A simple and effective technique I teach my clients to be able to naturally manage their symptoms of depression or anxiety is to journal.
Although my job is to assist clients in healing all together so that they no longer have to ‘manage’ these symptoms it is particularly important when a client first begins our program.
Journalling is such a powerful tool for many reasons, those of which I am not going to go into in this particular blog, however, if you’d like to read more about journalling you can do so HERE
This particular blog is more focused on self love and self appreciation but the reason I spoke about journalling will make sense as you read on.
Throughout my years working on myself and with others it has become apparent that self love is not a final destination but a continuous journey.
To me, the meaning of self love is to be able to acknowledge and accept every single part of yourself, down to the core with love and non judgement.
See, I have a love/hate relationship with this journey because it seems to be one of life’s toughest challenges but continues to lead me to greater growth..
I’ve been inspired to write about this topic today because of where I am currently at in this journey.
I am currently 6 months pregnant and I cannot wait to meet my beautiful little angel in November.
Pregnancy is a journey in itself and is different for every woman physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
For me personally, I’ve recently been finding it quite difficult in terms of loving myself.
I guess that is because every part of me that I had previously learned to love and accept has now changed and I haven’t quite learnt to love all of the changes just yet.
Some of those changes for me (which are quite common in many woman) have been; changes in the quality of my skin, changes in the quality of my hair, changes in the clothing I’m able to wear and changes in my energy as well as what I’m physically and socially able to do.
I guess in a way I felt like I had lost my identity - the one I’d learnt to love.
Now although it may have seemed like it for a moment, this blog is far from a negative one.
See, what has been presented to me here is a new opportunity to develop and grow. A new challenge to overcome which will teach me to love myself better than I ever did before - If I choose it!
There is a blessing in every lesson and that my friend, is pretty inspiring!
This brings me back to journalling. The first thing that comes to mind when there is something I need to get clear on or work through is journalling!
Then I had another idea. I decided to switch it up and write a letter to myself.
I decided to write a letter to myself in the way I would write one to a friend. One that shows love, appreciation and commitment like I would to a friend.
We find it so much easier to see the strengths and beauty within someone else then within ourselves and we tend to show others a higher level of respect than we do ourselves.
We would never say half of the negative things to a friend that we seem to think is ok to say to ourselves and we are our most important friend! We are the one who will always be there every step of the way through this game called life!
That is why I decided to step outside of myself and treat me with the love and appreciation I deserve.
So, here is my letter to me:
(note: I believe there are four parts that makes us whole - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. This letter is to the two parts of me that are needing it the most - physical and mental)
Dear me (my oldest and longest friend)
Firstly, I want to acknowledge you for never giving up on me. I know it hasn’t always been easy but instead of choosing to surrender to the tough times life has presented, you’ve always pushed through and I know you always will.
Secondly, I want to apologise because I know I have been a little hard on you lately with the negative self talk rather than appreciating you.
There is so much to love about you yet other people acknowledge that more than I do, but it’s time it comes from me.
When I was committed to you back in school you gave me the opportunity to run the fastest and jump the furthest. Thank you for providing me with the ability to get to compete at a number of athletics and netball competitions which is something that fuelled my soul as a child.
When I’ve been committed to sculpting you to my preferred shape you have always come through. Thank you for having the health and the strength to be able to do the workouts I enjoy and for being a beautifully shaped canvas to work with.
Thank you for reminding me when to slow down and give myself a rest.
Thank you for reminding me when I’m not treating you right.
Lastly, thank you for creating a space for our little girl to grow and prepare for the world.
You may not currently run as fast as you can, be as strong as you can or be my preferred shape but I know you can be.
It would be easy to blame it all on being pregnant but you deserve more than that. As of today, I promise to love you better by fuelling you with more nutritious foods again, getting back to yoga, going for more regular walks and taking the time to appreciate you.
You play such a large part in my life and I don’t know what I would do without you.
You have definitely presented me with the most challenges but I am grateful for every one of them.
Back when I was in my late teens-early 20’s you used to consistently tell me I wasn’t good enough which I eventually learnt to overcome. You are the problem and you are the solution. It is my job to be able to master you. Thank you for that challenge in life, it has lead me to my true purpose which fuels my soul every day.
I also want to acknowledge that since then you have been a superstar at always finding the positive in a negative and the blessing in a lesson.
I love that you are curious and always wanting to learn, I love that you are determined and have achieved so much of what I want for myself and I love your overall view on life.
As of today, I promise to love you better by getting back to yoga, doing my meditation practice more regularly and practicing mindfulness so that you can be more peaceful and have the break you sometimes need.
P.S you are more then good enough!
Lots of love
I hope that if you’re going through a tough time you can now see that you’re not alone but more importantly there are tools to overcome it. I found writing my letter really inspiring to me and recommend trying it if you need a little extra love in your life.
Chanel De King, Therapist at The Melbourne Centre of Healing
Specialists in Addiction Recovery (including Ice Addiction) and Mental Health at our Addiction Rehab Centre in Melbourne, Australia.