Everywhere we look these days we see and hear people saying negative things, sometimes it’s about someone else, sometimes it’s about themselves, but regardless,
IT HAS GOT TO STOP!!
I will be the first to admit that I have been part of this group. Not so much the speaking badly about other people, in fact, I struggle more with thinking everyone is so much better than me.
I talk so much crap ABOUT MYSELF!! I don’t even realize I’m doing it sometimes – wait, what?! Yep, it’s gotten to/been at the point for SO LONG that bashing myself has become second nature to me. The saddest part about that, is that I am far from being the only one who suffers from this mindset. I’m willing to bet that the majority of women(or men) reading this right now fall into the same category.
I have struggled with self-hate and became aware of my “flaws” at the ripe age of 5. Yep, F I V E!! The memory will forever be ingrained in my mind the moment that I began hating my body. It was a summer day and I was getting ready to ride my bike outside, I had these turquoise biking shorts that I had just gotten(probably for my birthday) and I was modeling them for my step-mom as per her request. My older brother was sitting on a bean bag chair and he said “Dang Manda you have a big butt” and my step-mom started laughing and joined in on the teasing (she did that often). I quickly had a change of heart about my new biking shorts that I had just been so excited about and I covered my tushie as I ran to my room crying. I spent the next hour or so looking, examining, critiquing my five-year old body in the mirror when I should have been outside playing and riding my bike with my friends like I had planned. From that moment on, I questioned EVERYTHING about myself; even my decision-making, because I thought those shorts looked great on me, but apparently I was wrong, what else was I wrong about? Now, just to be clear, I don’t hold this against my brother, he was just being a 7 year old boy and teasing his little sister like most big brothers-he apologized and I know he didn’t mean harm to me. That being said, it still damaged me and I endured much more bullying from people throughout the years.
I’ll skip the details, but at the age of 12 I started cutting my wrists and deeply hated myself. At the age of 15, I began purging after almost every meal, but never wanted to categorize myself as “bulimic” because then that’s admitting I had a problem.
I know I must’ve broken my mother’s heart over this issue countless times, she spent SO MUCH TIME telling me that I was perfect the way I was and that I am beautiful and all that stuff a mom is supposed to say. I didn’t believe her, I wouldn’t believe anyone unless it was a guy telling me I was beautiful. Any guy, it didn’t even have to be someone I was interested in.
As time passed, I decided I was tired of this issue consuming my life & began seeking counsel and healing at the age of 19. I received a TON of support from my close friends and mentors and I was starting to become whole again. Fast forward a couple of years I was beginning to really LOVE myself and that’s when I met my now husband. I was 21 when I met and started dating him, and I have to say, he was the cherry on top of my healing process. He made me feel so good about myself and although I had mostly good days I would bash myself every so often and oh boy did he HATE that. I had done so well learning to love myself, but slowly I was starting to creep back to my old habits. Fast forward again to postpartum and I was back to hating my body and feeling so insecure about myself. I was almost completely back to where I started minus all the physical harm. That’s when I realized that this might very well be a lifelong struggle. That is not what I ever wanted, but it’s true. I am still, at the age of (almost)26, learning again to love myself and my body.
I cannot expect to teach my sweet daughter to love herself, if I don’t first love myself.
We are called to love one another, and you are included in that statement. When doubts and insecurities start to surface, knock them out in their tracks. The second I start to believe I’m not good enough, I’m too this or that, or I need to be more like this person, I remember who I am and who created me and that I AM enough and I AM beautiful. I won’t allow anyone convince me otherwise, and I have my daughter as my new inspiration. It brings me to tears thinking she will ever think a negative thought about herself, I need to be the one to teach her that she is beautiful,smart, funny, brave, all the things the world is going to convince she isn’t. We MUST stop bashing others,including ourselves. We MUST stand firm for our sons and daughters. Even if you may not believe it now, start telling yourself you’re enough. Start telling yourself you’re beautiful or handsome. Start being the person you want your children to grow up to be. Eventually, you’ll mean those positive statements about yourself.
Stay Strong. 🖤