Have you ever looked at any part of your body and wish you could change it? If so, you can relate to the feeling of identifying every flaw on your perfectly made body and feeling ashamed when others to see your flaws. I want to share how my self-image was tarnished by what I was told about myself and how I developed a negative self-image growing up. I will also share how to get to a place of self-love and loving who you are, so keep reading.
The Destruction of Self-Love
The destruction of self-love came when I was made aware that brown was inferior to caramel or yellow in skin tones. Curly hair was superior to whatever hair I had and having small feminine hands and feet were more admired than what I had been given. As if I was not already too skinny at seventy pounds at age twelve my father would often make comments like “a minute of the lips, a lifetime on the hips” EVERY-SINGLE-TIME he saw me eat something outside of breakfast lunch or dinner. Sadly if anyone could see me as a preteen or teen they would seriously try to force feed me. I was skinny. The things said to me by the people whom I looked to for safety and emotional support were careless words. Their criticism or comments about my body became my constant internal voice. So being skinny wasn’t enough, being accepted by the men I dated wasn’t enough, being called beautiful by others wasn’t enough. Nothing was enough to fill the lack of self-love old wounds had created. For some people, the destruction of self-love will not even be about their physical attributes, but rather from the emotional scars left from abuse, poverty or a myriad of situations, not addressed in this post.
Journey to Self-Love
It was a long journey to self-love. I am in my forties and I am a scale watcher… but I am a work in progress. And HALLELUJAH for all I’ve overcome. I didn’t even realize I had arrived, I looked at myself one day and had found solace in my perceived flaws. I see my hands and feet, both larger than the average female, but I just stare at them, and I appreciate them. My hands and feet are a beautiful brown like the brown of Cadbury brand milk chocolate; believe me, I have placed a square of this chocolate on my hands and face to identify my color. Cadbury milk chocolate is my favorite brown, it’s my brown. I see my hands as a testimony and beautiful display of how I have used them to work hard to get where I am. My face is proportioned and symmetrical, it’s smooth and brown and I love every detail of it. I imagine the story my eyes tell, and the unique styles I can create with my woolly textured hair. I am unique. I stare at my brown feet and am thankful that every layer of skin displays the millions of miles journeyed in my life. I love all the attributes Almighty God has unmistakably given me and imagine the story of ME is like no other. I add to the tapestry of the world I am woven into, because I am one of a kind I look at these things that were once flaws and find comfort in their unique beauty.I add to the tapestry of the world I am woven into Click To Tweet
Some Steps to Reach Self-Love
Now being at this point, I am filled with questions and curiosity about things that happened on the journey and how it has affected how I see myself. I would say I have changed and evolved because I started to view my body and all its imperfections as an untold story.I am the author of my body’s narrative not the world. Click To Tweet
So how can you replicate this? Here are some steps to self-love.
- Become mesmerized by yourself: Sit in front of a mirror and truly look at yourself. Let your eyes soak in every perfectly unique feature. Every scar is a story in your book, be it a word, sentence, a paragraph or the entire book.
- Forget the Lies: Forget the lies that your father, mother, boyfriend, friend,ex-friend or media said about your body or a body like yours.
- For every negative thing you identify based on what you’ve been told, UN-tell yourself or tell yourself the truth, tell yourself that you are unique, one of a kind a precious find.
- Write your body’s untold story: Find the strength and the beauty in each “flaw”. What amazing victory has your body achieved to earn each unique feature? What beautiful history running through your veins created your uniqueness? Write that story on your heart, in your journal or on your mirror.
You may not be at this place yet to take this step or it may take you years to find solace in your flaws. Keep rewriting your story daily, UN-tell the lies you’ve taken as truth. Define your own substance, one day you will wake up and realize you are finally there.
If you are struggling with self-harm or severe mental illness, please don’t take this journey alone. Addressing your perceived flaws can be painful.
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