I went into the bathroom the other day to get changed. My husband was at the sink getting himself ready for work. As I undressed, I turned and looked into our full length mirror. I began rubbing and probing at my thigh. At the same time my husband set his gaze upon me, smiling from ear to ear. I asked, “What?” He then began to tell me how much he loved my body and how sexy he thought I was.
Unfazed, I stood staring at that same thigh. And it was in that next moment where my husband’s gaze now made its way to my face. He looked at me, as I looked at myself. And this is what he said:
“If you are not saying nice things about yourself in your head, then stop looking in the mirror.”
Wow. His comment snapped me back into reality and out of my head. For those few moments, he got to experience how vastly different I look at myself, compared to his admiring eyes. And in the those moments, so did I.
I could not believe my silent disgust, was not so silent. He heard the negative, hateful, and harmful (FALSE) things I was telling myself. And he loved me more in that moment than I loved myself. And although I am grateful for a partner to remind me (and convince me) of my divine inner and outer essence, I absolutely must be the person singing my own praises.
How many times were you that person in the mirror internally criticizing what you saw? I have realized that I do this so frequently, it is my normal dialogue. I have read so many variations of that same script I no longer need to feed myself the lines, trust me when I say they are fully memorized.
But if you (like myself) deeply desire growth in your life, we must rewrite our monologues. Monologues that are full of acceptance and grace because self-love is the beginning, middle, and end of our journey. It is our road-map to navigate a life that is full and a world that is colorful. Self-hate strips us of that joy. And although we know all of this to be true, it becomes so difficult and sometimes feeling impossible to live out.
So what now? What do we do when we are staring in the mirror ready to press play on our personal self-hate podcast? Change looks different for us all, but small victories will begin to reword those scripts. In that moment when my husband gently called me out, he was right. If I am having one of “those” days, I should chose to limit my time in the mirror. Or as I grab my thighs, shift my thoughts to gratitude and send thanks to my legs for the ability to dance and to carry my children.
All of this is much easier to type than to put into practice. But every time we interrupt that negative self-talk, it brings us back to the present moment and we become more conscious and aware of what we are doing. It is in those interruptions where the change begins. Every thought becomes a new opportunity to quiet that self-deprecating talk and to amplify self-love and acceptance. Embrace those shifts. Do not minimize the work that it takes in becoming your most authentic self.
I am worthy and so are you.
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