BE KIND TO YOURSELF

I found myself watching The Help this past week. No reason in particular, I just wanted to have something in the background while I was doing some meaningless work. I'd seen the movie before. It's good, heart felt and eye opening. But this time was different. The movie took on a whole new meaning to me when it came to this scene:

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." 

These past few weeks have been emotionally and physically draining on me. Some days are better than others. But when this scene came on I immediately stopped myself from what I was doing and let out a good cry. You know the one. The kind of cry when you dramatically sob into your hands and collapse into a small ball on the floor. Where you think the whole world is caving in on you, and you take little sips of air to bring you back to reality. It's quite an embarrassing scene when you think about it afterwards. Not at all attractive, like how they look in movies. Luckily the only one there to witness it was my dog, Teddy. Bless his little heart. He didn't judge. He just sat right there next to me and gave me little kisses right when I needed them, and sat on my lap the rest of the movie. Even now as I type this I'm working hard to hold back those same emotions that came flooding up inside of me that day. I know this is all starting to sound so cryptic. Sorry for that.

The point is, this quote really had my thinking. Thinking about how we treat ourselves. I know firsthand that I am my own worst enemy. When something goes wrong, when something doesn't go exactly how I planned, I turn inward. It must have been something I did. If only I had done this. Maybe I should have done that. Or those days when I look in the mirror and don't like what I see back. I wish I didn't have so many freckles. Check out those raccoon eyes. How about those legs grow 5 more inches. I don't think that should be shaking when I walk. If only I could look like her. Or for those moments when things just don't line up and you feel like a failure not only for yourself but for those around you. Trust me, these negative thoughts run through my head on a daily basis. More now than ever, or at least since I was 16.

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important." I want this to be my new mantra. I want this to be constantly running through my thoughts whenever I turn inward. 




I took this picture of myself the other day. I took it right after coming back from a grueling weightlifting class at the gym. I wasn't feeling particularly beautiful this day. In fact, it was another one of those crying days. But I wanted to take a picture of myself to reflect. I took the picture and immediately stopped and looked at it. Instead of seeing the greasy hair, my flabby arms and those freckles (oh so many freckles), I decided to be kind to myself. I really looked at this person as that, a person. A person who was created out of love between two people, who is loved by her family and friends. A person with a past, who has scars. Battle wounds on her heart that are trying to be put back together. "Be kind to her", I told myself. And immediately I did. I saw those freckles as little memories. Memories of days spent on the beach given kisses by the sun. Memories of holding my moms hands and seeing the same freckles staring back at me. I saw those arms who had given so many hugs to loved ones who are no longer here with me. I saw those bags under the eyes as moments of showing vulnerability as opposed to weakness. From many sleepless nights and crying spells. Those little bags are worn proudly as badges of honor for those moments of hardship recently endured. 


If you are still reading all of this blubbering I applaud you. But mostly I just want to say that I love you. Be kind to yourselves this week, and know that you're in my thoughts. There are so many of you that I just feel connected through, whether it be through your comments, emails or your own blogs. Know that you are kind. You are smart. You are important. 

xoxo.

40 comments:

  1. really beautiful post. we often forget - amongst our goals of becoming successful and worries about taking care of everyone around us - to look inward and treat ourselves with the same kindness that we treat our friends. family, and even strangers with.

    Whatever you are going through, I hope you are able to continue this new-found positivity and remind yourself that you are a person like everyone else which means you are worth your own love, care, and admiration.

    rae of love from berlin

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    1. This was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you for the reminder that we are worth our own love, care and admiration. We need to start seeing the potential within ourselves.
      xo

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  2. great sense of image, so impressive 

    Rotal Wang

    http://www.fashionculturediary.blogspot.it/

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  3. nice photo ; -))


    new post
    www.live-style20.blogspot.com

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  4. Seriously, this photo needs to be in every magazine in the world! STUNNING! Totally reminds me of a photoshoot or something from ANTM. You're beautiful.

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  5. I love this post.
    I know that quote from my mother saying it to my girls, but I have yet to watch the movie. Going to download it now :]

    Beautiful photo by the way!!!

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  6. Beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder that we're all kind, smart and beautiful. I'll definitely tell this mantra to my kids too :)

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  7. I so needed to hear this this morning. Thank you for being vulnerable.

