Ever wondered what drives your fears and negative self image, and how to begin healing? It’s hard work, but worth every moment, every tear.
I recently heard someone say that who we are today is a chain of connections of our experiences and surroundings. This really connected with me as it made me think about how I became me. What has guided me to my beliefs and what has contributed to what I feel is important in life. Had these impacts had an empowering, healing or destructive impact?
I had to start by asking who has had long-lasting powerful impacts on me?
When I looked back, I have been very lucky to have had many positive influences. My amazing husband of 19 years taught me what perfect love looks like. It is messy, there are ups and downs, it is hard work but it is worth every second. It takes effort, kindness, selflessness, selfishness and truth. Our beautiful kids have taught me about real love. What it means to want everything for someone else. Our daughter taught me to be creative, vulnerable and authentic. Our son taught me to be fearless, witty and strong.
My gramma Cooper taught me about forgiveness, strength and softness. I learned the importance of family, my love of reading and crafts from my mom. There are many other strong women who impacted the women I have become. My Aunt Ally taught me true friendship and a love of nature, Aunt Laura taught me the importance of education and looking below the surface, Aunt Liela taught me about hard work and dedication and Aunt Terri taught me about how to love my spouse and introduced me to yoga.
Thinking about these people made me feel good, warm and loved.
Unfortunately there are also the negative experiences and negative influences, we’ve all had them.
The moments in our past when we’ve made a mistake, when someone we trusted hurt us in our core. Someone important to us made us feel less than worthy, ugly or even stupid. It seemed for me there was one particular person who stood out.
When I look at my personal health and wellness I also began to clearly see the roots of my low self-approval. I have been the chubby kid as far back as I can remember. I wasn’t big on sports and exercise wasn’t something that was part of my lifestyle. This wasn’t something I really notice until I was a teen. It was then that I clearly remember comparing myself to those around me with lead to feelings of sadness and self-loathing.
As an adult having a busy lifestyle, parenthood and lack of knowledge led to eating diet foods and quick meals, ultimately this lead to more weight and even more sadness. Over the years I have tried every fad, diet and some have been successful, but in the short-term only. As soon as I got comfortable with my body I would stop the diet. Taking the “learnings” with me, but ultimately the weight would return 3 times faster than losing it, as it happened I would fall further into the cycle of self-loathing and sadness. It seemed no matter what I tried I would fail, which only re-enforced my low self-image.
So, how could I change this horrible cycle into healing?
This is the hardest part, going back to the root of the feeling. I had to go back and face how I had allowed those negative influences in. I had to face that I believed their words blindly. For me, this individual reinforced that being overweight made me unworthy, everyone knew it and no matter how kind and giving I was it was outweighed. Reinforcing my unworthiness was lack of acceptance, knowing no matter how hard I tried this person would never give me their approval.
How did this person gain so much power over me? Why had their comments to have so much power of me? It came down to trust, I believed him, I looked up to him and never thought he would lead me astray.
What I have now come to learn is that I am the only person who has control of the impact others have on me. I had to challenge what was said and why it was said. Then look at what other sources did I have to compare to and why I had I believed this one opinion.
This was when I started the road to healing my own thoughts, my own feelings of self. Turning them from the negative story I had once believed into one of clear vision through my eyes and those who truly loved me for me.