Yesterday, my little girl came to me after school and told me she had a rough day and that she didn’t want to talk about it. Long story short, I didn’t react well and eventually we did talk about it, but I learned a few better ways to handle things next time, too.
However, I realized this brought home a LOT of past pain for me. I relate to my little girl a lot because she is very much like I was at her age. She’s so bright, hopeful, open, sensitive, huge imagination, just so beautiful it makes me cry. She is amazing and I adore her. And she is teaching me so many things about myself. I was a very unhappy child because these good qualities that I had also, were basically repressed by every one I knew. I was bullied and made fun of in school and told at home that I should not have feelings and I should grow up and so on, so forth. So, she teaches me through being herself, about myself and how to overcome those horrible childhood scars. I want to protect her innocence, her beauty, her sensitivity, her creativity at all costs. I don’t want her to get HURT like I was. I can’t protect her from everything, but I can be her safe haven and I can find ways to minimize the pain.
So, then I heard the song “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera today and I burst into tears. I realized that I am still in so much pain from those days that I have never, ever really loved myself for exactly who I am. Intellectually I tell myself that I’m a good person, that I do my best, etc. but I do not really believe that these things are true. I don’t really believe I’m worth of love. I know there have been so many people in my life that have said to me that I’m worthy and have done their best, but the bottom line is, I hate myself. I hate that I’m all those good things and that I am not what I perceive to be normal. I hate that I don’t like to be girly, I hate that I’m not perfect and I never will be. I am ashamed that I can’t figure out my life effectively most days. I know that I’m a good mom, but I hate that I make mistakes at parenting and I feel shame.
I hate being fat and uncomfortable. I am convinced no one would ever be attracted to me because of it. I am in pain. I don’t want to hate myself and I don’t know how to really change this. I don’t want it to come from outside of me, I want it to come from the inside. I want to really feel OK with who I am, with my body, with my life. Even if I lose some weight right now, I don’t think I’m going to be 100 percent OK. I can’t live up to my own standards and I am so tired of trying. I want to change and I just don’t know how. I’ve been struggling to change this for a couple of years now and I’m not making any progress yet. Just accepting things, thoughts and feelings, no matter what they are, is truly helping. Feelings just are, right? I am still inviting them in, even today, while I weep uncontrollably because I believe that I am not beautiful.
I am terrified about putting this stuff out there, I am terrified of speaking this weekend. My innermost wish seems to be a need to be liked, to be approved of, and I worry every day about it. So when I put the negativity out there, people won’t love me and that scares me. I need it and shun it at the same time.
Pain sucks. I really do want to feel beautiful for the person I am inside, and radiate that out. I want to be liked and approved of, by my own self.
I am Beautiful, no matter what they say, words won’t bring me down…I need to repeat this to myself all the time. But also, I want my sweet little girl to believe this about herself, way down deep, where no one can ever dislodge it. I don’t know how to make that happen for her, I’ve just got to hope I can keep celebrating the amazing little person she is while she grows into an amazing young woman. I’ll do whatever it takes to protect her, yes, and whatever it takes to foster that feeling of love inside herself. And hopefully that will teach me to do it for myself along the way. Just seeing her beauty, her joie de vivre, her amazing personhood, is a reminder that she is MY daughter and she is just like I was and she doesn’t have to ever be crushed by me so she has a good chance, way better than I ever had.
I am hurting today. I invite it in, I will weep, I will try to turn the page on this pain a little more today by remembering that I am beautiful. Just for today I will not be self-effacing. Just for today I will not call myself names or bully myself.
Just for today
I AM BEAUTIFUL