In thinking about my personal journey and the many times I've been privileged enough to witness someone else's journey, I've noticed that a key part of learning to fully accept and love yourself, you must show up. To show up for yourself regardless of external circumstances and regardless of the various emotional waves that may be coursing through you. It's so important that no matter what, you are not putting your needs or your wants on the back burner just because things aren't "just so".
This is something I've noticed is especially important for the clients I have worked with. Sometimes there's this urge to not show up to a session because they didn't follow through on the action steps that we discussed last time. Or they have experienced an event in their life that has triggered a wave of sadness or frustration. It can be easy to shy away from showing up for ourselves when we feel like we aren't at our best. I have noticed, however, that it's those who show up as they are fully, without holding themselves to any perceived expectations or standards, who experience the most exponential growth in the shortest amount of time.
So, what do I mean by showing up for yourself? I mean going to the gym even when you have had a rough day and just want to crawl underneath the covers and make the world disappear. I mean showing up to that meeting you set with your colleague 2 weeks ago even though you just went through a hard break up and you're still feeling the emotions. We must give ourselves permission to be who we are as we are in any given moment. We must set the standard for the people in our life by letting them know that if we're feeling sad, or angry, or frustrated, or any other so called "negative" emotion, it's okay. Feeling negative emotions should never be an excuse to skip doing the things that nourish us and move us forward. All emotions contain within them lessons and insight into our authentic selves. To supress them, avoid them, or try to quickly rush past them just because they feel a little unpleasant is doing yourself a great disservice.
When someone asks, "how are you?" rather than giving the "polite" response of "I'm good thanks", give an honest response about where you're at in the moment. Now, I'm not saying let's spill our guts to everyone we encounter and start piling our problems onto other people. I am, however, inviting you to name how you're truly feeling in the moment. By getting in the habit of being honest about how we are feeling rather than just "being polite", we are empowering ourselves to embrace and learn from the emotions we are experiencing. We are also empowering others by letting them know it's okay to feel all the emotions that exist, not just the pleasant ones. Being okay with how we are feeling at any given moment is like the ultimate self-care. To be able to say "I'm upset, and that's okay" is like giving yourself a big hug and reminding yourself that you are accepted and loved no matter what.
There's a lot of toxic positivity in the world these days and with social media, people feel a pressure to be happy and positive ALL the time. Feeling positive emotions is lovely, but one can be happy overall while still experiencing negative feelings like sadness, loss, grief, anxiety, anger, etc. When negative feelings crop up, there's a good reason for them. They are signals to make us aware of something important within us. If we feel loss, it's a signal that we loved something or someone that is no longer around. If we feel sad, it might be a signal that something is out of alignment, or an expectation wasn't met. If we feel angry or frustrated, there's a good chance that a boundry was crossed and it's important to investigate that.
So, you see, all emotions are valuable and worthy of acceptance, just like all people. Including yourself. So, this is an invitation to you to let go of any ideas about needing to only show up when you're feeling positive, sunshine, and rainbows, and nudge yourself to keep showing up even if you're feeling down, or off, or just overall blah. Showing up is how you move forward. Showing up is how you learn to genuinely love and accept your whole self. Showing up is such a key part of living into your BEST and most authentic self. If you want to live your life as a fully expressed authentic human being, you must show up.