The other day a friend took a photo of me, and when I looked at it I thought, “oh, I look really nice” and I felt happy. The road to that thought, “I look really nice” have been so long.
This is big stuff, and I want to tell you about it.
I have come to a point in my life where I am happy with myself, with who I am and how I look. I’m not trying to brag, and I’m not saying I’m perfect (what is “perfect” anyway?), but I’m content. This feeling have been getting stronger and stronger over the last couple of years, and I’m only just now starting to realize that this is how I actually feel about myself.
I’ve had my share of self-hate, I’ve been on diets, I’ve binged on food and alcohol, I’ve stood in front of countless mirrors and told my self every thing that is wrong with me, inside and out; “I’m fat/ugly/stupid/boring/fat”.
And the reason I’m happy now, I would like to point out, is not because I’ve lost weight and finally got skinny. (I thought for so long that that was the magic bullet). I’ve been skinner than I am now and I still hated myself. I thought for a while that maybe this new found love and acceptance of myself was connected to growing older, but I’ve seen so many people older than myself still struggling with body image so that can’t be it either. Body issues are not something you simply “grow out of”.
But I have outgrown it. I used to be able to tell you everything that was wrong with me (my belly was too big, my arms fat, my skin bad, my boobs too small, my hips too big, and the list could go on forever), and my friends would tell me everything that was wrong with them, and we would try to figure out what diet to try next, discuss what exercise style burned more calories. And we are not alone. I hear it all the time, see it in comments on facebook and instagram and blogs, so many girls and women in all ages and from all over the world share this self-hate, this relentless feeling of “I’m not good enough”.
At first, this made me a bit suspicious about my own feelings, I though maybe this self-love-thing is just a phase? Maybe I’m just having a few good days, you know, and I’ll probably fall back in to that self-loathing pit eventually. But I haven’t. Instead, I just feel more love, and more compassion towards myself.
Not all days are good days, of course not, but when I hear girls complaining about their looks, I can’t join in and offer my own shortcomings anymore, I literally can’t. Not because my body looks different from what it did when I hated it, but because I see and think about it differently now. My mind is different. We are friends, my body and me. We take care of each other. We love each other.
And this is what I want to get to: IT’S POSSIBLE TO LOVE YOURSELF!
Girls, seriously, you can be content and happy! Not because you loose weight, not because you change your clothing style, not because you quit your job and move to the other side of the world, not because you find a boyfriend, you don’t have to change anything on the outside, this is an inside job, and it can be done!
I’ve realized how rare it is to find girls and women who are happy and at ease in their own bodies, who are content, and I’ve also come to the conclusion that I am one of those women now. I am Sofi, and I am happy to be Sofi.
Not in an “I’m better than you” way, but in an “I’m me and that’s enough” way.
And you know what. This is a little scary, because now I feel like I have to do something; I NEED to do something, because everyone deserves to feel this way!
No one deserves to wake up in the morning and be ashamed and unhappy and hate herself. There is so much other stuff to focus on. And we do, we focus on other stuff but there’s always that little nagging voice in the back of our heads “how many calories is in this sandwich/I have to go to they gym after work because I ate …./I can’t believe I put this top on I look gross/I just need to lose those last 3 kg and then I will be happy”. That voice is lying, but it is trying to convince us it’s telling the truth. ITS NOT! But the self hate is so real, and its so overpowering and time-consuming and frustrating as hell, because no one wants to hate themselves, we just can’t help it, it’s just the way the world is set up, the world we are brought up in doesn’t promote self-love. WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT! We are strong and beautiful and amazing and we deserve to believe it, every single one of us!
I wish I could tell you “just do this and you will be happy”, but I can’t. I don’t have any magic bullets. It will be different for everyone, and it’s going to take time. But I think it’s about slowly changing how you talk to yourself, teeny tiny steps in the direction of self-love. Little words of kindness, repeated day after day after day after day, until one day, when instead of forcing them the kind words come on their own accord, when you see yourself in the mirror and you feel okay with what you see. It’s a long process, because we’ve been programed from so early to think in a certain way that it is going to take time to reprogram ourselves, but it’s worth it. It is so worth it!
We need to stop comparing ourselves with each other and just try to focus on first accepting ourselves, and then, eventually, that acceptance can grow in to liking ourselves and then, ultimately, loving ourselves.
I believe we are all worthy of our own love. I believe we deserve to be happy!