01 August 2014

Introspective

This post has been knocking around in my brain for about a month now and it's time to solidify the thoughts in published words. i have continued to hesitate posting, for one, because this topic leaves me very vulnerable. It is something that i struggle with and always have. i would like to think that i will overcome my insecurities (after all, i know all the right answers) but internalizing truth and eliminating my faulty core beliefs proves to be a difficult task. i know that i am far from the only person to struggle with this, but i can only speak from my personal experience.

i don't like my body. When i look at it, all i see are my faults. i think "if i can just lose x amount of pounds" or "if i was one cup size bigger" or "if i could tan just a little more" or "if my hair was a little more red or a little longer" THEN i would be happy.

i know that's not true. i KNOW. But believing it? That's the hard part.

Here is the thing...i have always struggled with body image (don't most people?) and some of the trauma that i have experienced solidified in my soul the belief that if i don't look a certain way, i won't be loved. Every time my spouse acted out, i believed somewhere inside that it was because i wasn't good enough or sexy enough or beautiful enough. i craved for the compliments from those around me...and especially from my significant other.

Now i know it didn't have to do with me. But it wasn't until recently that i realized i still believe that it did. That it was somehow and on some level my fault. Also, that the compliments of others won't help me with my self worth. Unless i feel good about myself, i will minimize any compliments i receive. And if i do feel good about myself (real, true, deep worth) it is not going to come from compliments.

A friend that i have been hanging out with since about March asked me the other day "How many dress sizes have you dropped since i met you?" i was shocked! That SAME DAY i had looked in the mirror and thought "When did i get so chunky? i have never been bigger."

Sometimes i am able to detach my worth from my physical appearance. But when that happens, i usually automatically attach it to something else: my ability to run, finishing a big work project, or having a beautifully clean home.

As a divorced person, i also go through periods of thinking that i am lesser because i do not have a happy marriage and beautiful littles. Or i swing the other way and see these amazing divorced women who are going back to school for higher degrees, living all over the world as volunteers, starting their own business or charities and touching thousands of peoples lives. i feel lesser because i do not have those goals....that my desire is just to be me...just a little bit better. And somewhere along the way i have lost the feeling that it's ok to just be me.

In my definition, true self worth would be to look in the mirror and be able to accept myself...just as i am. Whether i'm 5 pounds heavier or two dress sizes smaller. Whether i ran a marathon or whether i took a week break from getting any miles. Whether i am wearing makeup or not. Whether i am almost 30 or whether someone tells me that they don't believe i am any older than 23. Whether i have 3 children or whether i am single. Whether i am traveling all over the world, or whether i stay right here in Idaho. Inside and out, i want to be able to accept who i am and know that i am beautiful. That is my worth.

So here is the question....WHERE DOES SELF WORTH COME FROM?

And that is what i am working on. My sponsor and my therapist have given me some assignments: Every night i am on my knees pleading with my Higher Power for the ability to see myself as He sees me. Every time i look into a mirror i say "You are beautiful." Every night i stand in front of a full length mirror and look at myself and thank my body for what it does for me and tell myself that i deserve someone who loves me for everything that is in the mirror and everything that is inside me. (That someone is not ONLY a significant other...but also MYSELF).

i am also changing one of my 30 before 30 goals. Number 18 said: "Get down to 125 pounds." It will now read "Accept myself no matter what my weight is." That is healthy. It will also help me to reach #30 "Learn how to take a compliment" because once i can accept myself, there will be no need for me to minimize or put too much stock into what others say to me.

In order to succeed, i not only am disposing of my bathroom scale, i have pulled myself off Instagram. i recognize that social media for me is poison. i do not deny that it can be used for good and sometimes i miss staying in touch with others, but i find that it is too hard for me not to compare myself to others. The comparison is toxic and therefore, at least for now, Instagram will be like Facebook to me--nonexistent.

This is not me digging for compliments. This is not me saying that i can't (or don't want to improve). This is just some emotional honesty and a whole lot of vulnerability.

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