Category Archives: Self-Esteem

What the Funk?

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I have been in a downward spiral of a funk for a while now. I haven’t felt like myself. I don’t feel creative. I don’t feel like I have anything to say. I’ve been having writer’s block, bad. I just am not sure what to do.

I wouldn’t call it full-fledged depression. I’ve been there, multiple times. I’ve been medicated, I’ve been in therapy, the works. This is not the same kind of feeling. And maybe it’s just hitting me in a different way.

The holidays started the downward deviation from my “normal” self (although, what REALLY is normal these days?!) I think being away from family is always difficult, but especially during the holidays and special occasions. So, that absolutely comes into play in my present WTF scenario.

Strained relationships, misunderstandings as well as cruel words spoken also play a part in this. I’ve heard all the cliché’s and I’ve probably posted them on my various social media accounts, partially as a reminder that not all days are perfect and not all scenarios in life are played out like they are in the movies.

You know, like the one that says, “Just because you are angry doesn’t give you the right to be cruel.” Anger is one thing, and we all experience that one time or another. But that doesn’t give ANYONE the right to treat someone badly or hurl hurtful sentiments their way. This happened recently.

Or another one that says, “The way people treat you is a statement about who they are as a human being. It is not a statement about you.” Just because someone has disrespected me and made snide remarks about my parenting, does not mean I’m a bad parent (even if that is a constant battle I have with myself). When someone makes a jab at me and/or something about me, does not mean that jab is accurate or even truthful. I have to make my own reality and truth. The offending party does not get to determine this about me.

Or finally, this quote, “Never respond to rudeness. When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are. Don’t take it personally, be silent.” Again, this one is much easier said than done! It’s hard for me to not take rude comments and remarks personally. It’s difficult to remain silent because my first instinct is to defend myself and show the person how wrong they are. I admittedly need to grow a “thicker skin” so as to not take everything to heart. But that’s so hard when a person like me, with a heart that cares too much, hears insults hurled my way.

So basically my 2017 has not been going in the direction I would like it to go. Honestly, the last part of 2016 leading into 2017 has been pretty much hell. I’ve cried more in the last 3 weeks than I have in a long time. And maybe that’s a good thing because the release of emotions like that can always be cathartic. BUT, it also means that multiple things have caused the tears to flow, easier than they have in previous times.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel so deeply. I wish that I didn’t have a big heart that took things so personally. I wish that I could have a more carefree, caring less attitude, but then that wouldn’t be me. I am the person I am today, because of my heart. It’s not something that’s going to change overnight.

Going forward, I can only be me. I can wake up each morning, resolving to stay true to myself. I can continue to be the caring person that most people know me to be. I can’t live each day trying to please everyone, because that’s only going to end up in a miserable heap of failure. I can only continue to keep on keeping on, and leave the world a slightly better place then the day before. It’s all that I can do. And everyone needs to realize, including myself, that’s all that I can do.

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Now You See Me…..

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For me, in a sea of unknown faces I can hide. I can be alone with my thoughts. My thoughts wander. Realities become blurred. I can sit back and imagine all the possibilities. In this time of pondering, I’m able to reach out and grasp the untouchables. The elite. The hidden. It is then that I realize that even in crowds of people, I see that I’m only a speck, just a blip on the radar of life.

There has to be something that I can grasp, something tangible that I can feel, just like sand flowing through my fingers while sitting on a beach. There’s such a disillusion of what companionship really is. It can be something I can feel. Something I can know. Something that is in my presence. But yet, it’s not there. It’s hiding. It’s distant and I want so much to be able to be there, in constant communication.

I get beat down. I get the wind knocked out of me. Words are so powerful. Thoughts can get you in a place you don’t want to be. You can be lifted up. Or you can be torn down. How am I supposed to handle this? How should I respond when these words and actions are thrown my direction? What am I supposed to do in order to triumph over my demons? The demons that try to send me to my demise. The demons that tell me I am worthless, that I am beneath those around me, that I am just a space filler here on this earth. How can I push those demons off the proverbial cliff of life?

Wise decisions need to be made. When those decisions aren’t made in timely fashion or in the correct mindset, I get bombarded with empty feelings. With thoughts that get me nowhere and leave me hanging over the edge. And yet again, I’m alone. I’m hiding in the sea of unknown faces. Wherever I go, I’m alone. I’m reaching out, only to find a black hole with no end in sight. I’m trying to grasp for just one hand to lift me out, and there’s nothing. No one. Again, I’m alone.

