I’ve never truly loved myself – I don’t believe; I’m confident and courageous so no one would ever really know but, there are times when I haven’t even been able to look myself in the mirror (and if I’m honest, even at times – now!). I actually can’t even remember the last time I did a full body scan, it terrifies me so.
I remember when younger and out at night clubs and bars when using restrooms girls around me would be coming in and out of cubicles, rushing to target a bathroom mirror for a hair fluff and lipstick reapply before venturing out to continue their frivolity. Me? I would wash my hands head down in panic trying to avoid any risk of sighting a reflection of any part of me, rushing to get the hell out of there (many didn’t wash their hands in those days, so this was at least a win for me!). I notice that I still do this at times, in some form – today. Not always, and it certainly depends on the day.
When I was in my early 20’s I made a decision to work on this (apparent) fear and self-loathing to encourage some form of personal growth. I would challenge myself when using bathrooms to gaze into the mirror, encouraging myself to look into my eyes – just so that I could find a glimpse of and ‘see’ me (truly terrifying). It was a massive undertaking but I have no doubt that this is why I am able to (mostly) use mirrors today.
I’ve come to realise over time that me not wanting to see ‘me’ came with a much bigger story, one that would indicate either a deep dislike of self (why?) or possibly a disconnect from who I’d come here to be – perhaps it was hard to see this disparity of truth. What creates this disharmony who really knows however I’m sure that environmental factors and the roles played out in the family unit contribute greatly (although no blame here, we own our lives from a certain age) as does my own unique story of abandonment at birth (orphan/adoptee) – the greatest disconnect of all. This disconnect at birth has never overtly concerned me but I know it has come with baggage and a deep unsettling feeling of not belonging – which has been with me throughout life, which I realise has actually impacted on EVERYTHING.
This malevolent behaviour of not wanting to see who I truly am (whoever that is) is debilitating and inhibits all that life can bring, leaving me yearning to experience more. If I’m honest, I acknowledge that life has been a somewhat challenging and at times painful experience.
Having now reached mid-life, it’s time to take ‘real’ action rather than just settling for a truncated version of my greatness, playing way too small in the world; it’s worth noting, I am successful – in so many ways, I’m attractive (if looking back on old photos is any indication – although it’s been rare that my self-concept has truly matched what is immortalised in those images), but…life is changing. As the process of life prepares to return me to soil (noting I am a ways off…), I choose this not to be my final version. I live a spiritual existence where I see my life as opportunity to push through limitations for growth, always and I’m at a crossroads once again to find and create more.
So, I will be sharing this journey in all it’s rawness. This will be a journey with a focus of getting out of my head, and my very adept ability to intellectualise all that is, to focus on getting to the ‘heart’ of the matter – for I believe it is the heart that holds our suffering, and so I believe it will be here that I will have the greatest opportunity to come ‘closer to me’ to find greater happiness and contentment in life.
What about you, how are you loving yourself today…