Accepting myself. . .this has been my life long struggle. I can’t even begin to think of how many days (or years for that matter) that I’ve spent putting on my happy face to the world yet feeling like I wanted to die on the inside. Depression was a constant companion. Every day I would wake up telling myself “today will be different” yet I would fall into old patterns of behavior using things such as food, alcohol or even sex to cope with the self hatred. Anything to numb the inner turmoil of my thoughts that were a constant barrage of accusations and demeaning criticisms. My inner critic wasn’t just a “mean girl”. . .she was a straight up spiteful bitch!
You see I grew up believing that I was never enough. I wasn’t “perfect” therefore I didn’t deserve love, least of all my own. I did so many damaging things to my body over the years it’s truly amazing I’m still here to talk about it. All in an attempt to have the perfect body, be the perfect student, the perfect girlfriend etc. I sacrificed everything about myself in order to please everyone else. I had no sense of identity because my identity revolved around who I needed to be in order to make sure other people loved me. There wasn’t anything I even liked about myself let alone loved!
Hence one of my favorite quotes by Carl Jung, “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”
And let me tell you, it is terrifying. Self acceptance has not come easy for me, I won’t even begin to pretend it has. I continue to struggle with it on a daily basis. Stepping out of perfectionism and people pleasing after a lifetime of doing so has literally been the biggest challenge of my life. Learning to embrace my shadow side, taking that deep look inward and uncovering everything I despised about myself. All my faults and shortcomings, things I’ve done and said, all the mistakes I’ve made, all the trauma I’ve experienced. Pulling it all out in order to hold it up to the light, see it for what it truly is, and then learning to love it anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t happen overnight! Several years of talk therapy, a few stays in inpatient treatment at an eating disorder clinic, months of outpatient therapy, medication, meetings etc. But honestly, the SINGLE most transformative thing in my life was discovering who I REALLY am at my core. Underneath all my perceived faults and failures, I am a divine extension of Source (God, the Universe). I am a SOUL having a very specific (and by the way PLANNED) experience here as a human being. I have a body, but Im NOT my body. I have a mind, but I’m NOT my mind. And although I felt like my mind (and ego) were constantly out to get me, I discovered that this idea that I held around my not being “enough” was just a learned belief. None of the things I believed about myself were true! I had been conditioned and lied to. Inundated with messages in my formative years that caused me to accept all these things about myself as truth.
Now I’m certainly not blaming anyone. My parents were great and did the best they could with their own beliefs and hang ups. But as I look around the world today, I see many wounded and hurting people (women especially) stuck in these same beliefs about themselves that I struggled with for so many years. I know all too well the toll these false beliefs take on the soul. They can be devastating. Holding us back from the true happiness and unconditional love that is our birthright as divine beautiful souls. Well I’m here to change all that. You see, I firmly believe that I was allowed (and actually CHOSE) to go through those years of pain in order to come out the other side in order to be able to help others in similar situations since I’ve been there done that so to speak.
“The cure for pain is the pain” -Rumi
As I paraphrase Rumi’s point, we have to look at and experience that which causes us pain in order to heal it. You can’t put a band aid on the problem and hope it heals on it’s own. Especially when the band aid just covers up the issue so you don’t have to look at it. Trust me I know, I’ve tried almost every kind of band aid available.
Although it has taken me a long process of unlearning those false beliefs and letting go of my unhealthy coping mechanisms, I sit here thinking of just how far I’ve come. How I have hope and joy in my life where there used to be an ever present darkness. How I know that by embracing who I am as a Divine creation got me to a place of self acceptance. By getting to know who I am as a soul, as a spiritual being of light, I have been able to let go of the shame guilt and fear, see it for what it is, integrate it and love myself as whole and complete.
I want that for you too. I want you to know who you are at soul level. To embrace your divine nature and let go of the lies you tell yourself. You are loved unconditionally. You are beyond worthy. And above all else, you are MORE than enough sweet friend!