I’m trying to be resilient and push my way through the struggles, but sometimes the struggle is stronger than me. Stronger than my thoughts. Stronger than my heart can handle. What then? What am I supposed to do? I’m lost. I’m alone, with no guidance, no direction. I’m misunderstood. I’m a rebel. I’m a loner. I’m not what you think I am, nor what you want me to be. But what does that matter? I’m me. This is who I am and no amount of pushing or prodding is going to change that. Ever.

So for now, what do I do? What can I grasp to lift me up? Where can I go where I am just more than a blank face in a crowd? Where can I reside where I’m not alone while surrounded by the world? I can only push. Push through the obstacles. Push through the bullies that are standing there mocking me, demeaning me, pushing me away. I’m strong. I have an indescribable amount of strength within me that I just haven’t been able to bring to the surface. It’s in there, I’m confident of that. Now it’s going to be like a treasure hunt to find it.

Follow the map to find it. No. That won’t work with me. There is no set path that I can take. There isn’t a dotted line that I can follow. I have to go by instinct. I must rely on my intuition. I’ll find it. It’s just a matter of time. It’s a matter of being patient until the time is right and the unknown is revealed to me. So for now, I just wait and try to see my way through the sea of unknown faces and try to recognize someone, anyone. I just need to find my way.

Tuesday’s Quotes & Quips – Self-Esteem Edition

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“Telling yourself you like the way you look is easy. Believing it is an entirely different kettle of whales.” ― Andrew Biss

 

I’ve decided that each Tuesday I’m going to pick a topic and share a bunch of quotes that I have read that would really personify the topic. Of course, as a starting Tuesday’s Quotes and Quips, I’m going to delve into the topic of self-esteem. I say “of course” because I struggle with self-esteem each and every day of my life.

But for most of my life that I remember, I’ve dealt with self-esteem issues. I say to myself that I’m strong and that I’m better than those negative thoughts that I’m having, but then they creep back up on me and drag me down again. And those thoughts and actions ruin so many things in my life.
 

I hate this feeling because it overwhelmingly gives my children an unhealthy view at how they should be looking at themselves and how they should be proud of who they are and be strong in their esteem and know that they ARE worth something, no matter the struggles that come their way and no matter what anyone tells them.

Pot calling the kettle black, huh?

So, I don’t know about you, but quotes and quips from various authors, famous people, ordinary people etc. can put things in perspective for me. They can bring me back to reality and help me to realize that I am fine with who I am. That I am way too hard on myself. That I am a great person right now. I don’t have to overly impress. If someone is going to like me, and truly be compatible with me, as a friend or more, then they are going to like me where I am at. Not where I could be and could change to be, but where I’m at. And to know that I’m a strong, beautiful, intelligent, amazing woman is something that I should be proud to be.

Daily struggle? Absolutely!
Overcoming daily, step by step. That’s the only way I’ll get there.

Anyway, here’s your Tuesday Quotes and Quips. PLEASE feel free to leave your own quotes in the comment section. Make up your own, find one that you especially like, etc. I’d love to hear what you say about this week’s topic. Remember, positive remarks please.

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“You’ve got to have someone who loves your body. Who doesn’t define you, but sees you. Who loves what he sees. Who you don’t have to struggle to be good enough for.” -Deb Caletti

“The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.” -Shannon Alder

“Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else.” -Mignon McLaughlin

“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” -Jodi Picoult

“As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are – what others say is irrelevant.” -Nic Sheff

“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself… Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant! When you are self-conscious you are in trouble. When you are self-conscious you are really showing symptoms that you don’t know who you are. Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.” ― Osho

“In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.”
-Dorothy Parker

“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others.” ― Steve Maraboli

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ― C.G. Jung

“Nobody holds a good opinion of a man who holds a low opinion of himself.”
― Anthony Trollope

“Be real. Embrace that you have weakness. Because everyone does. Embrace that your body is not perfect. Because nobody’s is. Embrace that you have things you can’t control. We all have a list of them.” ― Dan Pearce

“When I loved myself enough, I no longer needed things or people to make me feel safe.”
― Kim McMillen

“Self respect, self-worth and self-love, all start with self. Stop looking outside of yourself for your value.” ― Rob Liano

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ― John Joseph Powell

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

“Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others … Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” – Katherine Mansfield
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E.E. Cummings
Believe in Yourself

Daydream Believer

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what-screws-us-up-most-in-life-is-the-picture-in-our-head-of-how-its-supposed-to-be-quote-1Sometimes I wonder why I make plans for something that most likely won’t happen.

