“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘Well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”
― Maya Angelou
“The best people all have some kind of scar.”
― Kiera Cass,
The current age is that of body positivity. We see the push for acceptance of a broader, less euro-centric idea of beauty.
Overall, it seems like this is the age were self-acceptance is the easiest things for individuals.
But the road to body positivity is not always an easy, smooth path. It’s more like a rough, rivulet. There are times when I am truly, my worst critic; myself having been conditioned to hate my thighs, and skin, and lack of trying to appear more palatable. There are times when I love myself too much; flying like icarus, loving every freckled, every dent, every scar spread across my body. When I let mania overtake me; allowing myself to be loud, visible, tall.
Growing up with a mental illness, which went overlooked by the adults in my life, I have always found it hard to accept myeself. I was always aware of how flawed I was. How I often spoke too much, or acted erractically or just was way too visible. I tried to shrink myself, mold myself into someone that everyone loved, and generally just did everything to obliterate any trace of my original self.
And that led to an even worse relationship with myself; when I saw things physically that I hated about myself, it was amplified. My shoulders were too broad, stomach not flat enough, thighs too wide, eyes too dark. It wasn’t until the first that I undressed for someone, who laughed at me questioning whether I was too heavy when I sat on them, that I considered maybe I was being irrational and too hard on myself.
When I lost a ton of weight, I had the same realization. Primarily because all the pounds that melted away didn’t make me any happier, instead, it just highlighted something else I was unhappy about.
But the most important thing I’ve ever done was choose myself.
Choosing to look at myself in a mirror and state that I loved myself; no matter the good, bad, or ugly, was the single most important thing that I have ever done.
I just want you to remember that when you’re staring into a mirror and hate what you see in front of you, that you’ve come so far and have left so much behind you.