• Carrie

Learning to Love Yourself

First, I want to say that sometimes it is very hard for me to feel comfortable inside my own skin. I know that sounds strange, but anyone with body dysmorphia can relate. Whenever I look in the mirror my mind automatically focuses on everything that could possibly be wrong about my entire body. Sometimes, I feel like I look pretty, but only pretty in a temporary or situational kind of way; like if I don't wear this, or do my hair like that, my beauty is void. I know other people feel this too because whenever I start talking about it around friends I hear a similar story, but people who have been abused have an even harder time. Whenever you're beaten down so much, for so long, you start to learn how to abuse yourself. Your self-esteem nose dives and you feel like you deserve the hurt you are receiving since literally everything you do still promotes more violence or hostility against you. So I've started doing something that may help other people who feel disgusted with their appearance, people whose reflection can ruin their day, or people who simply don't feel worthy.

I notice that I try to find my reflection in any reflective surface imaginable, it's like I am subconsciously obsessed with how I look and it dictates how I feel about myself. Firstly, a reflection of yourself in the mirror should never be the reflection you have about yourself as a whole person. Just because your figure is not what you would like it to be, or maybe you didn't have time to do your makeup and hair, does not make you any less of a beautiful human being. I've started paying attention to the things I tell myself when I see my reflection. I have noticed that the first thought is always, and I mean pretty much always, negative and judgmental. I've noticed that I would never talk to someone else the way I talk to myself. So when I look in a reflective surface and see myself looking back, I have started to make a very conscious effort to tell myself I am a beautiful woman with so much more than a body to dictate my worth.

By doing this I have started to feel a little more worthy. Worthy of self-love, worthy of self-acceptance and worthy of peacefulness. Another thing I have been doing is noticing other people. It may sound weird but I promise it has helped me. Whenever I look at people I try to think about all the different aspects of the crowd. If you take the time to notice the many, many differences among us you will start to realize that your own uniqueness is important. Some people are tall, short, skinny, fat, smiling, frowning...and don't get me started about clothes, jewelry choices, or hair colors/styles. Understanding that everyone is different and nobody has a right to judge anyone based on appearance alone has made me feel more comfortable being me.

We can be our hardest critics, I know that I can. The couple of things I mentioned may not seem like a lot, but you wouldn't believe the difference small changes can make. I have just now been able to practice these two things on a daily basis because I'm becoming more aware of how I talk to myself. It has been an ever going battle to get to the point of feeling comfortable with myself, who I am, and how I look; I struggle every day. But I am a unique person who deserves kindness, especially from myself! I have days and times when I feel so ugly, but with the right inner dialogue I think I can heal myself. We can't truly see ourselves like those around us see us. Our friends, our family, they don't see us the way we may view ourselves. Just remember to try and be kind to yourself because you decided the self-talk.

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