Self Love & Acceptance

February 2021 Theme: Self Love and Acceptance | Organized Mess

February. The month of love thanks to Valentine's Day. Sure, celebrating romantic love is sweet and surely something worth a toast or two but there's so much more to celebrate when it comes to love such as, love for your friends, love for your family and most importantly - love for yourself. But sometimes the most important thing doesn't come easily.

I've spent a lot of time in my life feeling like an outsider. Like,

-That time I moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania in middle school. I had a slight twang to my accent which, naturally, made me a major target for bullies. One of my classmates, Ashley, would yell out to my classmates How Ya'll Doing when I entered a room, making fun of my accent. Great times. 

-Meeting and clicking immediately with another self-proclaimed awkward girl who also loved cats, shopping, Taylor Swift (lol) and was equally excited to live in a big city for the first time (hello, Philly!) my freshman year of college. We lived in the same dorm hall, our rooms were right across from each other and she would make fun of the "cooler" girls who lived in our hallway but then one day, they asked her to hang out and she never bothered to talk to me again. 

-When I studied abroad in London and went on a trip to Belgium with a group of new friends, but then two of them started to whisper about me to each other...loudly and blatantly in front of me and would laugh at me constantly - and not when I was making jokes. I locked myself in the bathroom at a brewery and cried. 

-When I started my first professional office job, and well, I don't know if I'll ever perfectly fit into that kind of work environment but it used to be a lot harder for me than it is now. Now I've learned how to navigate jokes about millenials or the assumptions made by your coworkers that you're going to have kids or move to the suburbs (two things I don't foresee for my future). 

Because losing myself would be worse than losing anyone who wouldn't love me for, well, me.

I've spent a lot of time on the outside, which means I've really had to learn how to love myself and accept who I am. I used to think bullies and the feeling of being an outsider ends after the years of adolescence but the reality is that it's something adults deal with as well. I could have changed who I was dozens of times to fit in. But I didn't. Because losing myself would be worse than losing anyone who wouldn't love me for, well, me. But we all know this is easier said than done. There's a lot work that goes into loving yourself, especially if you feel like you've been cast as an outsider at any point in your life, which I'm sure most of us have felt like that at some point or another. Social rejection is a painful part of life but that's what makes finding your people so much sweeter. 

And yes, February is absolutely a great time to celebrate the love you have for your people - whether that's your significant other, friends or family. But like flight attendants remind us when we're preparing for take off, you have to put on your oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. We can't properly love or take care of the people in our lives if we're not taking care of ourselves first. So, this month I really want to focus on self love and acceptance, which starts with taking care of ourselves first. 

We can't properly love or take care of the people in our lives if we're not taking care of ourselves first.

Self care comes in many forms and it's one of the simplest but most important ways to show yourself love. I've posted about why the simple act of buying lingerie for yourself can be an act of self love and finding solace in nature during difficult times. This month I'll also be sharing a few of the books that have helped me learn to accept myself, the journal prompts I turn to when I'm feeling lost and why traveling alone helped me love myself more. 

Let's all give a little more love to ourselves this month and the next.