Recently, my skin has been having a little freakout. A friend has given me some samples of her skin care line to try and I got a little over zealous. My sensitive skin reminded me that it doesn’t like too many new things at once and it retaliated with breakouts.
It bummed me out some, because part of what I do for a living is to help women with their acne. So, as a skin care professional, you do feel like your face is a billboard for your expertise. There is the potential for immense pressure to have really good skin. But I was ok. I didn’t panic. I've done the work to know that my happiness does not depend on what my skin is doing at the moment.
However, if this were several years ago, I would have been completely depressed. I would have cancelled all social activities and hidden myself at home until it cleared up.
What changed? Where I put my sense of value. I used to put a lot of my self worth into what I looked like, my skin and my body. I had acne. I had (have) a boyish figure. I thought those things mattered. I thought people would notice my "bad" skin, that guys would notice I wasn't curvy, and that I would be unliked because of them.
But now, I like me. And I understand that is what matters. These days I can honestly say:
My skin breaks out and I love myself. I have bad hair days and I love myself. I have small boobs and I love myself. I have funky spider veins in my legs and I love myself. I’ve got a giant, dark brown birth mark on my butt cheek in a position that makes it look like I soiled my swimsuit - and I love myself.
And beyond that…
I have inadvertently hurt people I care about and I love myself. At times, I have been a prick and I love myself. I have been a coward and I love myself. I recognize there are ways in which I can improve myself, and I still love myself.
I’m not trying to say, “look at me! I’ve got self love aaallllll figured out. I can shoot rainbows out of my fingers and burp symphony music!”
What I want is to start a conversation – either here, or even just in your head.
So let me ask you, when was the last time you said, “I like me” and really meant it? Have you ever said that to yourself? Have you ever thought, “I’m great!”, “I’m cool!”, “I’m awesome!”, “I love me!” because you felt it was true?
Not in the egotistical sense of thinking you're better than anyone, but from a place of recognizing your self worth, your intrinsic value as a human being that beat the enormous odds of existing.
You don’t have to wait for anyone to give you the ok. You don’t have to change anything about yourself, accomplish any goal, or reach some predetermined level of success. You don't have to have a perfect body (whatever that means), or flawless skin, or lots of money.
You are already worth liking and loving, exactly as you are. You are amazing. You are awesome. You have more value than you can possible imagine. And you are the only one who needs to recognize that. You accept the fact that you are worthy of love, and then you love yourself. It’s a fantastic feedback loop that requires no outside energy to sustain itself.
It can be a process learning to accept that. The first step is to start paying more attention to what you think of yourself, and less of what you imagine other people think of you. The only thing standing in your way is worrying about what other people think. Their opinion, real or imagined, is entirely irrelevant.
So how about that conversation. Do you like yourself? Are you awesome? If not, what’s holding you back? Let's find a way to let the love flow!