Growing up I was not popular. I was that skinny girl that sat at the outcast table at lunch that wished she had a circle of friends like the sports players and band members.
I joined Show Choir (a singing and dancing group) to socialize more but I found myself still being a loner. Being lonely weighed heavy on my self esteem and I carried that with me until I was a teenager.
At the age of eighteen I decided to model as I was only 100 pounds soaking wet. I would watch the smaller framed ladies rip the runway on America’s Next Top Model and I decided that I could do the same. I began to attend casting calls and entered modeling competitions. During my days of modeling, I did not have much support, so it was easy to be extremely critical of myself. While many people would tell me my face was beautiful, they would pick at me because of my small frame.
I eventually quit modeling and began to focus more on family and I found myself just existing. I was not happy but at least I was no longer putting my face out there for more people to make negative comments about me.
Today, I love myself wholeheartedly.
To get here, I had to peel back some layers of my life and heal. The more I began to incorporate self-care and mindfulness work, I quickly learned that I deserve to be happy just like everyone else. I learned that my beautiful is my beautiful and no one can ever take that away from me.
With many in my hometown knowing my history, this confidence that I have today is unfamiliar and makes them uncomfortable at times. I am no longer that person they remembered from years ago. As I dug deeper into why I did not love myself, I learned that my perspective on life came from what I had been through. My subconscious mind took in many things and I lived my life based on those non-facts. My emotions were leading me instead of me being in control of my actions due to emotions.
What others think of you is not for you to take personally.
Keeping this in mind can help you in a major way. You must come to a point in life where you begin to fall in love with yourself. When I did this, I began to attract people into my life that love me as I love myself. We show and teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves and what we allow. Having self-love can give you the confidence needed to stand up for yourself for once in your life.
Your happiness is your responsibility 100%.
Outside sources cannot be the determining factor on whether you will love yourself. If you leave it to those outside of you, you may never find your happiness and place of peace. No matter your ethnicity, age, income bracket and all other categories, you deserve to treat yourself with nothing but the best care. As you begin to do this, it will get easier to do and any negative comments that come your way, you will be grounded and confident enough to brush it off and keep moving forward.
Take care of you and surround yourself with people who nurture you as well. Self-love is the best love!