Learning How to Believe You Are Worth It

January 07, 2011

Now, this post was originally entitled Believing You are Worth It, but y’all asked me to get really basic and really specific with you about how to “get there.” Presuming “there” is: a perfectly imperfect, always evolving, state of unconditional self-love and building a compassionate, kind relationship with your body – You’ve come to the right place.

body pictures-3

photo by titlap

The truth? It is very unlikely that you will wake up in the morning one day and looking in the mirror only to realize ZOMG! I am TOTALLY worth it. In fact, I am so amazing and beautiful and H-O-T that I am going to just throw down all the baggage I’ve accumulated from my years of self loathing and love myself completely hence forth. Right? Yeah, I’ve never seen it happen, but since it sounds totally awesome, I’m going to suspend my disbelief and imagine a world  where miracles do happen.

Don’t want to wait around for a miracle?

Fair enough, me neither. There is an important moment in the journey to self-love, you know, a sort of “epiphany” moment, but my understanding of it is a lot less mystical than the one above.

Everyone has a moment where they can choose to dig their heels in, grit their teeth, look themselves in the eye, and be brave enough to say: I am worth TRYING. I am worth trying to hate myself less. I am worth doing the work, paying attention, and being kind to myself while I struggle to figure it out. I am worth deciding that I am worthy – even if that seems artificial at first. I am worth all of the wonder and bliss and beauty that I can possibly imagine for myself.

I am worthy of my own time.

This moment? This moment gives me goosebumps even thinking about it, and you know what? It can happen at anytime. It can happen whenever you decide that you have punished yourself enough. It can happen when you look at your pain and decided that is not the way that you want to live your life.

It could happen right now.

My moment was pretty ugly. It was 4 AM, and I was sobbing as I made my way across campus in the snow, struggling to dial my roommate’s phone number and tell her that, yes, I was OK, and yes, I was coming home. It was the last time – the last time I allowed myself to say nothing, because I was too afraid to say no. Because I didn’t believe I was worth saying no. Because I was so fat, I should consider myself lucky that anyone found me attractive to begin with. Because I hated my body so much, I treated it like a dumping ground for other people’s garbage. Because I was 19, fat, anxious, and heart broken.

This is the last time. I heard the voice in my head, but I barely had the courage to believe it. This is the last timeyou have two options, learn how to treat yourself with the respect and love that you deserve, or get yourself into a situation so dangerous you can’t talk your way out of.

In that moment – I chose my life. I chose wanting to love my body. I chose wanting to think that I was pretty, worthy, and I chose to believe that someday, someone would love me the way that I deserved to be loved.

But mostly, in that moment, I chose to TRY.

It doesn’t happen all at once. It is a slow, hard process, filled with land mines of emotional triggers, but it is filled with so much beauty too. I remember the moment that I found myself looking in the mirror and thinking hey, I’m kind of pretty.

KIND OF PRETTY. Those words knocked my socks off.

Now, one reader has been kind enough to share their moment with us – a moment where she decided what she deserved, and which list she wanted to live by. Please give her some love – this is AMAZING work.

I deserve to eat whatever I want, but only in secret.

I deserve to starve myself to make up for eating in secret.

I deserve to base my self-worth on my weight or eating habits.

I deserve searing self-criticism.

I deserve to give in to my fears.

I deserve to dismiss the good that others see in me.  Since they can’t see inside, they can’t know how much is really wrong with me.  What’s on the surface is a lie.

OMG, really???  Yet that’s how I think and act.  And now for something a little more hopeful…

I deserve to feel good, physically and emotionally.

I deserve to feel beautiful.

I deserve to be amazing, even if it takes me outside my comfort zone. (Yes, I have been reading MM!)

I deserve to ask for and accept help.

I deserve to speak and be heard.

I deserve the support of the family members, friends, and even complete strangers who are nice to me on a regular basis. Maybe they are onto something!  Maybe the good they see really does count.  Maybe the terrible things I think about myself aren’t always real.

I deserve to choose which of these lists to believe and act upon.

Now – I want to hear from you. Have you had a moment like this? Are you waiting for this moment to happen upon you? What do you think?