There are days where it’s hard to look in the mirror; days where you just hate what you see.
I have those days at least.
Days where I stare at my reflection and my body and I hate everything. I hate my face and my arms and my stomach and my thighs. Nothing looks how I want it to. I am overcome with self-hate, I tug and pull at my body, wishing it looked different than it does. I imagine what I would look like if I lost weight. I try to hide my stretch marks and want to punch the mirror. My mind floods with horrible thoughts that no one should say to anyone – especially to themselves.
I tell myself I’m working on getting better, I tell myself things don’t happen over night, but I want them to.
It’s a struggle, self-love. It’s hard.
I cry in the shower as I scrub away at my skin. I wash my face with a bar of soap over and over, just hoping it will help the acne that just won’t seem to go away. I tell myself I’m not worthless, but the other voice in my head won’t back down. It overcomes any positive thought I try to think.
Then I pull it together. I get dressed. I make myself leave my house so I don’t destroy myself any further, I put on a fake smile and I go out to meet my friends. My friends don’t look at me any differently. They still talk the same to me, they still laugh and tell the same stupid jokes we’ve laughed at a dozen times. They don’t care what I look like, they accept me. They love me regardless if I gained a little weight or not.
I tell myself that it’s okay – that I’ll be okay.
And I realized, you don’t have to love yourself every day, but you have to try.
We channel all our negative energy into believing we aren’t good enough or that we don’t look the way we’re supposed to. Somewhere along our journey of life we threw everything we believed out the window and replaced those happy, confident, positive thoughts with self-doubt, lies and fear.
Self-love is hard. It’s something most people have struggled with at some point in their lives. Everyone is fighting some type of battle in their mind at some point or another, but that doesn’t mean we love them any less.
I felt sorry for myself, I hated myself, I was mean to myself in ways I’d never be mean to another human.
Just because no one can hear the conversations going on in my head doesn’t mean they aren’t any less real.
And the worst part about body shaming and self-hate is that our bodies do so much for us that we take for granted every day.
I pull and tug at the same body that allows me to bend and run and touch my toes. I talk negatively about the same body that took me through four years of college lacrosse, the same body that has taken me miles and miles in other countries. I cry over the same body that is healthy, a body that is capable of so much. It’s not right.
My body does so much for me and I can’t quiet the negative voices in my mind when a new stretch mark appears because I think it’s ugly that my body is growing.
Self-love is hard; it’s hard to always be in a good mindset when you look in the mirror, but I’m working on it.
I’m working on appreciating my body for being able to lift weights. I’m working on appreciating my body for letting me feel pleasure and pain. I’m working on appreciating my body for being mine.
You don’t have to love yourself every day; you’re allowed to have hard days and off days where you can’t stand looking in the mirror, but even on those days try to see how lucky you are to have a body that works.
Stop the guilt, the shame, the negative comments and the self-deprecating humor. Stop all of it and learn to appreciate yourself for who you are. You’ve messed up in the past and you will mess up again but that doesn’t mean you’re any less worthy of self-love. Let the love flow in, say affirmations to yourself and appreciate how special you are as an individual.
Work on becoming so happy with yourself that other people’s bullshit and ideas doesn’t even affect you anymore because you know who you are and you’re proud of that person.
Self-love won’t always be easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.