I plan for my dream house, saving pictures and decorating ideas, and little DIY projects to make organization better in my dream house.
I plan for my dream wedding, pinning color schemes and flower arrangements on Pinterest and looking online to find just the right dress that meets my budget and of course body figure.
I plan for my life, my future. I try to imagine what could be on the horizon in my life, professionally, relationally and everything in between.

I plan and I hope and I dream. But for what? Why? Why do I continue the endless torture of planning something that is likely never going to happen?
I’m a dreamer. I’m have an unrealistic imagination. I’m a hopeless romantic, emphasis on hopeless.
Even despite the unlikelihood of these things ever happening in my life, I continue to dream.
I continue to imagine what my life would be like if those things ever happened for me. I just can’t let go of the dream.

I find myself wondering why it seems that everyone else’s dreams come true, while mine seem to sit dormant, never coming out to see the light of day.
What are they doing right that I’m not? Why can’t I seem to be the person that has those good things happen to?

Because of something I’ve done?
Because of something I haven’t done?
Because of something I’ve said?
Because of something I didn’t say?
Because of some way I’ve acted?
Because of something within me?

Maybe it’s silly and immature to have those feelings, I mean, I AM almost 40. They are my feelings and raw emotions, but can those dreams still have a realistic ending? Simple answer. NOPE!

So instead of holding on to some of those unrealistic dreams, because in all honesty, they really are, my new modus operandi is to work on making realistic goals and having attainable dreams.

I know that due to my financial situation and issues from the past, I’ll never be able to own a house again. I won’t have the “perfect” house in the “perfect” neighborhood with the white picket fence blah blah blah. But I can provide a roof over my children’s heads and keep them happy, fed, clothed, and protected.

I know that also due to my financial situation and just life in general, I’ll never have that “dream” wedding. I honestly doubt that in this lifetime I’ll have a wedding that comes close to anything I could imagine or dream of having, if I get the chance to get married again I should say. Yes, I know. Weddings aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Weddings are just for “show” and it doesn’t really MEAN anything. But when you have dreams of certain events as a child, teenager, college student, and it never comes to fruition, even being married once before (and not getting the chance to have a wedding), it’s just something I’ve always wanted. A girl can dream, right? But I also have to know that it’s not realistic. A dream can only go so far before it gets out of my grasp and leads me down a path of disappointment, again and again. I’m fed up with disappointments in my life to be honest. So in the spirit of being realistic, I got rid of everything wedding related on Pinterest. The dreaming and hoping for what I saw was becoming overwhelming. And when I’m overwhelmed, I tend to just shut down, and that’s not healthy for me or anyone around me.

I enjoy writing. I like expressing myself through words. I think of writing as a cathartic experience. I write a lot. But I won’t publish a lot of what I write, because sometimes what I write is a way of either calming myself down and snapping myself back into reality, or just recognizing the changes I need to make in my life and attitude. Sometimes reading and re-reading what I just wrote is enough to get me feeling better about the situation in my life I’m currently working through. I am complimented on my writing. I have been given a platform through my local newspaper as well as the website Cincinnati Moms Blog where I will be a contributor. Despite these opportunities, I don’t want to dream too big. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Would I love to be writing more down the road? Sure, absolutely! But I also know that I am a full-time working mom with shared custody of my amazing boys. I am busy. I am often tired. I have a hard time finding time for myself to pursue anything outside of the realm of my current life. So, for now, I’ll soak in the opportunities I have been given, I’ll continue to write for my pleasure and hopefully to encourage, enlighten, and even entertain those that take the time to read what I present to them.

I’m not saying I’m giving up on my dreams and aspirations. I’m not saying that the things in my life that I desire most will never come to fruition. I’m not saying that at all. But what I AM saying is that I want to come down from orbit a little bit and become more realistic in my future plans. I want to make a decision about my life that will only affect me and those around me in a positive manner. I want to make wise decisions and plan my life with the best intentions for everyone involved, now, and in my possible future.

