This week, I am going to run a series on how to start loving yourself, beginning tomorrow, but in planning the series, I suddenly realized how important it was to write a preliminary post to create the space for the others.
The truth of the matter is, you have to believe you are worth your own effort.
In thinking about my own trials and tribulations in the realm of self-love over the years, I think that one of the main reasons I was so unsuccessful for such a long time was that I didn’t believe that I was worth loving. I wanted to stop hating myself, and stop torturing my body with a myriad of dangerous and restrictive diet and exercise regimes. I also wanted to develop relationships with others where I felt safe and loved and whole.
But in my gut, I didn’t believe I deserved any of those things.
My narrative about my body and my life was that I was some how defective or impaired, and that no matter what I did, it couldn’t be fixed, only masked. Thus, I developed this idea that [LIGHTBULB] if I were to be thin and beautiful, if I were to be aesthetically pleasing, it would compensate for the broken shell of a girl I felt like inside.
I believed that if I looked perfect, my life would be perfect.
And then, as I’m sure is no surprise to you, I set out to “love my body” because it was the hot phrase at the time, and it was what all the perfect girls were into. I set out to “love my body,” because someone once upon a time had told me that you could only truly lose weight if it came from a place of self-love.
In setting out to “love my body,” I was coming at it from another angle of body-hate. It became another tool to hurt myself, because I believed that I deserved to be hurt.
I did not deserve to be hurt. I did not deserve the self-imposed terror tactics that I was experiencing.
In fact, I deserved so much more than that – and so do you.
No one can make you believe that you are worth your own time, energy, and effort. No one can tell you how spectacularly amazing and beautiful you are, or how fiercely intelligent and remarkable. No one can make you stop hating yourself.
But I assure you, you gorgeous, sparkly, phenomenal thing you, that you are worth pouring absolutely every last ounce of energy into. Learning how to love yourself is not the easiest task – but it truly does fix everything. It will not happen over night, and you will relapse. But that’s OK, and we will be here every step of the way.
Welcome to 2012.
Love you, endlessly.