Sure, life may have been bumpy and you've made a few mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. That's how we learn. No, life didn't go exactly how you had planned. It honestly never goes as planned for anyone... Ever.
Guess what? The reason isn't you. The reason is God. God gave us this life to test us. God gave us choices and the freedom to choose our paths. God has a plan in store for us and often it is far better than what we could have planned for ourselves.
So here you are: one year older, and wiser... Guess what? You are doing just fine. God is pleased with you. You made it one more year. It is time to celebrate the day of your awesome birth. Trust me; there is no need to cry. Dry those tears and smile. It's your birthday. You are amazing. You are worthy of celebrating.
Here are 22 ways to learn to love yourself on your special day:
1. Begin your day with self-love
No music. No cell phones. No texting or social media. No television. No outside voices to detract from your day. Listen to the sound of your own breathing. Feel your own energy. Breathe out negative thoughts. Breathe in love. Remind yourself you are awesome.
2. Eat cake for breakfast
Try it. Life is too short. Waiting is silly and birthday days require birthday breakfasts.
3. Let it go
The five pounds you said you would lose... The resolutions you made... The promises of doing it better... Let it all go. You are more than a measurement on a bathroom scale. You are more than a job promotion. You are more than a degree. You are more than the world's opinion. You are a child of God. He is proud of the person you are becoming and he loves you.
4. Stop stressing about life
You are merely one little human. You can't see the whole picture. You can't control other people or their opinions of you. You don't know why anything in life happens... Yet, you still survive it. You survive. It's just what you do.
5. Have some alone time
Being alone is scary to some people. Being alone means facing who you are as a person without the distractions of others. However, being alone is the only way to reconnect to your inner-Zen. You are the only one who knows you at your inner-most level.
6. Be kind to yourself
"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love."-Brené Brown
7. Forgive yourself
Often, we are far too hard on ourselves. Taking accountability/responsibility is groovy but punishing yourself for a past blunder is dumb. Mistakes happen. Life gets messy. As humans, we screw up. Forgive yourself... You are worthy of forgiveness. This, I promise, and yes, God agrees. Seriously, forgive and learn from it.
8. Accept the weirdness of life
Life happens. Problems happen. It gets wild. The funny thing is this: it does for everyone. Yes, I do mean everyone. Nobody is "normal" because normal isn't actually a reality. Life is weird. It's just that simple.
9. Be focused on the positive of life
Optimistic thoughts create upbeat feelings in our hearts, which create constructive outcomes on our paths.
10. Discover the power of playing more
Be silly. Talk in a funny accent. Tickle your children. Laugh with your partner. Share the joy of making life fun for your family.
11. Enjoy the beauty of the world around you
Take a sunset picture. Notice the colors. Notice the clouds. Now... Notice how you feel. Peaceful, huh?
12. Honor the beauty within yourself
Go ahead. Indulge. Take a selfie.
13. Recognize that not everyone will like you
Surrender to this idea. Let it sink in. As humans, we want and need to be liked... a lot. Take a step back... Think it over... Do you really want to like everyone? It's perfectly acceptable to not like some people. It's also perfectly acceptable for you to quit trying to seek the approval of people who don't really matter... Because they don't. What matters is that you like you.
14. Dance more and sing more
"Music has a healing power..."-Sir Elton John
15. Explore your inner-artist
Coloring isn't only for kids. The global market is currently flooded with designer coloring books made just for adults featuring high fashion, designer animals, mandalas, and doodles are all newest craze. Studies show coloring lowers stress, increases brain power, enhances relaxation, and develops greater creativity to solving life's ugly adult problems.
16. Protect yourself
Who needs 1500 "frien~emies" on Facebook? Do you really need to be "friends" with all your work mates? Honestly, do you think they really support you when the chips are down? No. They don't.
The harsh truth is that our lives have become filled with people who take pleasure in watching other people's pain. The technical term is German: Schadenfreude. It means "shameful joy." Trust me... Having "friends" is different than BEING friends. Be your own friend, first. Only allow in those who really accept you and love you for your flaws, second. Keep the friends who respect you, third. Life is too fun to waste on poor friends.
17. Set boundaries
Learning to say "no" when someone asks us to do something is sometimes very challenging. People, by nature, want to please others. Nevertheless, medical and psychological studies show damage to our emotions, physical bodies, minds, and (most significantly) our spirituality when people become stretched too thin with obligations. Saying no to others is actually saying yes to a healthier you.
18. Embrace the mistakes you haven't made yet
Take the road less traveled. Think big. Try something new. Don't let the possibility of failure overweigh the possibility of success. Wrong decisions create perfect learning lessons.
19. Live with purpose, passion, and enthusiasm
Your path can be undecided and blurry... That's alright. Be meaningful anyway. Your journey may be filled with slip-ups and missteps... That's fine. Be animated anyway. Your dreams and hopes are uniquely yours... That's the best part. Your life is about YOU. Be colorful. Don't worry about the future. Life is now. Life is today.
20 . Expand your circle of happiness by giving love to your family
We always think we have time to say it, or we think we say it enough, or we get too busy to even remember that we haven't said it at all lately. When was the last time you really thanked your family for being your family? Trust me: say it more. Say it often. Say it daily. Say, "I love you."
21. Give gratitude to God for creating you
It's your birthday. God created you. Remember, "Give thanks in all circumstances" - 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It's as simple as that.
May this next year bring you love, happiness, new paths, grand adventures, fun, laughter, peace, a greater sense of yourself, a renewed energy for life, and your greatest aloha... Happy birthday!
We all experience life differently. As unique individuals, we were never created to be alike. God gave you your path. God gave others their paths. No two paths are identical. No two people experience the emotion of love, happiness, success, loss, grief, hope, or faith the same way. You are meant to be YOU. Honor yourself on this gloriously, grand day of your birth. Love yourself enough to be YOU.