Change The Way You See Yourself
Mirror Mirror on the wall, Who is the fattest of them all.
There are moments in my life that I can’t stand the sight of myself. In the spirit of honesty, those moments are more often than I like to admit. I look in the mirror and I am so ashamed of what I see. Sadly I know I’m not alone. Luckily I’ve put together a few steps to help you begin to change the way you see yourself. Things I’ve put together through years of struggling to love the woman in my mirror.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it doesn’t matter what size or shape your body is. We all have problems with ourselves. I used to walk around in public eyeing all the thin women with nice curves. The ideal body that I wish I could have. It never once crossed my mind that each one of these women I looked at with envy had the same issue I did. We all go home, undress, and stare at ourselves in the mirror, eyes are drawn straight to the perceived flaws. The pain and the shame that always seems to accompany the acknowledgment of the flab, dimples, stretch marks, and paunches.
Too Much Isolation is Dangerous!
Lately, it’s been worse. I’ve been off work more than usual due to the pandemic that is racing its way across the world. The isolation and quiet is dangerous. So much time we now have, time that we usually fill up avoiding our issues. I know, I’m a master at avoidance. The quiet becomes my enemy. It’s during times like this that the darkness inside my head wakes up, stretches, and makes its presence known. It mocks me, reminding me that my flaws are still present and once again I have failed to change myself.
Today I looked in the mirror as I sat on the end of my bed. I saw the way my belly covered my lap, the size of my legs, and how the fat padded my shoulders and face. There wasn’t an ounce of kindness in my gaze as it slid over my form. Instead, my gaze was filled with despair and disgust. So much so that I had to choke back the tinge of fear I felt when I realized how utterly hopeless I was feeling in that moment. It threatened to suffocate me.
If any of this sounds familiar, please take heart in knowing you are not alone. Not a single person on this planet goes through the day without insecurity. It’s part of what makes us human. When that insecurity takes on a life of its own though, reaching out and taking control of our every thought, action, and emotion, we end up finding ourselves in the darkest of places.
It’s Never To Late To Choose Love
Here’s the deal, every time I go down this road, a fork shows up. A second path that will lead me to a healthier mindset. One where I learn to love myself and I leave the shell of the woman I hate behind me. Most times, and I’m not really proud to admit this, I walk by this turn in the road. Why? Honestly, while I want to feel the glory and joy that I imagine loving myself would bring, wallowing in the darkness is what I’ve known. It’s so much easier to sink into this hopelessness and let it cradle me in its twisted arms, than it is to break free of my own mind to find the peace self-love brings.
It’s exhausting to live like this. I want to be able to look at the woman I am and say “you are my best friend”. Maybe right now it sounds a bit corny, I’ll be honest it feels a bit corny, but I’ll take corny over hopeless any day.
The 3 Steps to Change The Way You See Yourself
As I look back on the emotional damage I’ve done to myself over the decades, I realized quite quickly I needed to be an active participant in creating change in my life. So I researched, I’ve talked with my therapist and even asked myself what I felt I truly needed to create that change. These are the first set of steps I chose to work on to change how I see myself!
Step One – Acknowledgment
The first step to doing this is acknowledging that I’m abusive to myself. I will try to catch myself every time I say something damaging in my mind. To remind myself that I would never say these words to another human being. It is NOT okay to talk to myself like I do not matter.
Step Two – Actively be Kind
Second step is to become actively kind to myself. Reversing negative scripts into my head for positive outlooks. For example instead of telling myself “my body hurts because I am a fat and disgusting lazy woman” I will remind myself “my body hurts because I’m working to change it and push it into a healthier state of being. Don’t give up!” The second statement brings empowerment and hope to the thought. You will not find change if you can not find hope and empowerment within yourself.
Step Three- Be Grateful
The third step is to work on finding a way to be thankful for all the work my body does for me. Learning how to be grateful for all that my body does for me, rather than hate it’s very presence. Reminding myself that my body is the home to my soul, and if I hate the body how can I love the soul? Living in gratitude creates a positive state of mind allowing you to fight off the dark thoughts threatening to creep in.
There you have it. Simply put, in order to change how you see yourself, you need to acknowledge your actions, be kind to yourself, and learn to be thankful for what your body is doing for you now even as you work towards change!
Stop Fighting, Start Loving
You can not heal from a place devoid of hope and full of hate. If I continue to hate my body, I will always fight it. If I’m always fighting it, then I can never reach my goal of both physical and mental peace. You have to stop wrestling with self-hate if you want to change the way you see yourself. We all deserve to have love in our lives, from ourselves most of all.
When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier ~ Diane Von Furstenberg
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