We’ve all heard the phrase “love yourself”, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Trust me, I know. Society has taught us that the ability to “love you” is in how we look and feel physically, but what about falling in love with ourselves simply based on who we are internally? We’ve literally been conditioned to feel that our value is quantified by how many likes and comments we get on social media rather than what we truly have to offer ourselves and those around us. As my mom would say, “It’s sad, but it’s true.”
I struggled with the concept of self-love for a very long time. The minute I thought I was reaching a moment of confidence—BOOM! A situation or conversation within a relationship or friendship would send me back into feeling as though I wasn’t good enough, that I was underappreciated, or (confusingly) both. When something didn’t go my way I always blamed my appearance. When compliments always came with a condition, what else was a girl to think? Sounds crazy, but it was my reality. When I was thin, I needed to be thick. Got thick, now I’m too big. Oh, but wait! This nose of mine is not flattering (I tried twice to get a nose job), and I’m constantly being told I’m pretty for a brown skin girl. You name it, I've thought it, felt it, and believed it.
It wasn’t until about a year ago, when I went through an uncanny period of having several conversations with different people (some I knew well and others I knew casually), who went into great detail about how amazing I was and why. Of course, they all mentioned how beautiful they thought I was—but the bulk of conversation was always about how dope I was as a person. I was rather confused but pleased, until I finally realized that I was having these conversations and given these opportunities because (duh) I was the shit! My lack of confidence was never really about what others thought of me, it was about what I thought of me. All this time everyone else believed what I refused to believe. No, I may not look like one of the top 100 most beautiful women, but gosh darn it—I’m beautiful too! My strength, tenacity, intelligence, heart and aura are why I’m beautiful and deserve everything great that this world has to offer. I took the advice of my friends and started my daily affirmations. Those affirmations continue today, along with a great deal of prayer.
Truth is, we control what we accept and how we feel about ourselves. You regulate what you see/read on social media, AND how others treat you. The minute you begin to believe you’re worthy, nothing else will matter and it’ll all make sense. I can say it because I speak from experience. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best you, physically. There’s also nothing wrong with choosing to still accept yourself in the process. If you don’t already, start to say or write a self-affirmation at least once per day. “I’M BEAUTIFUL WITH THIS BIG ASS NOSE AND THESE HIPS BECAUSE I WAS MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE AND MY SPIRIT SHINES BRIGHTER THAN THE SKY DURING AN ECLIPSE.” OK, now it’s your turn! No seriously, stop reading and tell yourself one reason why you’re amazing. I hope it made you smile—you deserve to smile.
You may already be at a point where you no longer doubt yourself, or maybe it’s never been an issue. If so, bless you, sis! But, for those of you who can use a gentle reminder-- you’re worthy! You’re bigger and better than your past, and you can and will win. You just have to dig deep and start believing in yourself. No one should love you more than you do. Hell, fake it until you make it (that’s what I did). The moment it clicks you’ll reach a whole other level, and it's quite bliss. I'm still working on it myself, but I'm proud as hell of my growth! We’re leveling up all 2018, dolls! Starting with “Love, me.”