I was just doing my daily browsing of Humans of New York today, when I saw this picture of a woman discussing her weight loss. She says,
“I used to be 300 lbs. I thought that when I lost all the weight, a light switch would suddenly flip on and I’d be driven and inspired. But the self-judgment just shifted. Sometimes when I’m jogging, I’ll see a woman who is fitter than me, and I’ll think: ‘No matter how much I run, I’ll never look like that.’ It’s the same voice in my head as before. Only difference is now I’m better at telling it to shut the fuck up.”
In typical Humans of New York fashion, countless people shared words of kindness and compassion, reminding her that she is worthy of love, that she is truly enough, and giving her words of encouragement in her battle to gain self-esteem. I caught one comment that for me was so heartfelt and gave practical information I believe we could all use, whether seeking self-esteem with body image or other areas of our life. The woman’s name is Jennifer Sa. With her permission to share if we want, I added it below:
“Recently I heard someone say something very profound about “self talk”…. They said that each of us has a child inside of us that is alive and well. The child version of ourselves…… As adults we need to realize that not only are we the child version of ourselves but we are also the mother or father version of ourselves. In order to realign with our soul, we must learn to allow the mother or father version of ourselves to speak kindly to the daughter or son version of ourselves. Imagine yourself as a child. Speak to yourself the way you would speak to your own daughter. Build yourself up. You are your own mother and your own daughter at the very same time as you are your own self. This method of self communication is a simplified way of rediscovering how to love yourself, whether it be about body image, self respect or any other looming negative self talk that may be taunting you on a daily basis. During meditation last night I asked myself… ” would I speak to my own daughter the way that I speak to myself about my body?” My answer was clear…. No. This type of self talk is abusive. We are literally abusing ourselves emotionally. We’ve been conditioned to mentally abuse ourselves by societal standards. ❤ It’s important to take conscious control over that subconscious automation. Love yourself. Be the mother to your inner daughter that you would be to your own daughter.
I highly recommend this practice to anyone. Just be alone with yourself. Maybe while you lay in bed at night… Or during your morning routine. Allow yourself to say the words out loud. Encourage your inner child, the natural innocence of your soul has been ignored for so long. I cried. It was a huge release. Our lives are so busy between work, stress, raising families and taking care of others around us…. That most of us neglect ourselves. Some of this neglect is on the surface. Poor diet. Poor sleeping patterns. Etc. It’s easy to forget that our soul needs nourishment as well. Anything outside of yourself, external to your own truth, such as entertainment…. Hobbies etc, is all fine from a surface perspective. But we need to learn how to go deeper and speak to that child inside. The energy that once was, free of any learned behavior or preconceived idea.
You know… It’s been years since I’ve experienced such a defined moment of clarity. Last night as I laid in bed and just let go and surrendered to my own natural innocence…. I apologized to myself…. for all of the years I’ve spent abusing myself emotionally…. And during that conversation with my inner child.. What I discovered was that it wasn’t necessarily the apology from my adult self to my inner child that had such a profound effect…. It was the unexpected natural response from my subconscious inner child that came forward and actually accepted the apology. THAT’S what really blew me away energetically. I had a strong feeling that I would have the experience to share that epiphany with someone. I just didn’t realize how many people I would have the opportunity to share this with.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” Buddha
To expand on what I wrote, in a situation similar to your own… Or other similar situations with absent, abusive or selfish parents….. We, as individuals have to realize that WE are the parent that we never had. We have the innate ability to heal ourselves and take ownership of the love we never received. Nobody is going to save us, except ourselves. Each and everyone of us is and always has been perfectly whole. I have spent years of my life grieving over the love and affection that I’ve been deprived of in various relationships (family and other)…. In constantly grieving the absence of that love, I’ve neglected to realize that I was creating a perpetual pattern within myself. Treating myself in a similar fashion. Everything is connected. If we provide ourselves with the love we deserve we will receive the love we deserve.“
I do hope that this inspires you to give yourself more compassion to not only apologize to yourself for the self-abuse, but also believe you are enough to deserve such an apology. If you haven’t done it yet, go ahead and write that love letter to yourself. You deserve it don’t you?
Isabelle Masado writes about body compassion on her blog "The Dear Body Project". She knows all too well that the personal is the political, is the community. As such, there is no discussing body compassion without talking about the assault on black bodies, trans women, and people with disabilities. Her mantra is, "How can I live in a way that makes room for you too"? She writes to examine, to heal, to redeem.