As every kid knows, it’s part of the Mom DNA to come equipped with an endless supply of wisdom. Author Nicole Wilson shares “Why Mom Was Right About Self-Love.“
Written by Nicole Wilson
While there is no precise record of it, Moms across the world since the beginning of time have been offering up advice to their kids about Self-Love as well as what to eat, what to wear, who not to date and why you need to know how to cook and clean up after yourself to be a respectable adult. (One of these days, Mom, I promise…)
As every kid knows, it’s part of the Mom DNA to come equipped with an endless supply of wisdom. When you’re a youngster what Mom tells you to do seems like a real pain in the you know what, but as you grow into adulthood you see Ole’ Mom might have been right about a thing or two after-all. That certainly was the case with me!
I’ll come clean…I was not the easiest child to be dealt. They say, “Every family has one.” and, that “one” was most certainly me. I have always been curious, adventurous, rebellious and artistic. These qualities served me beautifully as an adult entrepreneur and artist, BUT in my younger days it also got me into trouble. My poor Mom. It seemed like if there were a bad relationship, financial decision, impulsive career or life move to be found or made I would, find and make it! Try as she would, Mom’s advice on loving myself and making good decisions almost always was disregarded.
But one day, things changed…
I was in my Early-Twenties and I had gone through a bad breakup with a bad boy (a synonym for jerk) TV actor, and for the first time I came to my Mom seeking out her advice. I could almost feel my teenage self roll her eyes. But do something bad for yourself often enough and finally you get sick, or hurt, or what have you. My Roller-Coaster years of bad decisions and “Rebel Without A Cause” (or heart) boyfriends had taken a toll on me and I found myself completely and utterly depressed. It was then that the advice my Mom had been doling out for years finally resonated with me. Perhaps it was because I was finally ready to hear it and desperate enough to need it.
My Mom quite simply told me, as she had all along, that I needed to love and value myself more. Self-love had always been a message she had tried to impress upon me, but I hadn’t the faintest clue what that REALLY meant.
“Self-Love”, what the heck was that?
In truth, my Mom was a living example of Self-Love. She was accomplished in her field as a doctor, married a loving man who would do anything for her, and built the kind of interesting family and life she wanted to have in New York City. Mom, in short, was a modern day Superwoman.
It took me years of bad decisions to truly understand and embody Self Love the way my Mom had. In truth, I think Self-Love is a concept that many of us struggle with understanding and more importantly, incorporating into our lives.
So what is Self-Love? And how is it important to our lives?
In a nutshell Self-love is an ongoing state of appreciation for oneself. Speaking as a female, it is often easier for us to appreciate and nurture others, whether it is our romantic partner or our children. We derive a great deal of pleasure from aiding the development and growth in others. Essentially Self-love is replacing “the other” with our self.
In a state of Self Love we take action to support and foster our own psychological, physical and spiritual growth. We learn to accept our weakness and acknowledge our strengths and use them both to our advantage. We seek out our life purpose and fulfillment in career and learn to step away from that which doesn’t serve our greater good.
More than anything Self Love is a way of life that helps you live well, pick positive relationships and partners, and effects what type of energy you project into your work life. Self Love also attracts more positive experiences into your life as well as the kind of people who are going to lift you up rather than drag you down. I believe it is such an essential skill to health and happiness that I would like to share some simple tips on how to bring more Self Love into your life:
- Set Boundaries: In the modern world where there are always demands placed on your time and energy, learning to set boundaries is an excellent way to express Self Love. By setting boundaries I mean learning to say “No” or set certain limits to work, people, and activities that will either deplete you or are harmful to you.
- Forgive Yourself: We as people are masters of Self Criticism. Part of being a grown up is taking accountability for our actions, but we often take it too far and beat ourselves up over our missteps. One of the best things you can do to love yourself is to accept that everyone is flawed and that making mistakes is part of being human. If you are learning from your mistakes then they are not mistakes but actually opportunities for growth. Stop being so harsh on yourself and exercise forgiveness towards yourself.
- Self Care: One of the most important skills I teach my clients as a Holistic Nutritionist and Life Coach is how to take better physical care of themselves and attend to their basic needs. By establishing healthy external habits, it’s amazing how it can improve your inner life and sense of well being. That means engaging in healthy physical activities such as regular exercise, healthy clean eating, proper sleep (at least 8 hrs), and downtime with friends and family.
- Find your bliss then follow it! : Joseph Campbell, a renowned Mythologist, coined the phrase “Follow your bliss!” I love this idea! Everyone has a passion for something that brings purpose and meaning to their life. Whether it be a Yoga practice or a career helping others. Take the time to explore what that might mean for you. Find your bliss then pursue it!
- Ditch the Dysfunction: Be mindful of who you are allowing into your life and your personal space. While there are people who can add “color” to your life for short periods of time, there’s no sense in keeping people around who are truly not good for you. Sometimes the best thing to do is ask your self this simple question: Do I feel better when I am around this person or worse? Be honest with yourself, if the answer is “worse” then you’re better off ditching them and seeking out more positive and fulfilling relationships.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
A few years ago I was diagnosed with cystic ovaries. A condition many women have, but few really put a voice to. It’s sort of the ugly stepsister known as women’s health. I have had to undergo several surgeries to remove them as they are recurrent. I changed my diet, my lifestyle, and underwent fertility preservation in the form of freezing my eggs as preventative insurance. It was incredibly traumatic when I was first dealing with it and freaking out about the prospect of perhaps not being able to have children. But I was proactive and I have turned my health issue into a passion by helping other women change and improve their health with diet and lifestyle change.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate that I am a fun loving broad who really speaks her mind. Perhaps it’s the brassy Native New Yorker in me, but I have never been afraid to put it out there. Sass and all.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
Oh gosh, TONS! I sometimes feel like that Carpenters medley “We’ve only just begun.” I am extremely proud of my work as an artist and actress and the fact that I was able to make my sparkly girlhood dream a bonafide reality. I would very much like to land bigger parts in film and TV as well as write and produce a film at some point
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
As Rogers and Hammerstein would say, “I am a cockeyed optimist.” In regards to nearly everything but especially when it comes to the people I love. It takes a special sort to get in my door, but once you’re in, you’re in for life. I’m sort of like the Mafia. I love HARD and sometimes allow people to stay in my life far longer than they actually deserve to be there. It takes a lot for me to want to give someone the boot from my life. More often I relegate them to a smaller role in my life, when perhaps it’s better I just say “too-dah-lou” sucker!
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
Family. They are literally the best bunch of crazy apples on this planet. They have supported me through every phase of my life, empowered me, and encouraged my dreams from the time I was knee high to a grasshopper. Love them!!