Lake District

Lake District
Lake District


Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts

Don't Forget to Love Yourself

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance" 
- Oscar Wilde

It's one of those cruel facts of life, how exam time just happens to coincide with the beginning of that formidable bikini season.

If I'm honest, the realisation, on returning home from university (and to the bathroom scales) that I'd gained a few pounds- really not a lot, but more than I had initially felt terribly comfortable with- has made me think a lot this last week. Clearly, my pre-exam tendency for emotional eating had caught up with me: Food 1 - Beth 0.

At first, this discovery upset me far more than it really should have done; somewhere inside me I felt as though I'd failed myself, I thought even so far as that I'd ruined myself. I was ashamed that I had "let myself go" so far. Immediately I began obsessively counting calories (something which I had stopped doing over the last year for the sake of my mental well-being) and exercising compulsively. For the entirety of my first week at home when I should have been enjoying some long-awaited relaxation time with friends and family, my very small and insignificant weight gain consumed my thoughts, resulting in a very unhappy me. Until I finally decided enough was enough.

Despite my thinking regarding weight having been admittedly dysfunctional as of late, the reality is that thoughts like these are all too common in the minds of young women (and men) in our society today- the unfortunate product of messages instilled in us by the media that set an impossible standard for outward beauty. In short, the world can be a cruel place for girls, especially when far too often we are estimated solely on our physical appearances as opposed to our personalities, talent and intelligence, and right now in this moment I am saying a big HELL NO to that.

Although it had been a very unhappy week, I will hopefully always say that this particular week of obsessing over my body (as it definitely hadn't been the first one) has done me a massive favour, since eventually when I was completely worn down, I began asking myself was it really all worth it? Either way, I couldn't do it any more. 
In that moment I made the decision to accept myself for whoever I was, whatever I looked like and chose to speak truth over myself rather than believing the lies told to me by a society misled. 
And that truth is, that you are worth infinitely more than the box anyone decides to put you in. You are a unique package of countless thoughts, experiences, beliefs, opinions, quirks and habits, you are special, and there will never ever be another you. Any time you spend putting yourself down or spend preoccupied by your perceived failings or imperfections is time you will never get back.

I recently heard someone say that you should always treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend, and therefore never tell yourself anything that you would never say to them. I thought this was a great idea, since really life is just too short to spend not being confident in the beautiful person that you are.

If you ever need a little more encouragement, I have started a pinterest board on body love, self-love and just general positivity which you can visit here. I'm sorry this has been a bit of a ranty post but it's just something I've been wanting to get off my chest. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Hope you are all very well. Much love,

Ah Yes, The Past Can Hurt

During a recent- but fortunately very minor and somewhat trivial- personal "crisis", a good friend of mine came around to sit with me late one night to offer a bit of moral support. We sat and ate ice cream, I cried (such a cliché scenario) and we just talked it all out. Just as an aside though- what is life without friends like this? Anyway, during our time together that night one of the little gems of encouragement she offered me really resonated with me, and went as follows...

She asked did I recall the scene from the Lion King where Simba tells Rafiki he is apprehensive about returning to Pride Rock and having to face his past. In response to which Rafiki whacks Simba with his stick and when Simba asks why Rafiki answers "it doesn't matter, it's in the past" Simba replies, "yeah, but it still hurts" and Rafiki wisely responds:

"Ah yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it"

Then, when Rafiki takes another swing at Simba he dodges the stick, having learnt from his past.

"Next time, girl, you dodge that stick!" my friend jested.
Yes girl, dodge that stick. 

The reality of life is that some time or another you're going to get hurt, and often we experience things that continue to pain us for a long time after. It's unfortunate and sad but injury in life is inevitable.

As a child and well into my early teens I often experienced a bizarre, crippling sense of guilt. Now, being older, I can identify these early feelings as probably a touch of anxiety, but at the time it was something that was very difficult for me to understand. During my childhood these feelings were very often perpetuated by some of the inevitable mistakes I made growing up, the vast majority of which were of very little importance- though of course, at the time they felt very big. I grew up often feeling like I was a much worse person than the people around me, that no one else was as bad as me, no one else had done the things that I had done and I felt very ashamed. Although of course, in reality I was no worse than any other child my age, I spent a lot of time brooding and tormenting myself over some of the mistakes and slip-ups I felt I had made.

C.S. Lewis once said:
 "Experience: that most brutal of teachers but you learn, my God, do you learn"

As I got older I eventually came to realise that in fact, everyone makes mistakes, everyone makes poor choices and everyone does and says things they wish they hadn't; they always have done and always will do. However, something that I've learnt having made what I consider to be some genuinely hideous mistakes so far in my relatively short life is that to dwell on the mistakes we've made in the past does not do us the tiniest bit of good. Essentially what's done is done and all you can do is forgive yourself, let go, and just keep moving along, since really, life is a business of trial and error.

Of course, however, some of the pain we encounter in life isn't so simple. There are types of hurt that come suddenly in ways that are impossible to anticipate or control and most times, very difficult to understand. 
Having only been on this planet for 19 years, I don't claim to be an expert on life by any means, but as time has gone on something I have learnt is that the more hurt or pain we experience, the better equipped we are to deal with things that are still to come. In that place in time when you are really hurting bad, sometimes it feels impossible to see how anything good could come out of such a crappy situation. In truth, however, all those little aches, or even those humongous pains you might feel that you think are breaking you down are, in fact, building you up, making you stronger, and making you a hell of a lot wiser.

What I will also say, although I've said it before, while pain is a fact of life in this sad and broken world, the other side of the coin is that there is always hope and things will always get better. I firmly believe that without a few troughs in life, the peaks that come after would be nowhere near as beautiful and satisfying and it's that contrast that makes life truly worthwhile. 

This has been a bit of a different post today, but just something I've been thinking about recently. Hope you're all doing well!

Reflections on a Spring Day | Feeling Positive

I'm sorry about the high concentration of photos that are just countryside, I know a lot of my posts have been like this but I just can't help but find scenes like this so beautiful. Especially on a lovely spring day when the sun is shining and the weather is just nice and mild, and no rain.

I took this photos on a short walk I went on with one of my friends, and they were actually just taken around my university campus. Basically the whole of my Easter break I had agonised over whether I even wanted to go back to uni. Being entirely honest I really hadn't been enjoying my university experience so far. I'd been feeling very very down and very very anxious and having entered into a relationship very early on after starting uni, for a while I ended up isolating myself and not making as many friends or experiencing uni life as much as I would have liked. The relationship then ended quite badly at the start of last term and although it was short, it was quite a horrible and painful experience which has taken me a while to recover from.

I just wanted to write today to sort of acknowledge this point in my life. Despite my reservations about uni and days and nights of worry and feeling like I never wanted to go back, since returning I've felt surprisingly settled, content and a lot more positive. Being out in nature and spending time with good friends who encourage me and build me up really puts life in perspective and I've come to realise that perhaps it all isn't so bad after all.

I know I'm probably not alone in my feelings towards uni and for some, maybe even just towards the place they're at in their life in general and I just wanted to encourage anyone who can maybe relate to my situation just to remember that this stage in your life is just that, a stage in your life. Life will always have its ups and downs, moments of joy and moments of sorrow but we need to remember that no situation will last forever, no matter how bad it seems at the time. Life goes on and you will keep going and come out much stronger.

Remember that you have complete control over your life and how you live it. Do things that make you happy, cultivate interests, cultivate good friendships and don't dwell on the bad you may have experienced in the past. Tomorrow is a new day and every day is a second chance to enjoy the life you've been given.
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