I’m still going to dream. I’m still going to aspire to be better and do better. I’m still going to give everything I can to make my dreams a reality. But going forward, a more realistic reality.

Odd Man Out

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Ever feel awkward in your own skin? Feeling odd but you can’t put your finger on it? Like you’re missing something but you have no clue? I feel like this every single day and I’m feeling more and more lost without a map to lead me out! Searching to find my way, my place, my niche’. And I come up empty every single time. Wandering aimlessly through life hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes to me the light isn’t visible. Sometimes the tunnel doesn’t even exist. The train comes barreling down the tracks, unsure of how it’s going to get to the other side.

I don’t fit in. Anywhere. I never really have. Growing up I was always the one that was very outgoing, would talk to anyone, no matter their age, and was overall a very friendly person. Someone who you would imagine had the world on a string and was just full of life and vigor. But I wasn’t.

I was lonely. I was chronically picked on and bullied. I had friends, sure, but never really had a close, personal friend that was my “BFF” to use a very generational term. And this wasn’t how I was just in those “awkward” pre-pubescent years. It was all the time. From kindergarten to present day. I remember getting picked on in kindergarten. I remember my mom having to come to school when I was in 2nd grade to find a way for the kids to stop picking on me. Despite her efforts and the teacher’s efforts, it only got worse.

Summer camp was always a bear. And not to mention it was a CHRISTIAN summer camp. I was still a loner and did my thing. I got along with people, or so I thought, but I still didn’t fit in. I tried, I really did. One year at camp one of the counselors nicknamed me Gabby Abby (hence the name of the blog) because, well, I can talk, a lot. Several of us were making t-shirts in the Arts & Crafts room, and I made one that on the back said “GABBY ABBY”. It was cute and we had our fellow campers sign our shirts. When I went back later that day to pick up the shirt, someone took the paint and painted over the GABBY part of the shirt. My shirt now said “FLABBY ABBY.” I was devastated. Even as an elementary aged child, I was hurt beyond words. Of course, I just laughed it off and painted over it. But I didn’t let them see me crying back in my cabin. No one. No one was going to see me upset by this, because, then they would know they got to me.

Everyone had their cliques in school. In youth group and church, they had their groups they hung out in. I was never in the “popular” crowd. I didn’t play sports. I was a cheerleader, but I think only because they felt bad for me. I didn’t fit in the cheerleading uniform and they had to make one for me specifically. I was the base of the pyramid and had a loud voice, so that was my reasoning why I was on the squad. I wasn’t super spiritual, so I didn’t fit in with the “good kids.” Because I wasn’t the shining star of Christianity, I always seemed to be pushed aside. I never was the girl the guys asked out. I was “one of the guys” so to speak. I had the “cute face” and “great personality.” I was the one the guys went to in order to find out if a certain girl liked them or to find out if they would go out with them.

I was the funny one. I think that some days I still am. My humor was and is my defense mechanism. I would make fun of myself before someone else could. That way, in my warped sense of self, it wouldn’t hurt as much. If I beat someone to the punch line, then it’s not like THEY would be picking on me. And then through that, people “liked” me more because they thought I was funny. Only now do I see that they “liked” me for making fun of myself and it just saved them from having to say the jokes. But if someone beat ME to the punch line, that hurt so bad. It cut like a knife, a very jagged, dull knife.

It’s pretty sad. I have so many memories of my childhood and teen years and growing up. But unfortunately, most of them revolve around the bad things that happened to me. I can remember vividly the bullying. I can remember times and places, situations, even what I was wearing during different instances. But ask me about the fond memories, the happy ones….they are all a hazy, vague memory, one that I’m not sure even really existed.

I don’t fit in when it comes to music. I grew up in a very restricted household. I wasn’t allowed to listen to the radio or buy CD’s or such, so even now, close to 40, there are SO many things I have no idea about, and people just look at me like I have 4 heads. I have a hard time making conversation, with anyone. I say something and then kick myself for being so awkward. I try to keep up with the daily headlines and what’s going on in the world, but I still come across as being ignorant. I’m no akin to the “ways of the world” in so many aspects, and that gets to me.

