Self Love

Different vibes…. Still me

To love yourself…. you have to accept yourself.

This is a lesson I thought I mastered many years ago but, lately I’ve realized that this is a life long journey.

As we grow, things in our lives change. Some of these changes are for the better…. Some not so much.

The idea is to accept yourself as you are and love that version of yourself.

Once the love is there, you can begin making adjustments.

I think a lot of the time, we are so busy trying to become the “best version” of ourselves that we forget to be kind to ourselves.

If you’re always chasing some “other” version of yourself and you never take the time to accept and love who you are in this moment….. How will you know if the version of yourself you are pursuing is even compatible with who you came here to be?

The pictures at the top of this post show how this lesson is being lived out in my life.

For years, I was chasing the “serious professional” image. In pursuit of that, I was neglecting those parts of me that love being outdoors, working with my hands, & interacting with farm animals.

I shoved that part of me to the side for over a decade. Why? I was worried about how people would perceive me. I didn’t want people to think I was country or without ambition.

The reality is, I was robbing myself of something I love…… Something that, thanks to my parents, is something I am good at and have the instincts for.

The lesson: Farmer Bash, Bash the Intellectual, and Smooth/Laid Back Bash are all VALID manifestations of different aspects of ME.

In heavily focusing on what I thought was expected of me & worrying about the opinions of others. I spent many years living in misery and searching for what was in plain sight.

I invite you to learn from my mistakes.

Start spending some time with YOU. Even if there are things about yourself that you don’t like, make the effort to accept yourself and love yourself as you are.

From there, you can begin working toward a better version of yourself. Not from a place of wanting to please others or keep up appearances…. But from a place of love.

You deserve it. 😎

Writing

Confession: I’ve been working on a book for about 10 years. I’ve scrapped manuscript after manuscript because I wasn’t quite articulating things in a way that I felt good about.

Sure, the words were hitting the pages but something was missing.

Today, as I was getting ready for work it hit me.

I was writing from a place of raw pain. I had not taken the time to heal.

To be honest, I didn’t know how to heal. I mean. How does one heal?

I had no idea so I’ve sort of wandered around in the wilderness of life for the past decade or so, facing the ugly process of healing.

And, to be clear, healing is an ugly process. It’s not all light and love and butterflies and rainbows.

Healing is messy.

So…. Now that I’m more healed now that I ever have been (Healing is an ongoing process). I am taking the time to see if a book is really what I want to put out into the world or if I want to tell my story through a different vehicle.

Time will tell. For now, I’ll stick to blogging and resume my creative writing journey while reflecting on the many things I’ve written over the years.

I don’t know what’s next but whatever it is will be something that honors my past and the lessons that have come from those experiences.

Thank you for stopping by.

Sending love and light.

-Bash

In My Feelings…

I’ve heard it said over the years that it’s okay not to be okay.

I have often wondered if that was true.

Like, is it really okay to not be okay? Is all the mess that comes with not being okay allowed? If we’re honest, in the larger society, it is NOT. We live in a world where there is so much pressure to have these picture perfect lives. Lives that, while they may be a little messy, should not be too messy for a good selfie, filter, and obligatory social media post.

This bleeds into our personal lives as well. Statements concerning legitimate concerns are often met with, well intentioned, toxic positivity. You know the type where our friends and neighbors tell us to smile through it or that “the Lord” won’t put more on us than we can bear. Honey…… Let’s just be real. Being not okay will often get you written off as negative, lacking faith, or weak. The kicker is, the negative messaging about these totally valid feelings/states of being are so ingrained in our minds that when it really gets rough, the criticizing comes from within.

What are we to do about this? How can we take a breath and actually acknowledge that we are not okay?

It’s tough but over the past month I have learned how to do just that. It came at a moment in which I was overwhelmed by what seemed to be stressors coming at me from every angle. Typically, I paste a smile on my face and keep it moving but this time……. this time I couldn’t. This time, I could not even find the will to get out of bed in the mornings, let alone do anything productive. I had pushed myself and pushed myself until I had nothing left.

Finding myself in this state sparked a lot of negative feelings toward me from myself. I felt worthless. I felt like a failure. I started to remember every negative thing that anyone had said to me in the past few years and play it over and over in my mind. The more I had these thoughts, the deeper into the darkness and self-condemnation I went until I had a moment of clarity as a result of speaking with my wife. The words she said to me were simple. “It’s okay.” I paused…. cried a little….. and thought about that statement. Now, I’d be lying if I said that I instantly felt better about being a mess in that moment because…. I didn’t. I did, however, change my internal narrative and gave myself permission to not be okay. I gave myself permission to feel every bit of what I was feeling and to process it.

It was hard ya’ll. There were days when all I did was sit on the couch and cry. There were days when I had to wrestle with myself and with God over some things. I had to get to the root of what was sending me into this seemingly endless cycle of not being okay. I had to face some ugly truths about my past, about some of the relationships in my life, and about aspects of my personality that I developed as a result of years of trauma. It was, and continues to be a humbling experience. It is one that is necessary if I am to become the kind of man I need to be.

You see, in giving myself permission to not be okay, I made space for ME. I made space for myself to show up exactly as I was in that moment with no apology and just be present with myself. Though healing has come from this, healing was not the original goal. The goal was just to take a moment to acknowledge that I was not okay and just sit with myself in that state without judging myself for being in that state. Make sense?

Now, I’ll get into the healing journey in future posts but, for now, I just want to encourage anyone who may feel that the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you’re tired of pretending to have it all together. Take a moment to make space for that. Take a moment to be gentle with yourself for a few moments and acknowledge where you are. Love on yourself in that moment and reassure yourself that struggle is a part of being human.

In case you didn’t know before reading this. It really is okay not to be okay. Learning to be gentle with yourself when the world is beating up on you with pressure from all sides can be the beginning of a renewed relationship with YOU.

Until next time.

I love you.

~ Bash