BY: CELIA MISSIOS
After you’ve gone through a life changing event such as a brain injury, the person looking back at you in the mirror can be a stranger. The reflection may still look like you, but the mannerisms, the thinking and the constant feeling of ‘there’s something missing’ can be overwhelming. This disconnect can affect not only the relationship you have with yourself – how you take care of yourself, set boundaries and your self-confidence – but also the relationships you have with others.
To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”- Robert Morely
One of the hardest challenges I faced during my recovery was learning to love myself, after the accident. As I wrote in Change Your Shoes; Change Your Life for the Soulful Relationships – Adventures in Manifesting series:
As weeks turned to months and months turned to years, the pain and torment at the loss of me pre-accident did not lessen. At times, it seemed even more painful than the physical pain I dealt with every day. Everyone tried to assure me things would get better, but each time I looked in the mirror I saw a stranger in the reflection that looked back at me.”
I’m not going to sugar coat things. Friends, learning to love yourself can be difficult, especially after a traumatic, life changing experience. Self-love is about total acceptance. It’s about deeply caring for yourself and your happiness. It’s about loving yourself at this very moment and every moment, unconditionally. With small steps you will move forward and start loving that fabulous person looking back at you in the mirror!
Here are 3 small steps to get you started:
Change Your Thoughts – Our thoughts are important, they create our reality. Start focusing on things that you can do, things that you want to happen in your life. The more positive energy you put out there the more positive things will start to materialize. When the doctors told me I would never wear high heels again, I kept telling myself I will wear heels. I visualized myself wearing heels and now, over time, I am wearing heels. Maybe not for the length of time I once used to, but I am wearing heels!!!
Start a regular practice – meditation, yoga and gratitude journaling are three tools that I use. Not only do they provide “me time”, but these practices allow you to connect more deeply with yourself. The more you are able to connect with yourself the more self-healing continues to happen.
Treat yourself – take yourself out for a nice dinner, a day/afternoon at the spa, an afternoon cup of tea or do something that you really enjoy. The important thing is making time in your day to do something special for yourself and to focus on not feeling remotely guilty about putting your iPhone on silent and spending time on YOU.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, whether you have a sweetheart to share it with or are spending it solo, do something for yourself that encourages you to get to know yourself better, to take care of yourself and to fall in love with yourself again. After all, your happiness starts with the best LOVE AFFAIR you will have, the one with yourself.
Make a self-love jar
A self-love jar is a great project you can make for yourself to remind you of how wonderful you are, especially on days when you’re feeling down. Fill it with positive self-love affirmations, positive things that people have said about you, things that you like about yourself or self-love quotes you have come across. What is important is that the words are positive, motivational and inspirational.
You will need
- 5 recipe card size pieces of coloured paper
- paper cutter (or scissors)
- jar with lid
- ribbon or decorative Elastic Bands
- pen or marker
How to make it
- using paper cutter (or scissors) slice each recipe card into 5 strips (about ½” in thick)
- write a positive message (quote, affirmation, something about you)
- fold pieces of paper (you will have 25 pieces) with writing on the inside and place in jar
- place either ribbon or decorative elastic band around jar and replace lid
How to use it
When you are feeling down pull out a piece of paper and read the message. It will remind you of something that is positive and/or amazing about you!!! Place message back in jar for another time.
Celia Missios is a brain injury survivor who has embraced her new found strengths and created a life that fits who she is today. She shares her journey in hopes that it will help others who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress and facing transition in their life successfully move away from fear, pain, and deflated attitude about life – step into the life they want. Celia is the founder of the blog High Heeled Life – inspiration for living a luxurious and balanced life; featured author in Adventures in Manifesting – Soulful Relationships; a Peer Mentor with BIST; a regular speaker for Canadian Blood Services – Speakers Bureau. To learn more about Celia and be inspired visit www.HighHeeledLife.com or www.CeliaMLifeCoach.com