Last month I shared some accounts of self-love from people around me.
Today I want to share some wise and brave words on the topic from Mauri, who inspires me with her self-love.
I didn’t always love myself. I have spent most of my 26 years hating my body; I was starving myself by age 13, and I spent all of my adolescence and college years restricting certain foods I deemed “bad” or “fattening,” and then torturing myself on ellipticals and stairmasters as punishment when I ate them, starving myself and purging whenever I “messed up.” I stayed in relationships that highlighted and validated everything I despised about myself and wanted to change, but was looking to “fix” from the outside instead of within. I followed others’ ideas and plans for school and career, believing that this “success” would make me love myself. But all of these things I was doing came from the same root, believing “I am not good enough.”
I was afraid to write this post, because I want to teach and help others on this journey, but I don’t feel like I am an expert. The truth is, I don’t completely love myself. But I am learning. When I get truly honest about any conflict I am experiencing, minor or major, it all points back to one question: What am I afraid of?
Here is what I’m learning:
Self love starts with me being my own loving, compassionate parent to the inner child in me that is constantly seeking one thing – LOVE. I am practicing getting honest with myself, sometimes painfully, about core beliefs, acknowledging and LOVING those parts of me I often try to ignore, bury, and invalidate. Self love is giving the scared little girl in me a hug. Instead of fighting the parts of me I want to change, I am learning to embrace them, and then letting go of the ideas and beliefs that no longer serve me. CrossFit has helped me redefine the way I feel about my body – I enjoy good food, I eat to fuel, perform, and recover; I workout because I love my body for what it can do, and as a result, I happen to love the way my body looks. Self love isn’t being perfect, being strong doesn’t mean I never struggle or feel pain. I am learning to love myself through feeling everything, by slowing down, getting honest and clear, and for the first time, not DOING anything. I am learning to LOVE just BEING me.