Salvete! (Latin for hello to a group, pretty much the only thing I remember after 7 years…)
I haven’t posted on a Tuesday in quite some time, even before me “official” blog break last semester. For some reason I deemed Tuesdays and Thursdays to be the day I never even signed into the blog world… Well anyway, clearly I am going against my former “rules” and wanted to pop in here for a hot second to share a message with you all. This message is absolutely nothing new, groundbreaking or eye-opening… it’s more of a reminder, one that is necessary for myself and if I were to guess, countless others out there as well.
So what is this all about? The other day I received an email from a reader asking for my advice/input on her current situation where she feels like the oddball out, the one that does not fit in with her family, culture and often compares herself to others, therefore thinking she is not enough. It’s safe to say that MANY of us have been there, including me of course. I wrote this response to her last night and I wanted to publish a post showing what I wrote to her… not because, again it was a compelling or groundbreaking message, but one that is essential to constantly remember.
If you need a bit of a boost today for whatever reason, understand the genuine words and statements I am proclaiming here. They are ones I often doubt, but also consider when I fantasize a life that is free of a constant, overwhelming burden of never being “enough.”
Responding to the reader:
I have talked about this on my blog many times over, but when I was in middle school I was also the “odd man out…” much bigger than all of my friends, like you not fat, but larger, more muscular, taller, etc. It seemed that all of my friends were the exact opposite though- teeny tiny, petite, thin, shorter height/average, and so on. This did not bother until one day, well it did. The oh-so-glorious time of middle school (sarcasm) was when it occurred and I slowly but surely became aware of how different I looked from them- how much prettier I thought they were, how boys seemed to like them more, and I just felt like the big, fat, blahhh. This is what initially triggered my restrictive habits because I hated feeling this way.
It’s interesting that you are bringing this up right now, because honestly just TODAY I was asked from someone what is the “one thing you would tell your younger self?” My immediate response was to go back to that time of my life when I felt larger/gross compared to others and just say to myself, “you are enough, stop comparing, realize that you are actually a great person with qualities that are worth while, that your looks, your body, your size… they really and truly do not matter.”
Now I know what you are likely thinking right now, eye roll first of all and second, stop with these cliche, love yourself quotes. At a different time I would feel the same, basically that what I was saying was absolute BS and actually YEAH that stuff does all matter! But goodness, if I could go back in time, I would tell myself that exact statement above.
Basically it does come down to remembering that you are enough and that to “compare is to despair.” I have spent the majority of my life trying to change how I look in order to feel accepted by others, to feel loved by other, to feel better than people around me, because in my mind my physicality is the only thing that I have to offer. If you think about it though, your physical self, your looks, body shape, skin tone, etc, are ever-changing, they do not stick around and if you are defining yourself by something that will not last, then what will you be left with in 10, 20, 50 years from now?
Bring out the LOVE YOURSELF sh*t again… but yeah, your mind, your thoughts, your personality, and actions, are in fact ever-lasting and the features that should count.
These are life lessons that have slowly become part of what I truly believe in, because the longer I try and look and act a certain way, really to put on some kind of show or appearance for other people, the longer I will suffer… the longer you will suffer as well, and never ever be satisfied or happy with yourself.
Embracing who you are is absolutely essential for a peace of mind, for a life that is free of hating yourself and being controlled by all of this forever. Again yes, cliche statements right there, but ones I believe in and try to embrace myself. I am not quite there yet… well farther away than I would like, but I am working on it and even writing things like this out to you is helping ME understand the truth in it even more.
-Do you or have you ever defined yourself solely but your physicality? If you have healed from such thoughts, what other aspects of yourself do you now consider more important and lasting?
-Do you believe or truly embrace the idea of “self-love” and that it can bring a piece of mind?
-What is one thing you would tell your younger self at an age that was more difficult for you than others?
-Do you find that “cliches” out there about loving yourself or positive daily mantras, are something that is helpful or just repetitive, possibly annoying?
I just wanted to get this out today, especially during a time where I continue to criticize my body when I am feeling vulnerable, “dumb,” anxious and busy as a result of school and other various requirements of LIFE. I will possibly back for WIAW tomorrow, depends how much time I have today… otherwise enjoy the rest of your Tuesday