If you missed the last 3 posts on this and you really want to start from the beginning, here's the link. Good luck ;)
If you want to catch up in less than 10 seconds, here you go...
I kind of had a semi-low self esteem in my adolescent years. Nothing terrible. I didn't sit in my room and cry all my life, but I did feel inadequate compared to my friends. I had a large(r) nose and a few people made fun of it in front of algebra class, I got a nose job after that, I cut my hair very short senior year and was called a "dike" for many months, I never had a boyfriend before my first husband, after I found out of my husbands infidelity I went through a total identity crisis, and then I did everything I possibly could to build myself back up (eyelash extensions, tan, laser hair removal, breast implants, hair extensions, new and tighter wardrobe, etc).
I guess I could say that I've been there, done that.
The other night I was talking to a dear friend and she asked,
"How have you done it, Jace? How have you gone from the seemingly perfectly put together girl I used to know, (always dressed to a tee and done up) to now being comfortable and happy in your own skin, regardless of what you're wearing, if you have makeup on or how your hair looks? You never used to be like this? My husband and I have noticed a HUGE positive change in you."
I tried to explain to this friend how I've done it... but I couldn't. I didn't really know. Since then I've been doing much thinking and here's what I've come up with.
When you hit that place you call rock bottom, you have no other choice but to change the way you view yourself and the world around you. I get it. I really do. I've felt insecure about many, many things most of my life. I've also felt confident about many things most of my life... but when those negative thoughts would integrate into my brain waves, the only thing I knew how to do was try to keep up with everyone around me. And so, I did. It was mentally and physically and financially draining at times.
I also know what it feels like to compare myself to friends (even as a grown woman) and feeling not as pretty or edgy or fit or clever or whatever. I know what it's like to have your inner self sizzle with comparison.
Although I'm not exactly sure when it happened, I do know that something has changed the way I view myself. In fact, there are times that I feel like an entirely different person than just last year! I used to think I needed to be dolled up all the time, but ever since I met Seth and have continued on my path to self healing, that feeling has gone away- mostly. There are still sometimes I get stuck in my old habits and ask Seth to tell me all the reasons he thinks I'm pretty (I know, I know... silly) and when I do, I just feel so blah afterwards.... Why? Because instead of focusing on what he (or other's) think of me and how I look or how I'm dressed or how pretty I am (or am not), I should be devoting my time and concern towards the type of person I am and who I am becoming.
Something unexplainable and magical happens when you can honestly let go of everything you think you "should be" and focus on everything you already are and all the things you hope to improve.
And I think that's where I'm at right now.
Have I got it all together?
But I DO think that I am so much more grounded and secure as an individual than I have ever been in my entire life.
I DO think that there is a liberating feeling when I can begin to love myself for the good parts AND the not-so-good parts... recognizing everything that makes me, me.
I DO think that there is a distinguished sort of inner peace that comes when I can truly start to appreciate the simple side of life- free from the "keep up with the Jone's" mentality and trying to impress just for the sake of impressing.
Right now I feel great!
I still have my moments of pitiful comparisons and jealousies (I may have had a downer moment even on Saturday about something SO ridiculous) but for the most part I really DO think I am a woman of great worth. I feel confident and intelligent and sexy and attractive and guess what?? Lately I've even been feeling it on the days when all I sport is greasy gym hair and spandex pants. Oh yeah! :)
**Considering your self worth, where are you now? Right this very minute?