• Ellen Pope

Self Love: And Not The Hands Down Your Pants Type

I think I came out of the womb being grumpy at myself. (In fact, I came out with the umbilical cord around my throat, and I believe this is why I have a deep-rooted hatred of ties, chokers and anyone touching my neck, but I suppose that is for a chit-chat with a therapist one day). 

One thing I can say I never practised well up until this year was the Insta Buzzword of the moment #SelfLove

Up until 2017, if I openly announced to the world I was practising self-love, it probably involved my hands down my pants. But #SelfLove is now seen as a movement of individuals who have realised being hard on yourself gets you fucking nowhere in life. And PREACH, they are right. 

I am a fledgeling Self Lover to be fair. I still have my P Plates on. 

I am very aware that being around me is a little intense. I do tend towards being erratic, strong-minded and I take no prisoners. I also run at a pace that I can barely keep up with, let alone the people in my life. I am critical down to the smallest detail in my life, and I have an idea of what I believe perfection is and I don’t ever want to fail. I am self-critical and can be obsessive. I’m selling myself here, yea?!

All of the above means at times I can be a little, well, tense. The idea of relaxing, or taking time out for reflection (or even a shower) was a complete no go this time last year. If we go back 12 months and now post Self Love, I realised that I 12 months ago was in the middle of one the saddest time of my life.

Surviving on the brink of exhaustion, in therapy, alone with who I was, I had just had my confidence crushed by a circumstance that allowed me to wallow in self-hate, pain, I loathed who I had become but could only find solitude in the feeling of being abandoned and pushed aside. I’d become addicted to being made to feel like dirt because I didn’t have the energy to figure out what it was like to feel happy and well.

Until one phone call and I realised I need to focus on just being me. And I had to put myself on a path of understanding who I am, my faults, but also the things that are utterly brilliant about me. 

Someone asked me over a Katsu Curry the other night what else I wanted to achieve, what will make me happy. My answer “For the first time, I am happy with things just as they are because I have decided to live for the now”. One of my best answers I feel. 

So here, useful or not, peruse at your leisure are the things I did to put myself back in my happy place. And this time it is about me, not work bullies, fuck boys or shitty tinder twats. All about ME!

I did a bit of research

Yup, I read a book. I realised the way I take in information is to ask a lot of questions. I am a prepper. I would never in my life go into something cold, so why on earth am I trying to figure myself out without any direction. I realised the best way to do it, was to try and get a handle on my personality traits. Now, we are all different. 

I read Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, and You Do You. I also read Susan Cain’s Quiet and Quiet Power. I am also in the middle of reading Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person. The more I learnt how about how I react to situations, the less anxious I have got. Because I can understand. 

I stopped punishing myself for doing ok

I can always do better. Let’s agree on that before we start. No budging me on that one. What I learnt though is to celebrate your success. I still struggle when I talk to people about what I have achieved.

Ok, I haven’t founded Google or hired 1000 people, but from the quiet, introverted girl who was petrified of the world, to where I am today, it is a decent shift. I realised I could support myself, and I deserved to make memories - and I could afford to do them.

I have spent more weekends away, eaten in great places, taken friends out, sorted out my roots, booked in regular massages and made my house, my home. I haven’t felt guilty. I haven’t worried about it all ending tomorrow. I have just breathed in all of life. 

I decided my body, was just that. Mine Just mine. All of it. Every squidgy bit, stripe and vein. I decided to stop hiding away as much. I held my head higher and my shoulders back. And being as it is mine, I had the choice of who gets to see it. 

I realised what I gave a shit about. And I am PREACHING!

I give a shit about

Women’s role in business

Introverts ruling this world

Body Positivity for both men and women. Too much samey samey. I want bellies, bums, hairy backs and all sizes out there. Wiggling it the fuck about.

Transparency of the battles we all go through. Anxiety. Mental health. 

I decided to write about it. Share it. Support it. Love it. It has given me purpose and drive, and though this will be in a separate post, I want to take this time to thank every single person who has emailed, DM’d commented on what I have to say, and for sharing your stories.

I love you lots. It has also allowed me to become the woman I want to be. And banish my ghosts.


Go out and have a drink with people. Meet strangers, text that person you haven’t spoken to in ages. Take your partner out. Take your mate on a date. Mingle with people that will push you.  

I am not on about corporate business networking. Balls to that. I am on about chatting shit. CHAT MORE SHIT. Find people who new or old who let you talk shit at them. 

If you ever meet me, you will realise from about 45 seconds in, that I talk a lot. And I hated myself for this. I ask so many questions, and I hold nothing back, that I became paranoid for a long time of opening my mouth in front of people, for fear of being uncool.

I was also silenced for a bit. But I found my voice again, and I am not afraid to use it. I am so interested in people and their stories. I want to hear them all.

So yeah, my self-love project is going well - and I didn’t need a pack of batteries. 


Miss Pope is part of the Ellen Pope Communications Brand

Ellen Pope is a freelance copywriter, marketing consultant and food magazine editor

You can contact Ellen on ellen@ell

This brand also features Chatting Food Magazine

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