Learning to Love Myself

1.30.2013


You know how they say, "You have to love yourself first before you love anyone else"? That's bullshit. Absolutely, in no way, is that true. I've spent my entire life loving & devoting myself to other people. Real love. Which is great for me. I fulfill my need to love others & others get to be loved by someone else. However, I've been lacking on myself my entire life. Growing up, I cannot remember someone in my family telling me that I'm beautiful. I wasn't the prettiest in the bunch people. I had (and still have) crooked teeth, hair in places they shouldn't be & I was incredibly scrawny. I wonder how different my self-esteem would be right now if I heard that I was beautiful rather than only hear that I was unique. I mean, I faced the facts. I was not conventionally appealing to look at. I looked like a boy up until I was 17 & the Army helped me gain weight and chisel out an appearance & it also gave me boobs. So really, I've been living with the new me for 10 years when I had the mind of an awkward child for 17. Within these new 10 years, 4 of them consisted of having a good body. The rest changed because I had a child and I had to battle with self-acceptance all over again. 

We all have inner demons we are constantly trying to fix. Every day, I force myself to look in the mirror and accept myself. Accept my age. Accept the changes to my body, to my face. I've always had a double chin & started noticing my face drooping & looking pretty harsh. I mentioned it to my boyfriend the other day which was a huge mistake. I live with a man who seems to snub his nose at the mention of plastic surgery or anything that can change my face for the better. I had been looking into Thermage in the Dallas area only to find that a.) It is expensive and b.) Once you start, you pretty much have to keep going. What does my boyfriend really expect? I AM A WOMAN. I should feel beautiful all the time. Men don't have to be beautiful. They don't wear makeup to cover their deformities. If they gain weight, women might still look at them as long as they have money. They have the power in the self acceptance department. Response from my boyfriend when I told him my face was droopy:

"What do you expect? We are getting older. You look beautiful to me."

Shut up. Do you not realize that as I age, my hooded eyelids will fall even more? I mean, they cover my eyeballs already! I'm only 27! By the time I'm 35, I'll have to lift my eye lid skin up every time I want to see something! Peek-a-boo! Next time, I'll talk to a women about the insecurities regarding outer appearance. On this topic, men just do not understand nor do I think they even want to. 

Let's continue on to my inner being. I have always been an oddball. I love that about me. It's one thing that people just don't get. "You're so confusing! You like everything, I never know what to get you!" Being an oddball in society is kind of a battle. I posted on my old blog how it just seemed so much easier to conform. Which made me feel like an absolute fraud. Now, I literally yell FRAUD! in my head when I'm doing something that just isn't me. Oooh cute hipster glasses. FRAUD! Let me check out this Lana Del Rey song. FRAUD! Maybe I should do a DIY post, FRAUD! I really like those brown, FRAUD! Maybe I should buy, FRAUD! But I kind of, FRAUD!

This FRAUD warning system in my head has been incredibly useful recently. Sometimes, you can get sucked into what other bloggers are doing. Example, nail polish. I do not like painting my nails. I have pretty, skinny piano fingers that I ONLY like wearing French tips on or nothing at all. The painted nails infatuation exploded on Instagram & I was encouraged by my boyfriend (who LOVES when I paint my nails) to try it. I started buying nail polish even though I knew it would chip off the next day. I mean, I have working hands. I have to wash them consistently during the day at work. Now I'm looking at these chipped nails, asking myself WHY. Once I'm done with this post, I'm marching into the bathroom to remove this fugly polish. 

I never use to FRAUD myself. I just accepted it. I've think I've had a rebirth. I think my real self is just ready to come out so it shouts out me when I'm doing something unlike myself. Which is really great to be honest. I want to like myself again. I want to like being who I am and not freak out when someone gives me a side eye or criticizes my choices. I was never like that. 

I'm sure that once I feel like my old self, I will still have inner battles. Even my old self had inner battles. We're always trying to self improve, whether it be in your inner or outer being. I just really need to find different ways to tell myself that it is okay. Genuine self-improving is not damaging. It doesn't mean, I don't love myself. Negative criticism on my body ("Your belly is disgusting") hurts the progress to love myself. I always forget that I blew up like a balloon & popped out a 9lb baby, that I absolutely love. 

I recently came across a self-love challenge while watching a documentary. 

"I accept myself, unconditionally, right now."

You're suppose to do this two times a day, for thirty days, while looking in the mirror. Towards the end of your thirty days, your mind will start to change its way of thinking. The negative thoughts will slowly back away and let positive thoughts about yourself step forward. I challenge you all to try it. We all need a little self love improvement. Hell, I know I do or I wouldn't have rambled on in this post about things I don't like about myself. Probably should have talked about the things I do like. Maybe I'll write back in thirty days & see if the next self-love/self-acceptance post is a bit more positive than this one. Yea, I think I'll do that.

Do you have any advice on self-love? Have you tried anything that has actually worked to love yourself more? I'd really love to hear about it if you have. 

Plus, I'm kind of sick of writing blog posts about "I wish" or "finding myself". Half the time I write, I just want to scream, "Girl, suck IT UP & get on with yourself." So please people, help a girl be less "poor me" and more "go me". It's time to actually live my life rather than keep reflecting on it.  I mean, I've done some shitty things in life but damn, can a girl get some courage to boast about herself? Let's do this. Let's progress. #teamgome


18 comments :

ℐαzmчn ❤ said...

