self love

Tag: self love

Practicing Self-Love

file1551245784283Practicing Self-Love

By Contributing Author Stephanie

As I was beginning to write this blog, I started with looking for articles about self-love. There are so many articles out there telling us how to love ourselves and how to practice as much patience with ourselves as we do with others. Although these are all beautiful and inspiring articles I found that the majority was missing one thing.  What do we do when we feel completely unable to love the person we are today, right at this moment?

This is something I have struggled with my whole life, but when I was diagnosed with herpes it became even more difficult.  As women we are constantly surrounded by messages and images telling us what beautiful is, what the ideal woman acts like, and what our health says about our character as women.  It can be extremely difficult to push those messages aside in order to learn to really love yourself, but I would like to share with you all how I have been able to start to do just that in order to accept myself exactly the way that I am. Over the last year I have made it a priority to really get to know myself.  By that I mean I wanted to know what makes me feel happy, sad, excited, anxious, and what things were really most important to me in my life.  Through my efforts this year I have been able to understand what triggers my emotions, what I really value in my life, and many other things I would have never guessed were a part of who I am a year ago.  

Interestingly enough, understanding myself in these ways has helped me to fall in love with the person that I am. When reflecting on this experience, I like to compare it to falling in love with another person.  As we get to know someone, either intimately or as a friend, we start to accept that person for everything he or she is as well as everything he or she is not.  As we accept a person for all he or she has to offer we can start to really love that person unconditionally.  I believe this is what has happened in my relationship with myself over the last year.  By allowing myself to get to know me I have been able to accept myself for everything that I am, and that has given me the ability to love myself unconditionally, herpes and all. I challenge you all to get to know yourselves on the same intimate level you might imagine you would get to know your life partner on.

If you are struggling with accepting yourself as a woman diagnosed with herpes, understanding deeper traits about yourself will allow you to put less emphasis on such a small aspect of your health and life.  Remember that others will only judge you as much as you judge yourself.   I hope what I have discovered will help you all as you begin the same journey that I started a year ago.  Be your biggest fan, and the journey towards unconditional self-love will be easy.    

Genital Herpes And Self Esteem

Genital Herpes and Self Esteem

Dr. Kelly and Self Esteem

Now you might be thinking to yourself….why in the world is this woman with herpes so happy? Well, I am. Why? Because I am still the same happy go lucky woman that I have always been and I do not allow herpes to affect my level of self esteem. If you want to change how you think about yourself and feel about yourself, you must first honor your physical body. This is one of the pillars of self love.

In my book, Live, Love and Thrive With Herpes: A Holistic Guide For Women, I speak about the importance of the Triad Of Health. At the foundation of health is your physical body and the two arms of the triangle are your mental and emotional/spiritual. If you don’t take care of your physical body, your mental and emotional/spiritual wellbeing will begin to weaken over time. Herpes is such a stigmatizing infection, that it is no wonder that many women who are diagnosed with it suffer from depression.

What’s one of the best things you can do for depression? Move Your Body! That’s right…move your body! If you are not moving your body, then you are building up toxins, losing muscle mass, depressing your immunity, and decreasing your potential for happiness and joy. The body is meant to move and for some, a herpes diagnosis can be the perfect catalyst to begin to take charge of your physical health. Moving your physical body will help you to love and appreciate this temple called your body. Instead of disassociating with your body, you need to embrace it. Many women with herpes stop moving their bodies and they begin to disown it. This is the “house” you were given, so it is time to take care of it.

One of the other benefits of moving your body is that you will receive the natural high of endorphins. This always helps to improve your mood. Have you ever worked out and then thought….I just shouldn’t have done that? Absolutely not! Make a commitment to yourself to move your body every day. It doesn’t need to be much, but you must move to grow and heal. Learn to love your body again and it will start to love you back.  

Need additional support? Check out my Amazon Best-Seller, Live, Love & Thrive With Herpes

Healing Herpes: Opening Up To Your Dreams

 

Healing Herpes: Opening Up To Your Dreams

TransformationI just spent the past several hours facilitating a Ladies Brunch and workshop on Healing Herpes in my home. What a magical event!

My Story

I opened up the afternoon by sharing my story of how fifteen years ago, I contracted herpes on a post college trekking trip high in the Himalayan mountains. I shared how my world came tumbling around me as I faced my greatest fears….that no one would ever love me again and that I would never be able to bear children naturally. Thankfully I was wrong, but I’ll never forget how that tiny, windowless room in a dilapidated backpackers hotel became my cave of isolation for three whole days. An endless stream of tears and waves of despair, anger, shame and frustration overwhelmed me. Would I…could I… have a life after a herpes diagnosis? At that time, the only ray of hope was from the crack of light piercing through the hotel room door. Everything else seemed dark…a mystery waiting to unfold. (Want to read more about my story from shame to love? Click here)

Their Stories

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the women who shared their stories today at our Pink Tent™ event. It takes a great deal of courage to share your story publicly in a room full of women you have never met. These women stood in their power and shared some of their deepest and darkest secrets and fears. Not only were they brave enough to attend our event, but they took it a step further and dove deep into the emotional facets that bind us from healing herpes.  Feelings of shame, guilt, anger and unworthiness were at the core of every story.

Listening to these women tell their stories brought me right back to that windowless room in Katmandu. I recalled how the crack of light from the hallway pierced through my darkest of nights. How at that time, I could have never conceived the life I am living now. My dreams did come true, but back then, the brightness of the sun and the world of possibilities for me would have been too bright for me to embrace. I truly would have been blinded by the light and the plan that God or The Divine had in store for me.

After working with women from around the world,  I now realize that some women have lost access to their dreams. They have given up hope and even worse, they self sabotage their future with toxic substances and thoughts of betrayal, guilt, shame,and negative self talk. When I ask them to share with me what they want in life, they respond by saying that they have no idea. They can easily rattle off the things in life that they DON’T WANT, but they are hard pressed to even come up with one thing that they desire. They forgot what it was like to be in their joy and to feel fulfilled in their lives. Herpes was like a thief in the night, robbing these women of their dreams.

Wherever you might be on your journey of healing herpes, your first step is to share your story and know that you are not alone. Life has a way of beating us down and over time we become numb to what else is possible. Sharing your story is cathartic and our Pink Tent™ community is the perfect forum for you to get educated, empowered and inspired. Even if you think you have lost your ability to dream, you haven’t! Herpes can be devastating, but you can pick yourself up and move in the direction of your dreams.

If the word “dream” seems too out there for you or too much, just think of one small thing you can do today for yourself to bring you comfort and joy. What did you used to do when you were a little girl? Did you dance to music when no one was watching? Did you pick flowers or gaze up at the stars in wonderment? Get back in touch with your inner child. Take time to date yourself and fall in love with YOU before you even consider dating again. Go to an art show, take up dancing, or cooking. The KEY to healing herpes is to love yourself; wholly and completely. The best way to do that is to take one baby step in the right direction. Just like that crack of light piercing the night in my hotel room, think of one ray of hope for yourself and do one thing that brings you joy. Chose love and don’t let it slip away. Live. Love. Thrive.

Dr. Kelly Amazon bestselling author of Live, Love and Thrive with Herpes: A Holistic Guide For Women