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Posts tagged authenticity
L O V E yaself
Images shot by Abbey Armstrong Photography  Edited by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images shot by Abbey Armstrong Photography

Edited by Brooke Richardson Photography

The only cure I have ever known for fear and doubt and loneliness is an immense love of self.
— Alison Malee

I think I’m awesome.

Please don’t be put off by that. I want Y O U to feel the same about yourself.

And you can!

Do I think I’m awesome 100% of the time? Don’t get it twisted: I have my moments of discouragement/frustration/etc, but overall - I always LOVE myself, which is especially important during those moments of discouragement and frustration. I think I’m a rad chick.

You owe yourself the love you so freely give to other people.
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I had to work hard to get to that point. That unconditional self love.

BUT YOU CAN TOO!

You too can create an abiding self love, independent of your moods/feelings/triggers/experiences/environments.

It requires practice and awareness. It requires facing your shadows. Feeling - not repressing - your emotions. Reserving judgment and extending grace. Being honest and not feeding yourself stories just to make yourself feel better (this only feeds the ego and creates a faux, insecure self love). It also requires a touch of tough love, and calling yourself out when necessary, to live into your potential/cease the false narrative/incorporate the discipline.

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Comparison is an act of violence against the self.

It’s not easy at first, but once you get a taste of true self love - YOU SEE IT’S WORTH IT. You realize how powerful, necessary, liberating, and impactful it is.

Self love is imperative. Not like, “Gee, it’d be ideal if you loved yourself, but it’s whatevs.”

Nah. IT’S NOT WHATEVS.

It’s absolutely c r u c i a l not only to your ultimate wellbeing and happiness, but also to the wellbeing and happiness of your inner circle, of your outer circle, and of the whole entire world.

I know, I know, you’re likely thinking, “Okay, dramatic much?”

But it’s true. If you want to change the world, start with yourself. The ripple effect starts with you. Happy people radiate and perpetuate bliss and good vibes. It’s all about energy, man. It’s the currency of the universe. Your energy introduces you before you even speak. Once you get right with yourself and start riding those high vibes, you’ll be amazed how it affects the space/people around you (I discuss this in my latest episode with Izzy Ramirez). That’s not just Hippie Whitney talking. That’s science. Physics. Your thoughts/actions carry energy, and people/life around you responds according to the frequency you emit.

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Be the type of energy that no matter where you go, you always add value to the spaces and lives around you.

Don’t believe me? Think about a time you were feeling great/okay, and encountered someone in a less-than-stellar mood. Even if you manage to stay on that high vibe, you’re still affected to an extent by the negativity. And don’t even get me started with consistently toxic people.

Self love makes you happy. Happiness gives you energy, drive, stamina, compassion. (Plus, as Elle Woods rightfully noted, it fights crime and preserves marriages because “happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”)

Shoutout to all the people out there trying to love themselves in a world that’s constantly telling them not to.

And ESPECIALLY if you have kids in your life, modeling self love yourself is key in developing their own. Particularly regarding body image. Society already demands they contort themselves to meet impossible and elusive ideals. Set your kids up for success and mitigate societal damage by expressing self love, especially during those impressionable younger years.

Daring to love yourself is an act of rebellion in this world. LET’S REBEL TOGETHER.

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How sad is it that society has taught us to view people’s expression of self love as arrogance. Self absorption. Narcissism. When we see someone celebrate their win, or acknowledge their skill, or comment, “Hey, I look smokin’!” we tend to dismiss them is “sooo into themselves.”

SAD.

That should be our baseline. We should allow ourselves and others the space to embrace our awesomeness. Our beauty and smarts. Our talent and skill. Sure, we don’t want to get obnoxious about it and go on and on about how ahhhmaaaze we are.

There’s a distinction between self love and insecurity. When you’re solid in yourself and truly love yourself, you’re secure - and have the mental and emotional bandwidth to love and care about others. When you’re insecure, you tend to overcompensate. You feel compelled to seek validation externally. When you love yourself, you internally validate yourself.

So DECIDE RIGHT NOW to win yourself over. Commit to falling in love with yourself and watch your life absolutely TRANSFORM.

xx,

-w-

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H O N E S T . L O V E
Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Befriend the man who is brutally honest, for honesty is the highest form of respect.
— Daniel Saint

One of the things I value most in my friends is their willingness to tell me like it is. They're never abrasive and intentionally brutal - but they love me enough to call me out when needed, and to sidestep the sugarcoating. That right there is true friendship. True honest love. 

Think about a time when you were hesitant to be completely honest with a friend for fear of hurting their feelings, making them feel worse, etc. As friends, we often feel compelled to show support. Solidarity. Multiple exclamations of "I gotchu, girl! You tell 'em!" High five them for letting their boss have it, praise them for sticking it to their spouse, applaud them for blowing off an obligation to go out with friends instead. Rationalize their decision for ditching their goal to do xyz. That's what friends are for, right?! W R O N G O.

Now it's time to be honest with yourself. Ready? Okay, here we go. Ask yourself: Why am I reluctant to be honest with my friend? Is it because I feel unsupportive if I don't confirm and validate their action/opinion? Is it possibly because...I am trying avoid the discomfort of telling them like it is? 

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The vulnerability that honesty requires isn’t something that everybody can handle. Lying allows people to be comfortable.

Chances are...it's the latter. Of course, a small part of it is us truly not wanting to rub salt in the wound/make our friends feel bad/worse. But if we're being honest with ourselves - we just personally don't want to experience the uneasiness of acknowledging the truth. Right?! It's easier for everyone to just pretend like, "YES - lighting into that biotch for daring to look at your man was totally the right thing to do." "You go girl for quitting your third job this year - they clearly don't appreciate what a gem you are." "That guy is DEFINITELY into you. He's obvi scared by how much he likes you, so he's not texting." "Yes, you should absolutely buy those $200 jeans even though money's been tight - they look phenomenal on you!"

Being honest doesn’t get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.
— John Lennon

But if you're truly a good friend - you'll prioritize your friend's overall well-being over your present comfort. You'll sacrifice your comfort for their welfare. Ask yourself: What will serve them best long-term? Leveling with them and gently acknowledging their hurtful behavior (hurtful to you, to them, to others)? Kindly helping them face facts and address their issues? Guess what?! Doing so will help them significantly more in the long run, by helping them grow and evolve and escape their limiting thoughts/actions.

Once you've spoken your truth, offer support and love. Provide encouragement. It's not enough to just identify the issue - actually help them through it! If roles were reversed, wouldn't you rather have someone give it to you straight, instead of simply placating you? It might sting initially, but trust me - confronting the issue head on now stings a helluva lot less than if you were to avoid it and have it grow and sucker punch you later. 

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Be honest, brutally honest. That’s what’s going to maintain relationships.
— Lauryn Hill

Furthermore, when you're honest with someone, your praise and compliments will carry considerably more weight. They'll recognize your authenticity and know you mean what you say. 

Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it. No ulterior motives. No hidden meanings. An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality. As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.
— Charles Swindoll

The truth is... I love you all.

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xx,

-w-