In a world full of so much noise, terror, corruption and bulls**t, today I despair. This blog post today focuses on you and looking inside, to build a stronger you for everything you believe in, for what you want to achieve in your life and for everyone you care about.
What’s more important than you?
The answer is nothing.
Now that sounds self centred and arrogant, but it isn’t. If you’re not your best, how can you achieve your best? How can you be the best friend? Although there are many people looking out for you in life, the only person that really can, 100% of the time, is you! Now is the time to make sure you’re looking out for yourself.
My week in bed has been helpful in this realisation. Like most people, my brain can be my enemy, telling me I’m rubbish at this, crap at that, fat, ugly, moody…blah blah blah. Immediately after my diagnosis a couple of weeks ago, this critic in my brain went into over drive and was making me feel down, weak and like a failure. This week, I decided I’d had enough.
I’ve spent the last week focusing on making myself as strong and healthy as possible – I can only do this fully if I respect myself. If I had maintained the negative view of my heart as weak and pathetic, then I would have continued to see my whole body as that. With this view I wasn’t resting and eating well as I’d been told to do (don’t tell the docs!).
This respect went beyond just my heart but into all of the negative thoughts and critique I get from myself. I had to turn things around:
‘You’re not achieving anything’ – umm yes I am, I growing a frickin’ healthy baby thanks. Isn’t this one of the best achievements of my life you nutter?!
‘You’re getting fat just lying here’ – YOU AREN’T FAT YOU ARE PREGNANT! (there’s nothing like pregnancy to make you realise how thin you were before btw – perspective is amazing).
‘You’re losing all your fitness and muscle’ – Lucy, it’s been 2 weeks. I think you can get it back. Enjoy not having to drag yourself to the gym 3 times a week.
‘You’re going to be a rubbish mum if you’re recovering in hospital for weeks’ – The situation is what it is, and you don’t even know how this is going to go yet. You will be a great mum, no matter how this journey starts out.
‘You’re letting your brides down. You’re a rubbish wedding planner’ – This has been the biggest learning of all. I was honest with all of the brides about my situation and was scared of how they would react to me ‘pausing’ their wedding planning for 2 months. Every single one responded with support and respect for my honesty and it made me realise how ahead we are with everything, how happy they are with my work and my relationship with them. It’s given me perspective I didn’t have before and so much more confidence.
As well as almost quite literally talking to myself, I’ve taken some other steps to help move towards loving myself and moving into the strongest position I can be going into hospital.
– I’ve written a little list of positive messages that I read to myself every morning. It’s doing me the world of good and changing my mindset before the critic in my head even has the chance to wake up.
– I write my journal as often as I can. This helps me to really understand how I’m feeling in that moment. It’s helping my to get over old fears – like being a patient in The Brompton hospital where my brother got really sick.
– I’ve made a plan (obvs) – for whether things go well, or not so well and talked it through with Ben so we feel prepared somewhat. I’ve then attempted to surrender; to let go knowing that I can’t control what’s coming.
– As much as my body has allowed me, I’ve done things that make me feel good: a simple hair cut and getting my nails done, a date night with Ben, seeing my best friends. It’s been amazing and supported my positive messages.
Most importantly to me I am grateful and appreciate the small things, as often as I can. I have so many things to be grateful for, including having a big baby inside my tummy. Something I’ve always wanted (maybe not the ‘big’ bit) and have been really excited about.
This relates to a specific time in my life, but it’s something we should all being doing, all of the time. The most important thing in your life is you. I’m still far off from ‘loving myself’ but I’m getting there and I know it will help me to be a the best mum, wife, friend, wedding planner and all round Lucy that I can be. And just to be clear, I don’t need to be better, that’s a critique in itself!
Give it a go. Fall in love with yourself!