In 2014, I wrote an article that went viral. When I was brainstorming topics for minisodes I remembered this article and thought I Would just go through these 11 things and be done with it. However, when I read it, I shook my head, thinking how differently I would write this now, how I’ve changed, the challenges I’ve seen myself go through with some of these things, and if nothing else, the immense nuance that comes with each one.
In two weeks I’ll release part two, but for now, here’s the start. Please listen to the episode a I go into detail about each one, and include what I wrote in 2014 and how I would change that.
- Happy women don’t apologize for who they are. We may have spent years censoring ourselves because we didn’t want to step out of the box we put ourselves in. Worrying about judgment to the point of playing small. Instead, we have come to terms with ourselves and who we are at our core level. And really embraced, “If you don’t like me, there’s the door”. It’s the most freeing and liberating thing ever.
Digging deeper here, if you struggle with this, shame work might be helpful.
- Happy women have made peace with their bodies. Notice I didn’t say, love their bodies. Body love is such a complex issue that I think it’s still a one-day-at-a-time thing. Simply making peace with our bodies—especially living in a culture that has raised us to feel fundamentally insecure—is a huge step in a direction that can give us immense feelings of self-acceptance and self-love.
The body positivity movement and Health at Every Size movement have helped us make strides here, which can be helpful if you struggle with this. For many, this is a revolving door of work that we need to revisit many times in our lives.
- Happy women set and maintain healthy boundaries. We understand that “No” is a complete sentence. We understand that it’s okay if someone gets angry that we won’t go against what we want just to make them happy. We understand that sometimes those uncomfortable conversations are necessary in order and (sometimes with a racing heart and shaking knees) we have them.
We also learn how to have these conversations from a place of kindness, compassion, clarity, and emotional maturity.
- Happy women have made peace with their past. We aren’t afraid of therapy (in fact, we often love it). We understand which issues have come from our past but we no longer blame the people they have stemmed from or the circumstances. In other words, we understand that we are now grown-ups, and it’s up to us to take the responsibility of moving forward, try to let go, and create the life we want.
In addition, we know that many times, especially the challenges we might face with our family of origin, can be the hardest issues to make peace with. It can be an ongoing experience.
- Happy women love themselves unconditionally. Even when we screw up. Even when we get dumped. Even when we feel uncomfortable in our skin. We don’t put markers or mileposts on our self-worth and self-love. We love ourselves no matter what.
This one is also complex. First, I recommend that you define what loving yourself actually means and looks like in your life and then give yourself loads of grace.
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