I don’t fit in when it comes to appearances. I’ve always been the big girl. Even when I look back at school pictures in elementary school, I was never really HUGE, but I was always just a little bit bigger, therefore, I wasn’t like all the other girls, and I was picked on for that. I don’t wear name brand clothes, I don’t FIT into most name brand clothes. I never had the money for expensive, popular clothes. I tried too hard to fit in and ended up looking like a clown at times, I’m sure of it. Even now, as an adult, I don’t buy brand name clothes. I shop thrift stores and bargains and use coupons. I don’t look stylish and don’t have the body type to try.

I see people talking about their big circle of friends and how they did this together, or all their kids had play dates together, or they went out on a girls weekend with their besties. You get the point. And then I look back at my life and realize I don’t have any of that. I see all these people getting married and they have a multitude of bridesmaids and groomsmen, and I think to myself, “Do I even KNOW that many people, let alone LIKE that many people enough for them to stand up for me if I get married?” The answer to that is a resounding no.

I don’t fit in with most of my family. I’m the black sheep of the family….or I’d like to say that I’m the tie-dyed sheep of the family: much more colorful and interesting. But in all reality, I’m not. I grew up in a super religious family. Church since I was 2, went on Sunday morning, Sunday night and youth group on Wednesday nights. I went to the Christian school affiliated with my church. I went and attended Christian college after that. I did everything I was SUPPOSED to do, but still never fit in. I was still getting made fun of. I was still the loner, the odd man out. But no one realized this about me. I hid it well. I still tend to hide it well.

While in Christian college, something very traumatic happened to me, and it changed me at my core, and I can honestly say I’ve never been the same since. In good and bad ways I’ve changed. But, as always, everyone’s idea of good vs. bad is very subjective, and what I believe to be “good” is vile and heinous to other people. And because of certain things that have happened in my life, and certain roads I’ve taken, I again, do not fit in and I’m the “outcast” and have been shunned.

I have tattoos, my nose is pierced, and I drink alcohol on occasion.
I’ve been divorced.
I live with my boyfriend.
I don’t regularly attend church.
I swear sometimes.

So basically, I’M HUMAN! I’m not perfect and I don’t fit all the qualifications of a good Christian human being. So that gives you the right to shun me and keep your distance from me? You’re perfect in your life endeavors and have always done everything according to God’s will? Yeah, what’s that verse in the Bible? John 8:7 “But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” There you go. Please, find the sinless, perfect part of your life to judge me with. So I don’t fit into your mold. If that’s the kind of people you will only allow into your life, then I don’t want any part of it.

It hurts not fitting in. It is painful being the odd man/woman out. It’s a struggle that I face daily, a struggle that slaps me in the face on a continual basis and it stings. It hurts knowing that you have been ostracized from people in your life who you thought would always be there for you. It’s painful to see family members push you aside because of their overwhelming archaic beliefs rather than to love their “enemy.”

I don’t fit in to the popular crowd. I don’t look or play the part of the popular crowd.
I don’t fit in to the religious crowd. I’m too damaged and sinful to play the part of the religious crowd.
I don’t fit in to the trendy crowd. I have no clue what their crowd is all about.
I don’t fit in to the beautiful crowd. Because, well, in so many words, I’m not beautiful enough to play the part of the beautiful crowd.

I guess what it all really comes down to, is this. Do I really WANT to fit in? Well, yes and no. Yes, I want to feel like I’m a part of something. I want to feel that I’m accepted and wanted for who I am and all my eclectic ways. I want to have an overwhelming feeling of love and peaceful interaction from all types of people, similar and different to myself. We don’t have to agree. We don’t have to think alike and be of the same mind. We don’t have to look alike or come from the same background. Life doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, so many people compartmentalized life and friendships and families into that box. I don’t fit in that box…never have, and God help me, I never will. So in that aspect, not fitting in is probably the best thing for me. Hard in the meanwhile and painful as time passes. But in the end, worth it as my personal identity is not tied to a person or a group or a “type”; my personal identity is exactly that. Personally, ME.

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I Was Bullied by an 8 Year Old

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Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. My self-esteem SUCKS. There, that could be the ending of this note, but it’s just the beginning. Self-esteem has such a wide spectrum of outcomes, it’s hard to even know where it starts and where it ends.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been picked on. Since I was in kindergarten, into elementary school, high school, college, and even into adult life. How insane that I even have to say that I’ve been picked on as an adult. I’m 38 years old, and even now, I’m berated, mocked, made fun of, and made to feel like less of a person. Just last night my 8 year old told me that the kids in his class were telling him how his mom is fat and laughing about it. I just stood there in stunned silence not really sure how to process what I just heard. Is this happening AGAIN?

