I remember when people would say “I don’t like her she pure loves herself” as if it was a bad thing. You see when I was growing up no one ever told you that if you don’t love yourself you really can’t love anyone else. How ironic does that sound? I never loved me, I was a self-lover and nothing I have ever done was good enough for me. I had such high expectations of myself. I guess it stems from my childhood, getting told you’re stupid and an idiot does not do the ego any good.
It has taken many emotional breakdowns to get to a point where I now totally understand that it does not matter how much another loves you if you can’t look in the mirror and love the person who is looking back at you. This has nothing to do with how you look, but how you view yourself as a person. This has also been a long journey to understand. I thought if you did not look a certain way then no one could love you. Now that’s not true and lucky enough for most of us, we all see beauty in different ways.
Now what’s in a person’s heart means so much more to me than how they look. I guess you only really learn this through life experiences. We all judge on people’s looks when we first see them, but it’s their actions and behaviours that remain in our mind and help us decide if we want to keep them in our lives. When someone is kind and caring with a positive outlook, they become easy to like and be around. I now believe I am a kind and considerate person. I have learned to judge me on my actions and not my looks. I now look in the mirror and see the woman who has always tried to treat others how she would like to be treated. And I like that part of me.
I went to group therapy for bulimics when I was 23. I had an eating disorder for as long as I can remember. I am not 100% sure of how it started I just know I have always used food to control my emotions. I remember thinking I might be ugly but I’ll have a good figure. I never once thought it does not matter how I look as I have a good heart. I never thought of what I was doing to my health. I just believed if I was slim I’d be more appealing to the eye. It would not have mattered how good looking I was or wasn’t as I did not see any beauty in me, so there was none for anyone else to see.
What group therapy did for me was to teach me I was not the only person to think the way I did, and there are lots of people who just don’t like themselves. There were all walks of life in the class, from doctors to jockey’s and me. I was a mixed up confused girl with so many personal issues. The first thing I remember was getting asked to focus on a part of my body I liked. There was nothing about me I liked, I was in such a dark place. Through the group discussion everyone decided on a part to learn to love about themselves. Mine was my eyes. I was to look as my eyes and tell myself I loved my eyes, it was hard at first staring in to a mirror looking into my own eyes and saying “I love my eyes, you have beautiful eyes”. It got easier and before I knew it I loved my eyes. That was the first step at learning to love me.
I still struggle at times to love me but I just look in the mirror at my lovely eyes and tell myself “ I am a good person, I have a good heart, I will not give up on me or others I love” It work's. We all need to love ourselves just that little bit more.