A Woman Who Loves

I am coming to terms with being a woman who loves herself. It’s not a woman I’ve ever known, or even believed I could be. It’s just suddenly, I think I am her. 

I think everything started to shift 5 or so years ago when I was nannying and realizing how much of a filter I put on everything I posted online. Wondering why I wanted to change me when the kids I spent my time with were perfect. I look at all of my nieces and nephews and see a pure beauty. I glance at my students and believe they are the most delightful and worthy of love creatures to exist. I would not change them. 

The journey continued over the years in little increments of growth.

To a place where I started to smile at myself in the mirror. To a place where I see when I’m weary in the mirror and check in with my body to ask what it needs. To a place where I can see hatred in the eyes of the women around me looking at the communal mirrors in the bathroom. To a place where I honestly wish we could all see ourselves how our loved ones do.

I remember a friend interrupting me while I self-hated to point out that I had scripture framed on my walls that contradicted my hatred. Could I believe those words for my own self?

I just have this feeling that if we hate ourself, we probably also hate others. We might not mean to, but I wonder if we do. We hate what they carry that we lack, and we hate what they don’t carry that we can’t seem to drop. Hatred is a horrible thing. What if we dropped hatred instead?

Can we really claim to love those around us if we can’t even look at ourselves?

I’ve been in counselling for several months and at my last session my therapist got me to speak aloud some of my growth. I was surprised to hear myself speak without hesitating, to agree with some of the healing instead of just wishing it to come.

I gave myself a challenge for November. 20 mins of activity everyday. For my #nolazynovember moment today I walked for about an hour and a half. Not always fast. Not always slow. Mindful of a body that’s trying its best. Mindful of the leaps and bounds I wish I could move forward to the places I want to be. Mindful of the love of God which is never ending.

My thinking is still occurring. Why do we hate our bodies? Why do we hate our faces, our bellies, our thighs? I don’t understand this. How dare we be so cruel to ourselves? Would I ever be so cruel to another as I’ve been to the woman I am?

Why do we stamp disapproval onto our own selves?

Here’s where I am now. I’ve stopped hating my reflection (and I make myself look long and hard). I’ve stopped being angry at the numbers written by the scale (and I step onto it weekly for accountability). I’ve stopped buying oversized clothing and started believing that this whole thing that is me is fearfully and wonderfully made.

And you? I do believe it for you. Maybe the first step to love is a slow and simple prayer entitled “help me please, oh One who made me”.

I am coming to terms with being a woman who loves herself. It’s not a woman I’ve ever known, or even believed I could be. It’s just suddenly, I think I am her.