Not that long ago, I stared at myself in the mirror, pointing out every single one of my flaws inside and out. I stood there completely exposed to myself, shouting in the mirror how much I hated myself.
For such a long time now I have been playing this game of masks. I was consistently switching what mask I was wearing depending on whom I was with at the time. I didn’t think anyone would accept me if I showed them my true heart and soul. It was exhausting, depressing and it finally wore me out. Every day I was trying to look a certain way, dress a certain way and act a certain way in order to try to hide my flaws from the world. I needed to learn to love myself again because my self-hate was ruining my relationships with the most important people in my life, and most importantly my relationship with myself.
Slowly I have been taking off my masks and learning to love the girl underneath them. I am learning to love and accept myself. I have learned to accept that not everyone will love and accept me.
“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” – Brene Brown
This is my self-love story.
Over the past few years I have lost trust in myself because of my own self-judgment and negative beliefs. I have been dissecting false beliefs like; “I’m not smart everyone to figure things out on my own,” or “I’ll probably make a mistake anyway,” or “what if I do it wrong?” Every single time I tried to put trust in myself to do something or make a decision; questions and doubt came pouring over me. Here’s what I’ve learned though, I am smart enough, I am good enough, I am enough, so much that I can trust myself to make the right decisions for my life. I won’t let others change my mind with their shame, guilt and disapproving tactics.
“Daring to set boundaries is having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brene Brown
I started to ask myself then how do I act upon trusting myself? To start, I thought about my boundaries. In order to trust myself I need to honour my own boundaries. Then, I need to show up and be reliable to myself. I can only trust myself if I do what I say I’m going to do, not just once but over and over again. Last, I need to hold myself accountable when I do mess up and make mistakes. I need to have integrity. Allow myself to fall apart and struggle without self-judgment.
“Intregrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” – Brene Brown
LET GO OF MY PAST AND FORGIVE MYSELF
I can’t change what has happened in the past but I can learn from my past mistakes, forgive myself and let go. I have been so hard on myself for my past mistakes and failures by consistently beating myself up over things I could have done differently. It’s time to accept that yes, I have made poor decisions in the past out of pain, fear, being lost or just simply messing up! That’s normal. I’m human!
PRIOITIZE MY HEALTH
Over the entire course of my life I felt that my health issues defined me and were what people knew me by. I gave up fighting and let my health take control. It was the constant worry or the decision to miss out on something because of the possibility of the “what if.” When it came to my health I feel like I’ve had one thing after another, always something to drag me down and prevent me from getting ahead in life. This is my time to fight back and not let me health issues control my life. Get back to eating right, managing my stress, exercising daily and stop worrying!
It has been a constant struggle for me to take off my masks and allow myself to be completely seen by others. Being vulnerable is being one hundred percent open with others and myself. It is revealing my heart to the world and being authentic. After posting my first blog I had several people say to me “I love your authenticity.” Right away I said to myself, “What is authenticity? I know I want that!”
“Authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice, a conscious choice of how we want to live. Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” –Brene Brown
I need to let go of who I thought I should be in order to be who I really am. I truly believe what makes me vulnerable makes me beautiful. Now as I’ve been working on loving myself, I’ve been thinking a lot about my past and present relationships, I am learning how important and necessary vulnerability is because without vulnerability there is no joy. When we completely open up and are vulnerable is when we find out true peace and happiness in life. We need to be vulnerable in order to make real connections with other people. It’s about loving whole heartedly even when there is no guarantee.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable but they are never weakness.” –Brene Brown
ACCEPT MY FLAWS
We all have flaws and we all have failed. Nobody is perfect. We are only human. I’m learning how to accept and even love my flaws that I cannot change. My body may be covered in scars, but they tell my stories. My scars make me beautiful and they show my measure of strength.
My internal flaws are a work in progress. I recognize I have them, learning about what they all are and am working hard on changing them.
“I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
OWN MY POTENTIAL
My self doubt has held me back from owning my potential. I am more then capable of anything I set my mind to as long as I put in the hard work and dedication. I believe my opportunities are limitless. Living up to my full potential is not trying to avoid making mistakes. It’s about giving it my all, wholeheartedly, with all I’ve got.
BE PATIENT WITH MYSELF
Hard work and dedication pays off but it takes time to get to the end results. So many times I have lost my patience with myself when I was working towards a goal. I felt like no matter how hard I tried I was getting no where or something would come along and set me back. Now, I need to constantly remind myself that I am doing the best that I can, be patient and I will get where I want to be.
BELIEVE IN MYSELF
Believe that I am strong enough to do this. I believe I can make all my dreams and goals a reality. I believe I am enough.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D Larson.
Learning to love myself is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have always been my worst critic and constantly put pressure on myself to be perfect in everyone else’s eyes.
“You owe yourself the love you so freely give to other people” Alexandra Elle