Please enjoy this excerpt from my new book,
You, Beautiful: Getting gorgeous from the inside out…Coming Soon!
“I am beautiful.”
What would it feel like to say this to yourself — and really mean it?
Most of us would feel silly or even cringe looking in the mirror and saying these words. We’d think first, not true. (Says who?) Second, that’s so vain. (Again, says who?)
Valuing ourselves this way — as inherently beautiful and by implication, worthy of love and respect — is a radical act that pushes up against arbitrary expectations and standards of external beauty set for us by people with an agenda: convincing us, “You’re not good enough! You know what would help? This cream, these shoes, this toothbrush, this ab machine!”
A “good” person
When we believe we’re worthy of love and respect, and we live this out with self-respect, genuine self-love, and regular self-care rituals, we also confront the idea that it’s selfish to think of ourselves as important, valuable, worth nurturing. No, no! On the contrary, a “good” person is selfless (this usually comes from those counting on our selflessness).
A “good” person only takes time if (and that’s a big if) there’s any left over after they’ve taken care of everyone else, and then only sparingly.
A “good” person doesn’t shop for themselves, and if they do, they feel so guilty that they make sure to buy something for someone else because thinking only of yourself is so…well, selfish.
Beautiful and worthy
We’ve been conditioned to believe that taking care of ourselves as beautiful and worthy is selfish. It could be something as simple as going for a run on Thanksgiving morning when there’s “so much to do.”
It can be the hesitation to spend money on ourselves — healthy food, cycling classes, a fresh haircut, new glasses, or anything else that constitutes taking good care of ourselves.
It can be feeling guilty about sitting down to read a book or listen to some music with a glass of wine or any other activity that refills the well emptied by the day’s activities and (more often than not) outpouring of selflessness and generosity.
We can’t give away what we don’t have
All this is deeply concerning for about 100 reasons. To start with: how can you really take care of anyone else when you’re not taking care of yourself? It’s the reason that airlines tell you to put the mask on yourself first before trying to help someone else because you’re completely incapable of helping other people if you’re flailing around unable to breathe.
If you want to be generous, it’s impossible to give someone the $500 they need if you haven’t spent enough time on your own success, so you don’t have it yourself.
You can’t give away what you don’t have and that includes care.
When we take care of ourselves, we know how to take care of other people and we have the ability to do it.