Learning to Love Yourself--Holly from H&G: Our Sole Adventures

This morning, we have my MFEO BFF, Holly. I've mentioned her a lot in the past week when it comes to introducing people. I feel like a lot of my college connections have come through her as they are her friends from high school {Can I be an honorary Eagle?} or her family or people we've met together through sorority. I've talked a lot about Holly on my blog {she has her own label, for goodness sakes!} and I want you all to know what a special person she is. She has been my best friend for the past three years and I'm grateful for the chance I've been given to have her as a friend and to know her. She has blessed my life in a lot of ways and I'm grateful she found a wonderful spouse in Greg. They are perfect for each other in so many ways and it has made me so happy that she found someone who completes her. I was so glad they let me be a part of their day and I'm grateful for the examples of my friends as they are now married couples. I'm excited she would participate again {her post last year} and I love what she has to say. I don't want to spoil it, but she points out a lot of good things we all need to remember, especially as women. Thank you for taking the time to post, Holly, and putting so much thought and consideration into it. Check out her blog {here} and enjoy her post!

I am so thrilled to have been invited to post during Catherine's 14 days of love once again.  Catherine is an amazing woman and I think this collection of blog posts says a lot about who she is a person and as a friend.  The blogging world can be a strange, impersonal one at times but I'm proud of Catherine for breaking down those barriers and becoming friends with other bloggers.  I am incredibly grateful for Catherine's friendship and there is no doubt in my mind that she was placed in my life for a reason.  

Alright, on to my post.  I have enjoyed so much everyone's stories about how they love, who they love, who they learned love from, etc.  This is why I love February and it is the same reason I love Christmas time.  Love is abounding!  During these 2 times of the year, we, as a society (usually) forget those things that make us different from each other and find a way to love each other and I think that is great. 

My year has been filled with so much love.  Falling in (true) love for the first time, getting engaged, married, and starting a new life with my very best friend.  Because I'm a newly wed (and because I have actually learned a ton in the last year), I sorta feel like I should be writing about how my husband, Greg, and I have learned so much about love and how to love. However, I have felt strongly compelled (ever since Catherine asked me to participate again this year) to write about something different.  I want to write about loving yourself. I am by no means an expert on the topic. But, I feel that it is important enough to talk about and to put some of my thoughts about it out into the universe. 

With what I am about to write, I don't want anyone to worry.  My point in this is to be real and to present the things I sometimes feel.  But I also want you to know that I am helping myself learn to love me better and most of the time I have no problem with these things because I have grown from the past.   

I have a hard time loving myself. Not always. But there are times when I really have a hard time loving me for who I am and all of the good things I am doing. I sometimes feel that I am constantly bombarded with SO many examples of perfect people.  I feel that I am continually being told that I MUST be perfect, just like them, or else! More often than I'd like to admit, I find myself getting down on myself for not having the cutest apartment. I hear myself saying negative things about me in the mirror. I look at the scale and say you weigh too much, and get mad at myself for eating too much of something, or not exercising enough. I tell myself I'm not doing enough as a wife, a daughter, friend. I forget all of the things I am doing. I also forget that life is a progression, not instant perfection. 

Because I don't always see these things talked about openly, it is easy for me to feel that I am the only one feeling this way. But this is not true.  Many people feel weakness. I am not the only one. You are not the only one. There is nothing wrong with feeling weak at times. And there is nothing wrong with talking about weaknesses.  This only fuels the dangerous lie that we must be perfect at all times, in all things. The idea of perfection is dangerous because it leads to absolute thinking, or in other words, all or nothing thinking.  You either are perfect or you are broken.  You are skinny or you are fat. You are a good wife/daughter/friend or you are terrible. There is no middle ground. This also leads us to believe we are not worthy of another's love and this is the hardest part, for me. Because I don't always love myself, I don't always allow my husband, family, friends, to love me. 

I am working on avoiding absolute thinking. Human nature is fluid. It flows to the path of least resistance. This is why we, as a people, tend towards absolute thinking. It is a path of least resistance (its easier) and unfortunately this leads to the demise of positive thinking. That makes human nature sound terrible. However, because our nature is fluid, this also means it is changeable (solid vs. liquid (and yet another reason why perfection is false)). If you pour water into a cup, it stays in the cup and fills the entire space, if you pour that water into a bowl, it changes shape but it remains water. By changing our surroundings, our thoughts, our tendencies, our behaviors, we can change how we view ourselves and learn to love ourselves. There are a few things I do (and avoid doing) on a daily basis to help me learn to love myself, and I am getting much better. (Remember; progress, not perfection). I've listed 7 here.

1.  Avoid Negative Self Talk (This is a huge one for me. And this is one I don't support in my friends or family. If you are talking bad about yourself around me, I will ask you to stop and reframe the thought)

2.  Don't Doubt Yourself (or the things that you do) And don't get down on yourself for the good things that you do. It is okay to be happy for yourself. 

3.  Don't Count Calories! You (and your body) know what things and how much are healthy for you. Listen, avoid mindless eating, and don't worry about the numbers. Also, don't depend on the scale too much.  Just because you are at your lowest weight does NOT mean it is your healthiest. 

4.  Remember That it is Okay to Not Be Perfect. It is okay to have faults and weaknesses.

5.  It is Okay to Admit Faults and Weaknesses to People You Love and Who Love You. (and sometimes to complete strangers.) Those who love you will want to hear when you are feeling weak, let them help you. 

6.  Remember That You Cannot Always Be In Control (and that you don't always HAVE to be in control)

7. Only Say Things to Yourself and Others That are THINK (true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind)

One final thing.  This past fall, I interned at a residential treatment center for adolescents.  I worked with girls who did not know that they could be loved or that they could love themselves. This led them to eating disorders, promiscuous behavior (more often rape), drugs, alcohol, self harm and many other things that I never could have imagined when I was their age. Most likely, none of you will turn to any of these extreme behaviors. But. It is SO important for young girls (and boys) to know that they can love themselves. Let the girls in your lives, sisters, nieces, neighbors, students, daughters, know that they have worth.  Teach them how to have positive self talk and avoid negative self talk.  Show them that it is more important to be healthy than it is to be skinny and that it is more important to be happy with yourself than it is to be with anyone else's view of you.  Share the love. Love of yourself, love of others.  
Happy Valentine's Day!  And Happy February!  Do something for yourself and remember that you are worth it!



  1. I love HOLLY! What a beautiful post! She is seriously one of the most impressive women I have ever met. I am so grateful for her example. This post is fabulous, Holly should totally go be a speaker to teenage woman on the topic of loving yourself. LOVED THIS!

  2. This is great. Positive self talk is so powerful! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Agree! Young people today face so many pressures to feel and be perfect, and to be the best and most beautiful and most loved, so they do anything to try and get there but it's fueled with negativity. Once you learn the power or being positive it can be life changing.


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