I stared at the woman reflecting herself back at me in the mirror with resent. I’d spoken so cruelly to myself for so long that I didn’t know how to be kind. I looked at my crooked teeth, my double chin, the dry skin that flaked around my mouth, the deep lines that framed my eyes and sighed – I’m not good enough.
I looked back at the images the internet told us were acceptable with a heavy heart, my chest burning from the sadness that came with being unworthy.
I choked back the fresh wave of tears that pushed against my facade of confidence.
When will I be good enough?
I lay in stillness with my hand on the belly that I recoiled at for years. Feeling the rise and fall of my breath as I begged my soul to stop being so hurtful. Feeling the heavy sadness of my inadequacy weighing me down. Drowning in the unstoppable flood of hate that I aimed at myself.
“You need to love yourself now.” I whispered in desperation.
You need to stop killing yourself from the inside out.
You aren’t the images on the internet.
You aren’t the rolls around the belly that carried a child.
You are not defined by the women selling their lies for skinny tea on social media.
You are not worthless.
You are not the words you’ve belittled yourself with for years.
You are enough.
Self-love is a lesson that is easier to talk about on the internet than to practice.
It is easier for me to cheer you on than for me to believe that I am worth the effort.
I can scream it from the mountains that you are a queen, but I cannot believe that I am in your league.
Self-love is reminding myself that I am enough every single day.
It is taking time to be still in my thoughts and listen to the beating of my heart.
It is being grateful that the legs I hate are able to move and run and explore with ease.
It is learning that the hurtful words I tell myself are poison to my soul.
It is saying and believing that I am worthy of love.
It is saying and believing that I am worth the effort.
It is saying until I believe that I am enough.