Now, while I realize that some of that falls on me, and I need to not let things get to me as much and I need to have more control over my circumstances to a point, it doesn’t change the way people act and the words they say. People’s words and actions, no matter how old they are, can cut like a knife. A sharp knife. Where you may not feel the initial pain and cut, but then you realize how deep the cut is, and how much pain it sends ripping through your body. This is what it’s like to be picked on relentlessly, with no regard to feelings or outcomes.

I’ve really been struggling with this whole concept of self-esteem and being self-conscious lately. I’ve become highly aware of it. I’ve become so cognisant of it, that I feel like I’m in a tailspin about it all. There haven’t really been “defining moments” that have brought me to this juncture, I’ve just arrived, fully packed with lots of baggage to bring on this trip. I’ve tried so many times in life to try to dig my way out, only to be pushed back down, with more dirt shoveled on top of me. Buried alive, screaming to get out of there, and I can’t.

So many things I’m unhappy about myself, and so many things in my life that I’m not proud of. The past is the past and I can’t change it. No matter how much I dwell on it and think about it and kick myself for the things I’ve done, I can’t change it. No amount of self-loathing and thinking about it is going to make it any better. But I can’t. I won’t. I constantly think about it and what I could have done differently.

My self-esteem is awful when it comes to physical image. My whole life I have struggled with my weight. Ever since I remember, I was picked on for it, starting in early elementary. My mom even had to go to the school to talk about it with my teacher because the taunting was so bad. Not too much changed over the years. My weight would flucuate, and when I’d lose weight, people would talk to me more, be around me more, I’d have more friends in my life, I’d get attention from guys. But then as soon as my weight fluctuated again, people would go, guys would be scarce, it seemed like everything in my life was conditional. Of course, this was the opposite that we were all taught as children on up. The golden rule. Karma. Anything up that road. Accept others unconditionally. You would still accept your best friend or child if they were overweight or had a learning disability. You will still accept your child if they were going through a rough patch in their life, going through a divorce, or told you they were gay. Why? Because we have an unconditional love for those in our life that are the closest to us. Or at least we should. But unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

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So many people have given me this line. .. “You have a beautiful face, and a great personality, but. . .. ” Yes, my body changes that. “You can change your physical outer shell. .. ” And you know what? You’re right. For the most part I can. I have some medical conditions and medications that I’m taking that make it that much more difficult. And it’s discouraging. It’s frustrating, and I fail over and over because I feel defeated. And those of you that can eat and eat and never gain weight, I hate you. Not really, but I am jealous. I eat a rice cake and it goes right to my hips!

All this to say, think about the words that you say. Think about the person you make fun of or mock. Think about the person that is happy and confident on the outside. They may be struggling to survive on the inside, and the comments and suggestions that you make may be hurting them like you’ll never know. Everyone is different. Everyone has their on struggles. Not one struggle is better or worse than the other. In all reality, we are all broken vessels. We are not what we all seem. We all have things in our lives we can improve on. And we as people should look inwardly before we hurl the hurtful words. Before we judge a person for their outward appearance. They may be fighting a battle that you know nothing about.

I’m fighting a battle each and every day. Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually. We all do in some sort. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight over time. Believe me, this is NOT easy. And I still have a ways to go. But reaching any milestone is an amazing thing to me. And with it comes the frustration that people are coming out of the woodwork to “congratulate me” and tell me that I look good. And while those compliments are great and make me feel good and accomplished, I feel like we should be telling people more often what they are doing that encourages you. How they have made you feel good that day. Something good about them, just to make their day. Being sincere about it of course. But I wonder how that is going to make you feel. I wonder the impact that’ll have on you. I wonder what that will do for their self-esteem as well as yours.

“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” -Jodi Picoult

“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others”
― Steve Maraboli

“Be real. Embrace that you have weakness. Because everyone does. Embrace that your body is not perfect. Because nobody’s is. Embrace that you have things you can’t control. We all have a list of them.”
― Dan Pearce

“Never let the opinion of another affect your opinion of yourself.”
― Teresa Mummert

“Telling yourself you like the way you look is easy. Believing it is an entirely different kettle of whales.”
― Andrew Biss