The other day as I sat in the car patiently waiting for the light to turn green and also singing along to one of my favorite songs, the following thought popped into my head: “Whatever comes after the words ‘I am’ are powerful, so choose your words carefully!” As the light turned green, I turned the music down and began to reflect on what words I used to describe myself in the past. Sadly, all of the words were negative. In my head, I was the ugly duckling who was and always would be. *so I thought* In this piece, I will discuss how our body relationship can have an effect on our relationship choices, with ourselves first and then with others.
For the majority of my life, I was extremely self-conscious about my body – whether I thought a particular part(s) was too big or too small, not big enough, etc. I didn’t like wearing skirts because of my skinny legs. I hated being the owner of sized double digit feet. My arms are jiggly. I don’t have a flat stomach…and the list goes on. Even when I first started working out, I didn’t want to go outside for fear of the looks I’d get. All of these ideas ran through my mind all the time. While sometimes I had really good intentions, the very thought of failure or the opinions of others caused that thought to die before it was even given a chance. The bottom line is that I was never satisfied with my outward appearance, which I later learned was a mere reflection of how I felt on the inside. No matter how many degrees I earned, on the inside I was still this insecure little girl.
Then one day, I woke up from a deep sleep (while awake- the irony of the matter) and I saw everything differently. My womanly curves were no longer seen as a curse and I had declared that my body was no longer a punching bag for insults, shame or disrespect. “Then it came to me like an epiphany” (said in Chrisette Michelle’s voice)…I had literally been sleeping with the enemy! (Yes, you read that right!) No the enemy isn’t an actual person, but in the case of this blog post, it represents anything that prevents you from growing. Low self-esteem, depression, negative body image and doubt are just a few. Once I began to appreciate and love every imperfection, self-love became evident. I no longer just professed my love verbally but I also began to show it. Those same double digit feet now rock a size 12 proudly in a pair of fancy pumps! I also wear clothes that are figure flattering, a bright smile and my invisible crown every day.
I know my worth now which makes a huge difference in relationship choices with others as well as with myself. For starters, I no longer compare myself to other women. I know who I am and I am confident in it. I can give a genuine compliment and celebrate another “sista’s” beauty and accomplishments. In doing so, I know that it doesn’t take anything away from me. In addition, as a happily single young lady, I know that I don’t have to settle.
In closing, these are a few of the life lessons I’ve learned along my journey. Always remember you are too precious, too talented and too beautiful to think of or carry yourself as anything less than you deserve. Therefore, I challenge you to look in the mirror every day and declare an “I am” message to yourself. It is imperative that you know it, say it and believe it!!!
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