I started to love myself.
And not just in the superficial sense of self-love, like exercising regularly and watching less TV. It was time to really, fully and wholly love myself–top to bottom, inside and out. To love myself to the point of waking up every morning with a heart overflowing with gratitude for all I was blessed with in life. To love myself unconditionally–quirks and flaws. To love myself the way I hoped for someone else to one day love me. Fiercely, and unafraid to show it. I remember I started my weight loss in July of 2017. I was so hard on myself and one day I just looked in the mirror and told myself that I was going to give me all the love that I could allow to give myself. From that day on I looked at myself every day in the mirror and mentally/emotionally said I was enough. Whether that was with no makeup or a full face, whether I had lost any weight that week, whether I cheated on a meal, I still loved myself. It didn’t matter what the scale said because my weight doesn’t define me and I knew in my heart that those numbers would continue to go down. At the end of the day I loved myself anyway.
Let’s take it back before I looked in the mirror. I don’t quite remember how it escalated to this, but I distinctly remember crying in my pillow in March of 2017. I remember because there were eggs in the dining room table and those are only there when Easter is here. We had just got back from our vacation in Florida. I remember talking to a friend and telling her that I didn’t think I wanted to be in a relationship anymore and that I was only staying because of the emotions. There was a lot of fighting on that trip with that person and I realized that I hated myself. It wasn’t because I hated him or he made me hate myself. It was my own doing. And then a rather unexpected question was posed to me, a question that left me speechless for all the wrong reasons. Again, my memory of this night is a bit fuzzy after all this time, but the question was something along the lines of: “Are you happy with who you are?” I couldn’t find the words to respond. Not because I didn’t know the answer, but rather because I knew it instantly. After a few suffocating moments of silence, I told her “no” as more tears, now double the size, rolled down my face. I didn’t like who I was or who I had been. I most certainly didn’t love myself. And it was in that moment I came to the crushing realization that it was all my fault. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I wanted to love myself–desperately, even. But what I eventually came to understand was this: When you’re making poor choices, choices that defy what you know in your heart to be right, you never will know self-love.
I reached a truly low point in terms of my self-esteem, and it was all because of a series of choices I’d made–choices that I was not proud of, and did not reflect the kind of person I wanted to be. And in that moment, those poor choices came rushing back to me all at once, swallowing me up in a tidal wave of shame and regret. I lied a lot in that relationship. To myself, to my friends, to him, to my family, and even on social media. I was only hurting myself more and more by doing so. I stopped going to school to be in a relationship with someone. I put my life on hold!!! Summer came and I still was stuck in this self hate/destruction mode that when I got broken up with, I lost it. I cried a lot. My family and friends thought I was crying over a boy and although that did play a part in why I was sad, I cried hardest for the person I never allowed myself to become.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but a series of subconscious choices had just been made. To start living up to my own potential. To start making myself proud. To start living my truth. So that is when I started to take care of myself, got back to school, started to workout, eat right and become financially stable. I blossomed. Going back to looking at myself in the mirror, I had to remind myself that I was changing and I needed to love the person I was becoming. I am still on the path to loving myself and to knowing and living my truth. I can say in all honesty that I love myself now more than ever, and I know I will come to love myself more deeply in the future. What’s most important, however, no matter where I am in the process of self-love is to remember…
I am enough.
-until next time