This week, I’ve been revisiting all my old blog posts on the things that used to scare me to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Empath. Back then, I wrote about the things that scared me, rejection, being alone forever, having no money, and it’s been interesting to see which of those fears I’ve conquered, and which rear their head every so often. It’s been especially interesting as I’ve just had a major life change – getting married last month.
You can read the original blog post, “I am afraid of rejection,” here. Keep reading after the jump for the update.
And go #SlayYourFears today!
“I don’t crave the white wedding” – Sush in 2018
Well, that’s not completely fair. Up until I met my husband two years ago, I had accepted that a wedding wasn’t in the cards for me and that was fine. Then I got a man and a wedding was within my grasp and… well y’all read about that on Tuesday. Fingers crossed for a pandemic slow-down by October.
Still, the point of this blog is to introspect on my fear of rejection. And I’ll tell y’all… it’s kind of gone? Being back home in Pensacola has filled my cup with so many lovely humans who love and accept me for who I am that I can’t remember the last time I cared if someone didn’t like me. If they don’t get my vibe, then they can move on. No skin off my nose.
But actually, it’s more than just being surrounded by people who love me. This fear was completely slayed once I got into the habit of not rejecting myself.
Rejecting yourself can be sneaky. It can manifest in cringing when you see a photo of yourself, or self-selecting out of a group because you can’t imagine why they’d like you. It can be unhealthy habits (or even taking healthy habits to an unhealthy level). Or maybe it’s just this displeasure of being in your own skin. But life is so much harder when you add self-loathing to the mix, so why torture yourself?
People tend to laugh when I give them my remedy for self-rejection, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Step 1: Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself “I love you”
For real, go try it right now. I’ll wait.
Don’t you feel better? If not, go do it again. Do it until you mean it.
Much the same way that telling someone else you love them helps them feel safe and happy, telling yourself the same reminds you that you’re the only you that you got, and you’d better treat yourself as well as anyone else you care for.
Step 2: Go back to the mirror and find something about yourself you like
Maybe your quarantine hair looks cute. Maybe your skin is finally releasing itself from that nasty wedding-related breakout. Maybe you have a cute shirt on. Just find something about yourself that you can compliment.
I found that, during my quarter life crisis, pausing to find something I liked about myself made those warm, fuzzy, “I love you” feelings grow. Again, it’s no different than supporting a good friend or complimenting their style. And even if it’s just one thing, that one thing will make you smile every time you notice it.
Step 3: Speak Nicely To Yourself
This is the one that I fail at most often. In Tuesday’s blog post, I wrote about how my inner voice couldn’t come to terms with how I was feeling, and I got pretty nasty toward myself. Once I realized the only person being judgey was me, and I let myself off the hook, my mood improved dramatically.
As I said above, you’re the only you that you got, and being kind, especially during hard times, can be a tough thing to remember. We all expect so much of ourselves, and when we fall short, it’s hard to find forgiveness. But we are all human, and one bad spell does not a bad life make – unless we prolong it unnecessarily.
Accepting All You Are
When I moved to Florida, I was filled with so much happiness – and I still am. But I actually think it has very little to do with the circumstance and location, and more to do with the work that I put in to accept the whole of myself. If I’d moved home still hating the person that I was, and accepting less than I wanted, I might not be as well-adjusted. Even more, I might not have been able to recognize good things – like my husband – and self-selected right out of even more happiness.
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“I think we should just cut our losses and move on.”
If you ask Lauren Dailey, things are totally fine after the breakup. She doesn’t care that all her friends are getting engaged and moving on with their lives when all her dreams went up in smoke. She’s not crying herself to sleep every night. Everything is A-OK.
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Without a way home, Lauren embraces her new life. There’s a village full of interesting characters, including Cefin, a handsome young man who’s everything a fantasy hero should be. She’s getting the hang of doing laundry in the river. And when she uses her empath powers, she’s temporarily distracted from the sadness that followed her from California and crops up at the most inconvenient times.
Still, there’s one large, dragon-shaped problem: The Anghenfil lives in the mountains nearby, and some say he’s got a taste for empaths. And Lauren’s afraid it might just be that mysterious voice tempting her deeper into her own darkness.
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This is a stand-alone novel. Content warnings for suicide, substance abuse, and adult situations.
Praise for Empath
★★★★★ “A pint of ice cream for your soul.” – Erin Sky, author of The Wendy
★★★★ “A brilliant allegory” – Elizabeth F., Goodreads Reviewer
★★★★★ “As someone who faces anxiety on a daily basis, this book spoke to me.” – Katrina M., Goodreads Reviewer
★★★★★ “Empath is encouragement to accept your whole self and move forward into great adventure.” – Sierra D., Goodreads Reviewer
Empath Blog Posts and the Slay Your Fears Series