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  8. I love this. Thanks for being vulnerable here. I must say we all have those days but when I have mine, you are one of the girls that comes up for me in my "I wish I looked like her" moments. Thank you for reminding me to be kind to my curly hair, oval face and hard to locate cheekbones. You've put a smile on my face and a new light in my heart. Love to you darling.

    x

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    1. I hope we can both be strong enough to look inward and realize just how beautiful and special we truly are. I know first hand just how painful it is to look at others with envy and wishing so strongly that we can be just like them. Know, that others do the same. The same ones that you look towards. We all have our own insecurities. I just want you to know how beautiful I think you are for sharing this. You are beautiful!
      xo

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  9. love love love these beautiful words and reminders. thank you so much for sharing this!

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  10. I always turn inward as well, and I need to get out of that habit. Sometimes things go wrong or fall apart, and it isn't anyone's fault!
    Even when it is my fault, I need to step back and really look at my reaction towards myself, because I'm vicious with myself, and I would never behave that way towards someone else who made the same mistake.

    I'm saddened by how difficult it is for me to be as kind to myself as I would be to a stranger.

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    1. Arina, thank you for your amazing, heartfelt response. I have gone through and read every single comment and they meant so much to me. It's true, we really are our own worst enemies and we can be so vicious on ourselves. I hope that we truly take the time to be patient and loving to ourselves, as we are with other people. It just takes some practice, starting now!
      xo

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  11. i love these thoughts, & they were much needed for me today. it's so easy to criticize ourselves, but it can be so destructive. thank you for your positive words, & vibes.

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  12. Love this post. I think we all have those days but much like yourself, I feel like I've been even harder on myself lately. Sometimes its hard to see the good in yourself when it seems like nothing is going right. Thanks for writing this :)

    www.futurelawyergirl.com

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    1. I think it's the hard days especially that we need to take little "time outs" from the world and remember what is truly important. Taking little reminder breaks helps to keep things in perspective.
      xo

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  13. Wow. I love this. You are so incredibly beautiful on the inside and out!

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  14. TJ you are a beautiful human being! loved this honest and beautiful post! we all have our days when we become our own worst enemies :( only we can change that right?

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    1. It's true, only we have the power to change our days into positive ones. I think so many times we rely on others around us to make us happy. There are only so many things those around us can do and say, but ultimately we make the final decisions.
      xo

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  15. You are gorgeous! And I LOVE your freckles :) I used to be self conscious about mine too but I've grown to appreciate them. It's so hard when we put our own selves down, thank you for the reminder to be kind to myself!

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  16. You are ridiculously pretty! Freckles are such lovely features, there are things every girl doesn't like about themselves, and often they are things another girl would love to have! I would love to have freckles! :)

    Jenna || Jennafifi.co.uk

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  17. I am so grateful for this post! A couple of weeks ago I was pretty down on myself. I just felt like no matter how hard I worked out, no matter how well I did my make-up or hair, not matter how healthy I ate, I couldn't look like the girl next door. My whole life I have always sought out the coolest girl and became friends with her, only to find that she was just as insecure as I was. My friends always had the coolest clothes, the best bod, the best personality, they were funny, and attractive, and I wasn't. As I reflected on past relationships, I realized that all of my friends were the ones who thought all of those things about me! I just didn't believe it myself. It wasn't until recently I realized that people can talk and place limits on you, but you are the one who accepts it as truth. For the first time in all my 24 years of life I realized that I have NO LIMITS! I can literally do ANYTHING my little heart desires. What a liberating feeling! It’s important as women that we appreciate ourselves for the way we are and support and uplift one another as well. Thanks for your blog! I always check back to see what else you have in store. Just by being you, I have been uplifted! I'm grateful for your honesty in this post, sometimes I think bloggers like you are superwomen (just like on TV), so reading about your real emotions is such a relief for me! We are more similar than we think. It's great that we can create an environment where we can be open and honest about how we feel. Sometimes it only takes one courageous woman to be open with her feelings so that others can be comfortable being open about their struggles. I really believe the more we can be open about our weaknesses and insecurities, the more we can help each other along this journey we call life. Thanks again!

