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Let’s Talk: Self Love

My New Year’s resolution was to be gentle on myself, but push myself to always be progressing. I think we all know what ‘progression’ means, but what about gentleness? This is what I’d like to touch on in this post: self love and being gentle with yourself and your soul.

With social media, magazines, everything- society as a whole is constantly being told to “be better”. Be thinner, be smarter, be more beautiful- whatever it is, be better. Because where you’re at right now isn’t enough (and by media’s standards, it never will be). With these shaming words constantly banging on our doors, we tend to get sucked in and let the intruder in. We start letting those words tear us apart. I don’t know about you, but for me, I probably have a ‘freak out day’ at least once a month. On those days, I finally break down with those awful words and thoughts pounding over and over in my head. I’m freaking out because I could be a better person, I could be thinner, I could have more self-control, I could be better at staying on top of everything – I mean THEN it get’s even crazier – ‘ oh my gosh, I could be a better cook, a better friend, a better student, a better Pinterest girl so that I’m a crafty classy wife, I could be better at responding to emails’- I mean EVERYTHING is not enough. And it’s true!

We can all progress. That’s what life is about. The problem is that social media holds us all up to the same standards, when we are all different people of different skills. My sister for example is a braniac that loves chemistry- does that mean that I do too? I’d love to! But no, it doesn’t. I’m very creative and I’m street smart; that is my own gift. However despite these examples, the REAL problem is that the media’s push for progression and perfectionism often is geared towards things that we cannot change. Material things. Physical things. Worldly things. Things that do not bring happiness, but rather, loss of fulfillment. Loss of fulfillment, because it will never be enough. Still.

So, what do I mean when I say ‘gentleness’? A quick search in Google, and the first description says “Gentleness is the value and quality of one’s character”. This can be read in several ways however for me, I see it as this: to be gentle is to value yourself. “The quality of gentleness is understood to be that of kindness, consideration and amiability”. So to be gentle to yourself is to:

1. Know your worth

2. Be kind to yourself

3. Be considerate and caring towards your individuality

4. Be your own friend- root for yourself!

Remembering these things will make it easier to resist and ignore the pressures that are put on us in our everyday lives. When the whole world is screaming that you are filled with inadequacies, just think of all the things that you’re doing right. I need to remind myself of these things every single day. Although I may only post “good” things that make my life seem like a dreamy fantasy ball of happiness, I do have my sad days, and that’s OK. It’s OK, as long as I eventually remember that I am loved, I love the person that I am becoming, and I am doing just fine. Sometimes I just need a reminder.

…LIKE FLOWERS!

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The reason why I wanted to write about self-love is because I was actually having a tough day last week. All of these thoughts were going through my head and I thought- ‘well, why don’t I share some of these things?’ I had woken up feeling a little sad, wondering why. I was looking around my room, searching the files in my brain, trying to understand why I felt this way. Eventually I looked over at my desk – AHA! There are no flowers? Why aren’t there flowers? It was a small thought, but then that thought expanded into something deeper. I LOVE flowers. Flowers are gifts that I give to myself, when I am being gentle with myself and taking the time to remember it. I used to buy flowers for my room once a week, or every two weeks. (At Trader Joe’s they have flowers for under 10$, and they’re seasonal, so you learn about flowers & their seasons, too!). I realized that the reason why there weren’t any flowers in my room was because I hadn’t taken the time to slow down and take care of myself. Flowers are also effortlessly beautiful, and they also hold many life lessons. For example : they’ll bloom when they’re ready, not when you want them to. THIS IS ALSO KEY FOR BEING GENTLE TO YOURSELF! We are all growing as individuals and some things will happen when they need to, but not always when we want them to. Having more faith & trusting in timing makes life a lot easier, because there are just many things that we cannot control. This is something that I  have to be reminded of constantly. And so, maybe we should focus on the good that we are, and the good that we can be. Know that the media is there to sell you products and a fantasy lifestyle that truly very few people can attain. Know that those things do not matter anyway. Know that you are worth more than you can imagine and that it’s important to treat yourself with love and kindness. Know that good things take time.

This is why I love having flowers around me. They remind me of these lessons.

NOW

A few things that I’d like to clear up!

-Don’t get me wrong, Scott has given me many many flowers, which I am SO grateful and lucky for (you can probably see them on my Instagram feed!! Haha). He is the best. BUT I love to also buy myself flowers. Or pick them (though in the city that’s not really an option). It’s my way of saying “hey, you’re doing alright!”. It’s like a hug that I’m giving to myself. And no, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing to work on loving yourself. It’s SO important! To love others you must first love yourself. Media focuses SO much on improving your body, but your soul has to be taken care of too.

-I realize that by talking about degrading social media, I am somewhat coming off as hypocritical. I know. I am a model, and It is my job to represent women. This is also a reason why it has been such a hard journey for me physically, being in the industry. I don’t mind having curves. I don’t mind being a woman because this is something that I’m proud of. I’m not a little girl anymore, so why should my body look like it? The struggle for me has been finding a healthy balance. I’ve decided that the only way that I want to be a fashion model is to also represent women in a GOOD, HEALTHY, POSITIVE light. Working out, eating healthy, being fit. Not skinny, but fit. I want to represent goodness.

And so, this morning as I was dropping Christoper off at school, I went and bought some flowers at Trader Joe’s (along with some groceries). 6$!!! Wonderful. You should too!

alex_flowers2_watercolor_smallWhat are some ways that YOU show yourself love?

Comment below and let me know! Love you guys.