isn’t in an easy season. Or because you have five loads of laundry waiting for you. Or because you have a to-do-list the size of who-knows-what. Or because you’ve ordered takeout for the last two weeks.

Sometimes you need to call in sick and watch Christmas shows all day. With hot chocolate (and marshmallows). Obviously. 

Sometimes you need to tell your spouse you just need some time alone. Meditate. Sit. Laugh. Cry. 

Cry a lot, because sometimes that’s life. 

And it’s all totally effing okay. 

That’s just life. 

And that life sounds more real to me than what we’re all striving for.

Let’s not roll our eyes when we hear self-love. Let’s actually use that as a gentle reminder to be easy on ourselves. Cut yourself some slack for heaven sake. And do something that makes you feel better. It doesn’t need to be a cliched meme: bubble baths, mud masks, and magazines but if that’s your jam then you do just that! A walk, a run, an americano at your favourite coffee shop (sigh), a lunch date with your best friend, some precious time to journal, whatever it is, dooo it. I give you permission. Five times over. And I hope soon that YOU can start giving yourself permission to do those things too. 

Let’s recreate the image of self-love and self-care. It doesn’t equal perfection. Let it just equal acceptance. You’re okay in this moment however you’re feeling; it’s simply loving yourself and allowing yourself to be in the place you are in and giving yourself the space you need.

December is the most magical month but it’s also very challenging for so many people for so many different reasons. A lot of people feel that pressure to be perfect. Perfect gifts, perfect home, perfect dinner, perfect days, perfect feelings. But sometimes even though you are doing everything “by the book” you just won’t feel happy. You won’t feel that magical holiday tingle. 

Guys. Hear me on this one:




It is SO okay.

Sit in that and be okay right where you are. Life is not about perfection after all. It’s about those weird messy feelings we get almost daily. Hello life, nice to finally meet you! 

This is self love.

It’s easier to give permission to our friends, family, and whoever else around us. So while you have your phone, computer, tablet, whatever else device handy, why don’t you message a friend or two or three and let them know that they should do something for themselves today. Something that breathes life into their busy soul. That tired soul that is doing her best. Thinking she needs to be in a different place than where she is now. Release her from that pressure. And who knows, maybe you’ll get the same message a few hours later!

Be okay with where you are. Every feeling you’re feeling today is totally normal. And absolutely ok. 


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But a wide open, completely honest heart is not weakness.

P.S. I have FINALLY launched an email list where I can pop into people’s inboxes with updates, articles, blog posts, and various forms of inspiration. For years I have been dreaming of some opportunities where I could create authentic spaces, push the boundaries on what’s “right and normal” to talk or post about. I crave real, honest conversations and deep connections. I have a bad-ass community of uniquely unique individuals and I want you to join us in creating this place to feel safe and accepted and loved. I am still constantly dreaming of creating these spaces and one of those steps is through an inbox. I would love if you gave me this space and opportunity to pop into yours. Click HERE if you’re in!

Kyla x

P.P.S. Pin the inspiration below for extra reminders to move slow. breathe. and accept.

{ it’s all okay. }