    I want to list several motivational talks that have inspired me and have uplifted me!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ioKU6Jue_k
    http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=2206&view=2
    http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1966&view=2
    http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1819&view=2
    http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_russell_looks_aren_t_everything_believe_me_i_m_a_model

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    1. Thank you so much for the time you took in writing back to me. Your comment meant more to me than you will know. And I think it's important for us to realize that even those we admire or look up to have their own insecurities that they face. We are each beautiful and special in our own ways. We should not leave it up to others to decide what is worthy of that recognition. Own it!!
      xo

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  18. I was thinking along these same lines before I clicked onto your post. It's really interesting - there's this psychological study I've been looking over for one of my classes. When you're asked to think about a friend, you are so much more compassionate towards their faults, weaknesses, and mistakes. You are so, so protective of their vulnerabilities. But when you are the one in question, you are so much harsher, judgmental, and less forgiving. Why can't we love ourselves like we love our friends, our families?

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    1. I don't know! It's crazy how we can be even so gentle on those we hardly know. There needs to be an intervention. We need to really learn how to love ourselves again!
      xo

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  19. (Oh shoot! I wrote a whole thing & deleted it? If it went through, ignore this comment. I'm going to try to write from memory, haha)

    Thank you for writing this and being brave enough to post it. You've written what a lot of us are feeling, I'm sure. I, for one, definitely am!

    I'm currently job searching (looking at stuff in Seattle actually, as is my boyfriend!) and it's soul sucking. I never feel so invalidated as I do when I'm sending out job applications and getting 0 responses. It's terrifying to think, "What if I don't get hired?" or "What if I have to work a job I hate just because I HAVE to work?"

    All that to say, I've been experiencing those rough patches and crying days, too. It helps to know someone else is going through it, too, though. It can be hard sometimes to not feel alone, but it's true - we're all going through this stuff in different parts of the world, but together.

    You're amazing and such an inspiration. You're constantly exploring new places and having new experiences, and experimenting artistically with your hair and your blog - you really do inspire me! So, remember that, and all the other ladies you inspire on here too. You are lovely, and so am I. There! I said it! Ha. :]

    xx. Jillian

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    1. Oh gosh, I could do a whole post in itself about the trials of job searching and how that can string every chord of your emotional unraveling. To feel picked apart and scrutinized. No fun. I wish you all the luck in the world on this next adventure you are in! And of course, thank you for your kind words. We all need reminders every now and again how we have helped or been a source of inspiration for those around us. Thank you!
      xo

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  20. OMG, I've been going through the same thing last few weeks...
    xx
    http://littlemisstwiggy.blogspot.com/2014/11/coral.html

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  21. First of all, you are stunning. It's hard to remember people that we look at and say "omg, she's beautiful" have the same issues I have. I deal with this same thing often and I love the idea of being a little kinder to myself and reminding myself of all the "good" in me. Thank you for sharing this post.

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  22. You don't need to be kind about this picture, it's trully stunning!
    And our pets really are the best company when we have those moments :)

    Cheer up sweety!

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  23. Aw TJ you are those things! We all get stuck in those rough spots but that says a lot about you to pull through and switch back to the positive! Go get 'em sister!

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

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  24. Do not ever let yourself dislike yourself. I am all too prone to doing that myself ever since last year. The world will indeed try its hardest to bring you to your knees and lower, and it is indeed a tough opponent, but it isn't unstoppable. It isn't trying to kill us, merely train us, test us. I wholly believe you have the power within you to persevere over whatever challenges life may throw your way regardless of the circumstances. Giving up may seem much easier and nicer at times, and when you feel too weak to continue, don't take this option. I have done that as well, and it only makes life harder. I am still recovering from such a decision. Instead, take a breather. Find a way to make the time to take a short break to revitalize yourself and continue the battle and conquer life. You ARE your mantra, and so much more. Keep fighting, and win.

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    1. Wait, am I the only guy on these comments? I find that to be peculiar, most peculiar indeed. . .

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  25. The asymmetrical hemline is def the highlight! Gorgeous!
    pickweddingdresses.com

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  26. I think you look great in this photo. I have tons of freckles also but I have learned to embrace them, they make me unique. I think its a great new quote to keep near you at all times.

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  27. I love this, and it is definitely something I feel I need to work on lately. Life is so tough, and we are the only ones we are surrounded with 24/7. It's hard NOT to be hard on ourselves, but it's more important to be positive.

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  28. Thank you for writing this post, because it really helped me and inspired me to start loving myself. At the end of the day, that is what we have...ourselves. The process of learning how to love oneself is difficult, long and hard, but it is definitely worth it. No one is going to love us until we love ourselves first. Down days are normal to have, just keep in mind to stay positive and stay true to who you are, no matter what people or the world says.
    Much love,
    Paloma x
    http://www.yourstrulydreamer.blogspot.com.es/

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