Selfish, Shellfish.

I know that I have been doing a lot of talk about forgiveness lately, but it has really been weighing on my mind. Not necessarily forgiving other people, but BEING more forgiving with yourself. And, quite frankly, being more kind to yourself. That has been my biggest thing these past few weeks. Just being more kind to all parts of yourself. Your mind. Your soul. Your body. ESPECIALLY your body. I think a lot of women in particular probably struggle with this one.
For starters, lets talk about being more kind to your mind. My mind is, for me, one of my biggest challenges. I can't control it. I have these thoughts where, when I mess up, I really get down on myself about it. And then follows the process where I get upset with myself for getting so upset with myself. "Stop over-reacting," or "stop over thinking!" seem to be common phrases that echo in my head. But here's the funny thing about the human mind: It knows what it's doing. God (or whatever creator you want to believe in) knew what he/she/it was doing when it built the human mind. Our thought processes are for a purpose, and it's probably not a stupid or pointless one. Women, for instance, are emotional beings. Our minds tend to become a little Emo about stuff and since that can be socially unacceptable we think we're kind of lame. But the world NEEDS emotion. And we, in turn, need that emotion. Practicality has it's usefulness to be sure. But without sympathy, empathy, and feeling... we become robots. And we can't relate to one another. And we confine ourselves to lives of misunderstanding one another and not allowing each other our imperfections. We relate to the humanity in other people and that can really be a bond that ties us together. So I think that the emotional process is a very important one. We need to sit inside our own heads and go through some of those crappy emotions in order to grow and in turn, help others to do the same. I think that realizing this and therefore being more kind to our minds when we feel down in the dumps is appropriate. Embrace the bummers in your life, they are like boot camp for your Mind. Go easy on yourself when you feel like you're being a little "lame." It's all a process.

Now on to being kind to your soul. Each of us has needs. Things that make us happy... and sometimes we can't really explain why they do. For instance: I LOVE Extra Cheddar Goldfish crackers. Always have. Every time I eat one I get this feeling in my brain like... bliss. They're delicious to me. Why do these silly little kids crackers make me so happy? I have no idea. They are, simply put: good. I feel the same way about certain movies, books, and people. I want them in my life because they make me feel good. A lot of women are this way with chocolate! Your soul has wants, and while you shouldn't overindulge in some of them, it's important to treat your soul to the things that fill it with pleasure. Warm socks, pleasant smells, aesthetic art, watching a sunset on the beach... these are gifts that we can give our soul. There is no rhyme or reason to why we need to fulfill these parts of our lives, but I can promise you that you will notice a difference in your life-satisfaction levels if we neglect them. Be kind to your soul. And it will, in turn, fill your life with joy.

And lastly, be kind to your body. And most of all: be patient with it! Goodness knows it is patient with you! It waits for you to stop eating Oreos and get to the gym. And when you do, it morphs into the shape it was before you turned into a Glutton! Okay, that was an over-exaggeration, but you get my point. I can remember in high school, I used to collect magazines. Ok I still do. But I would always get excited about the issues right before Prom- not because of the dresses or hairstyles- but because of the prep tips. YM or Teen would always have these Countdown to Prom articles, where they would tell you how to completely spoil your body so that by Prom, you looked like a million bucks. It was all about deep conditioning your hair and doing a weekly facial, etc. I would clip these out and do them year round. I have never been lax about taking care of my body. Hair masks, body butters, polished toes... these have been staples of mine since the 9th grade. I think that being kind to your body is important. Now that I am getting older I focus more on the things that I know are REALLY kind to your body, as opposed to things that magazines hire marketing departments for. Eating more vegetables. Treating your skin gently and with respect. Stretching. Going easy on my hair when I'm not doing anything fancy that day. Let your body relax a bit. Be kind to it. Drink more water. Take your vitamins. Forgive yourself if you gain 3 pounds, and don't get so wrapped up in it if you lose 3. Use sunscreen. You only get this one body for the rest of your life, so you should probably treat it with respect.

I don't know if it comes off as selfish to say that we should be more kind to ourselves, but I really think it's important. It's important to have a good sense of self-peace in order to have more patience and unrequited love to give others. I truly believe that if you don't have yourself more or less at peace, you don't have much to offer anyone else. Love yourself. Be nice to yourself. Forgive your mistakes and embrace your imperfections. If it's going to be you against the world, make sure You are ready for it.

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