It seriously blows my mind that self love is so hard to attain in this day and age. Like how did we get to the point where it feels more natural to tear ourselves down than to lift ourselves up? I don’t just mean women either because it happens to everyone in some form or another. I spent my entire life up until a few months ago absolutely hating my body. I look back and cringe at the way that I talked to that middle school girl in the mirror and how I starved that high schooler for days on end and how I cut that college girl open because I believed she was worthless. In our culture today, it is so dang hard not to fall into the trap of self-deprecation, but trust me it is not a cliche when they say the most important relationship you will ever have in life is with yourself.
I still have those voices in the back of my mind telling me all of the ways that my body is not enough when I look into the mirror. The voices telling me that my legs are way too big for a woman’s or that my waist needs to stay covered until it hits at least 25 inches. There will never be a time when I look into the mirror when I do not see some imperfections, but the difference is that I do not let those voices consume me anymore. They are not the voices that I listen to. It is an active choice that I make. Instead, I listen to the voice saying be thankful for those legs because they carry you through every single step of your day. Be proud of that waist and the strength that it holds in allowing you to do all of the activities that you love. Most importantly, I listen to the voice that says no matter what my body does not define me, my heart and my mind do. The way that I treat strangers as well as friends says way more about me than the size of my nose. My passion for learning and adventures displays my character way more than the curvature of my hips.
I am no expert at self-love. It is a journey that I take every day to get a little bit closer to accepting and loving every aspect of myself. I will always be fighting those insecurities and negative voices telling me that I am not enough, but it is my choice whether I decide to listen or not. Some days are still better than others but little every day changes have helped me gain more confidence than I have ever had before. Disclaimer: I am not the skinniest or fittest I have ever been. I think so many of us, my former self included, think that self-love will magically happen as soon as we get the body we want. We think that people with the bodies we admire practice self-love easily because they look amazing. That is simply not true because everyone has insecurities. You can start your journey to self-love no matter what stage of your life you are at because self-love always comes from within.
Always remember that compassion is beautiful, kindness is stunning, and your heart will always say more about you than your body ever will. So please, beautiful friends, stop punishing yourselves because you don’t look a certain way. Being kind to your body will do you way more wonders than punishing yourself ever will (trust me, I have been there). Even if in the beginning you don’t believe it, fake it until you make it because one day you’ll wake up and you will realize you don’t have to fake it as much as you used to because you are truly starting to believe it.
You are all so uniquely beautiful. There is no one in the world like you and that is one of the most amazing gifts we could ever be given. I challenge you to give yourself one compliment today because you deserve all of the encouragement in the world.
Love always and forever,
The Traveling Brunette