Sarah May Bates
June 09, 2013 3:00 pm

Self-care is a cycle that creates harmony in every area of your life. It helps you to navigate socially. It helps you to stay in physical health. It helps you give more to others. It gives you the best version of yourself: capable, optimistic, energetic, happy, calm, confident and you can rely on yourself through thick and thin. Because by definition, to take care of yourself means to stop doing things that hurt you. Things like lying or betraying or hurting others, because those actions make you feel bad about you. It means having your best interests at heart and valuing yourself enough to protect yourself. It means loving yourself down to your core, something that only comes from being honest with yourself.

So, how to be honest with yourself? Don’t pretend you don’t feel things. Own them for good or for bad. When you make a bad decision, say that you made a bad decision. When you’re scared, say you’re scared. We so often misunderstand what we want as a result of suppressing feelings that scare us. When we fear something enough to lie to ourselves it’s because we think knowing it will force us to do something we don’t want to do. Which is false. When we ignore what we know to be true, ironically we act against what we want for ourselves. And that fear that causes us to hide is created by us.

We make our feelings into monsters. It’s our hiding from something that gives it its power and weight. When we confront things they become quite normal and slowly we work through them. But when we avoid them by lying to ourselves, bad things happen. When we’re not acting in our own best interests, we end up in situations that we in our heart of hearts do not want to be in. And we will continue to get lost because without an inner compass, we can’t see where we’re going anymore. We give fear so much power in our lives. Fear that we’re not strong enough to do what we have to do. Fear that we will fall back into something and are helpless in the face of it. These fears become seemingly insurmountable, but that’s an illusion. What is necessary in the face of these things is acknowledging honestly to your self what you want. Saying that to yourself and knowing that you mean it. When you mean it, make a decision to have it. Once that decision is made, the process becomes somewhat normal and pragmatic. Find the right tools, take the necessary steps, and most importantly, ask for the right help.

Sometimes we don’t want to have the feelings we have, and that’s a fact of life that we have to deal with the best way we can. We cannot numb ourselves into states of unknowing because what happens is these things sneak back up again but much more deformed. They can also become inflamed by the suppression because they are unmet needs that haven’t been addressed. Denying a part of yourself can also hinder your overall growth. How can you fulfill your potential if part of your soul is locked away?

Being honest with ourselves and checking our motives often will lead to growing into better people. It also invites more of what will make us the happiest. It shows the truest level of maturity and confidence when we are able to admit the feelings we wish we didn’t have. “I was jealous” or “I was afraid” or “I could have been nicer,” or, “I didn’t try that hard” etc. When we are able to admit these kinds of things to ourselves and say we don’t like them, we accept the truth and in response, become better. Plus, we know that we can rely on ourselves to be honest in the future. As you get in the habit of being honest with yourself, you will find sticky interpersonal situations become much more manageable. When you don’t have to question your motives, you feel a strong sense of peace in yourself and you can let go of things that are out of your control.

Never lie to yourself. If you want to do something stupid but it’s worth it, own it. Do it for that reason and don’t attempt to hide from that knowledge. Embrace the consequences, stand by your reasoning and if you learn a hard lesson, it will serve you well in the future. Decide things with your eyes wide open and with all of you casting that vote. Confront your feelings, even the petty ones, and make peace with them. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to understand them but 100% of them come from a place that makes sense.

When you are honest with yourself, you can trace the path of your actions to where your heart is at the root of them. More often than not, you’ll find that it’s in the right place.

Happy Sunday, lovelies! xox Sarah

Featured image via fernandiinhho on Flickr

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