That's a pretty interesting challenge. I do have to agree with "You can't loves others until you love yourself," and calling bullshit on that because it is. Even if I don't completely love myself sometimes that doesn't mean I don't love my child or my husband. Whoever came up with that needs to be slapped or something lol.

I also agree on getting sucked into stupid trends in the blogging world. Yeah it's great for some people but I've definitely jumped on the bandwagon numerous times and in the end I'm just like "wtf am I doing?!"

I tend to always sit and reflect how to make myself more accepting of me and it's hard.

I'm sure you'll get to the place you want to be when it comes to loving yourself though. It seems through like you've gotten through a lot so yeah… Lol! :)

Jazmyn

his little lady said...

This post is so real and open. Thank you for sharing. And yes, I believe it is completely possible to love when we are suffering with our own demons to love ourselves.
xo TJ

Jenn said...

Thanks for the comment Jazmyn :) I really appreciate all the comments you leave me and how long you've been reading about my life <3

Jenn said...

Thank you for reading miss lady ;)

Heather Marie said...

Did you write this about me? Seriously. Especially with the nails, lol. I use to bite mine.. For 27 years, I bit them. I'm 28 now, and while I do like that they're growing, and I do like to paint them, It's really not practical for me. I work in a freaking factory, and no matter what I do, they chip.. I'm also very cheap, and even buying a bottle of polish to me feels like I'm breaking the bank, lol. But that's another story..

Tasha said...

I think you're gorgeous, to be honest!
I like the FRAUD thing, it's so true for many of us. I know I've tried different things because they were 'in'. But they weren't 'me'. I'm an oddball, too! I also hate painting my nails, I hate the chips, I hate the time it takes, etc. If I could get them done, it's another story. I also agree with Heather, I'm cheap. If it's not something I'm really passionate about, I hate to spend money on it.
I love how real you are, though, Jenn. Even if you sometimes feel like a fraud, you've always felt genuine to me. :) Keep on being you.

Kendra // The Darling Blog said...

I think you are beyond pretty, seriously.

But I know how you feel... we are definitely our own worst critic. I get really bummed when I look back at old pictures of myself and my skin was smooth (now it's acne-prone after having Aiden), I was skinny & toned (now I'm skinny-fat), my hair was always highlighted & perfect (now my roots are down to my ears & I'm lucky if I can afford a regular trim).

It's definitely easy to get wrapped up in blog trends. For me, that was accepting sponsors... and then I felt gross for taking people's money for what.. a measly little space on my blog? It just didn't feel right. I felt fake.

Anyway, I love your blog, I love your writing, and I love your honesty. You rock.

Nicole ♡ said...

I totally think it's possible to love others even when you're not in love with yourself. I became (still am) extremelly self concious during the end of highschool and I feel better and love myself more now when I've been exercising and eating healthy. I think everyone loves themselves but you've just got to uncover it from within ♡

Vix said...

Jenn, you are stunning, you really are (and heartbreakingly honest and a brilliant writer).
I've no idea how I gained my self-confidence after spending a huge part of my life loathing what I saw in the mirror, it just happened. xxx

Kristin said...

Oh I love it. I like the idea of that 30 day challenge. Also, nail polish? I hate it too :)

Julia said...

I think one of the things that is really lacking in blogs of late is the realness of the person. Thank you for your honesty. I don't find that I relate to most bloggers out there, so it's refreshing to read something like this. I feel like I was reading you write something for me!

Jenn said...

Julia, thank you for the sweet comment. I always try to write things I would personally want to read on another blog :)

Jenn said...

Sometimes nail polish makes your someones fingers look old!!

Jenn said...

Thank you Vix :) <3

Jenn said...

I completely agree. Although I kind of think it's a lifelong process :)

Miya said...

I love your blog & you have a new follower :)

I can definitely relate to your talk about being "FRAUD"
And doing things because other people are doing them..especially in the blogging world.
Some trends, I like and I can't help but like them so I just go with it.. I don't try to be different from everyone else..Sometimes it just happens that way.
With blogging it's so easy to look at someone else is doing & what might work for them and try it even though you might not even be that into what they did. I'm not as into DIY stuff as others are. Some stuff I can DIY but I could never imagine making 50% of my blog about DIY just because that's what everyone likes. Maybe 2%? lol.

Just gotta keep reminding yourself to be yourself.

miyaloves.blogspot.com

amber.m said...

Amen!!! To all of this!

And don't even get me started on nail polish! I finally jumped on the bandwagon and even David was like, "we're you bored?!" Cuz I ONLY paint my nails when bored, like when wa not home. Haha. I hate having my nails painted.

And seriously, you are so pretty! I think you just don't see it.
And I laughed so so hard at the "peek a boo" part about your eyelids. Sorry though.

Jordan said...

I love this! I don't know if all bloggers go through this, but I definitely went through the FRAUD phase, I'm still learning to just be me. And you are beautiful!!! I wanted to say that :)
This is a really moving post and I admire your courage and honesty :)

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