Blog

May22
2017

So, About Self-Love…

By Amanda Lovelace

I’m a poet. Or a poetess (the label I prefer). Through my words I try to preach the idea of unapologetic self-love—especially to women. Our uniqueness, our humanity, our creativity, our self-esteem, our sexual orientations, our romantic orientations, our bodily autonomy, our independence—none of those things are given any weight. We’re told nothing else matters except the way we look. And at the end of the day, we end up believing these ideas and hating ourselves—and even other women—for not being able to fit into the small box society has offered us.

One of the goals with my poetry is to unravel this normalized hatred of women’s bodies.

But I have a confession: I’ve avoided mirrors for more than half my life.

At the time this is being written, I’m 25. I’ve had an undiagnosed eating disorder since I was 11. First, I restricted food until I reached a dangerously low weight. Next, the binge-eating started and I gained a significant amount back. Then, I became obsessed with only consuming raw fruits and vegetables, causing the number on the scale to dwindle down again. (At that point in my life, I was having recurring nightmares about eating a single potato chip.) The cycle continued, flip-flopping between bingeing and gaining to restricting and losing.

As of now? I’m at my highest weight ever.

Sure, some days I’m a little unhappy with myself. And you know what? I’ve allowed myself to be. Not because I’m fat (which isn’t the dirty word we’ve made it out to be), but because I’ve had to work through a lot of self-hatred and wishing I didn’t even have a body to deal with—and that’s not an overnight process. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting.

I’ve spent years trying to unlearn my destructive habits, not just in the form of eating disorders but in the act of outward self-injury when I felt I had failed myself by not being skinny and desireable.

So at this point, I consider any percentage of love I’m able to give to myself a success.

Confession time again: I love myself now more than ever before. Yes, more so than when my torso and thighs were at their most minimal existence. I’ve been told that ‘Skinniness isn’t a synonym for happiness.’ Turns out it’s true.

My desirability in the eyes of others is not the same as being desirable. In fact, my desirability in the eyes of others doesn’t matter at all. How I see myself is what matters. But I do have to remind myself of that on a daily basis.

Because self-love is nothing if not a lifelong pursuit, and even when I think I’ve finally reached the ultimate destination (hoo-ray!), I still find myself wandering away from time to time. And that’s okay. I’m not a disappointment. I’m human. And it’s human nature to stray, to have flaws. It’s not human nature to be perfect in your practices all the time.

Don’t ever tell yourself you’ve lost the self-love game because you woke up feeling so awful about yourself that you didn’t want to leave your bed. Things like that happen to even the most well-seasoned self-love preachers.

Trying to love yourself in a world that tells you you aren’t worth loving as you are is a constant battle. As humans, we can’t simply control our moods or emotions. The only thing you can do is allow yourself to feel those raw, honest feelings. Recognize why you’re having them, move on, and promise to love yourself better when you wake up tomorrow—as many “tomorrows” as it takes to get there.

And you will get there.

Amanda is a published author and recent graduate. Her book “the princess saves herself in this one” won the Goodreads Choice Award in 2016 and is available for purchase on Amazon here. The work is described as “a collection of poetry about resilience. It is about writing your own ending.”

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Comments (7)

  1. colin

    I have these issues. Even though I’m a compulsive liar, I feel I can be here

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Colin,

      You are most definitely welcome here. Email us at info@twloha.com if you would like to share more of your story.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  2. colin

    An old friend gave me a great piece of advice , it was to let go and forgive yourself because only you can.

    Reply  |  
  3. Kris

    I am currently struggling very heavily with self love issues. My anxiety and depression pull me so hard in opposite directions it gets very difficult to remember that I’m still in here somewhere. That I have to find a way to love myself, not keep repeating the same self deprecating stuff to myself constantly, causing a lot more misery and self fulfilling prophecies to happen.

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Kris,

      Please know that you are not alone in your struggles or the way you are feeling. Self-love is not easy to attain nor maintain, but you are always deserving of it, so please keep trying.

      In terms of your struggles with depression and anxiety, there is help out there available to you. Perhaps seeking out a counselor would be a good step? We have some resources available here: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/

      You are also welcome to email us at info@twloha.com if you would like to tell us more about yourself and your struggles. We would be glad to listen and respond accordingly.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  4. Loretta

    This was a very interesting issue,that yes, I use to love looking forward to a new mornings & feeling “HAPPY & ME”The past 5 yrs. My life changed forever & I was once again faced with a trust issue,I never would relive with my 2nd.husband who has stood by my side the last 5 yrs,with my nerve disorder that came out of remission when I fracured 3 metatarsal bones in the foot that the rsds started in.25 yrs.ago! chronic pain😣2 back fusions,in 1 year! many p/t’s & deep tissue massages since Nov 2015! Not helping my back &add spasms now,& happening more often. Can anyone explain to me when I wake up in A.M.I don’t know what day it is,once
    I start to move in A.M the pain starts & I sit every morning so depressed and cry & cry. I know thoughts we can control,but these r so different,intense pain! My husband told me “he shut his emotions down towards me cuz it was too hard to “watch u in pain”Yes he started drinking” with All this & that caused more severe issues😢So many mood swings he has,& is paranoid abt.me & my grown daughter??He feels we have a comsparicy against him!??My daughter got fed up with him going to her about me, & his bhavior changed towards me. Found out he was texting her alot & while she is @work in the evening…Then he bcame to close & obcest to be more involved in her than taking care of me. Showing me NO EMOTIONS,interest in me,never a soft touch,refused marriage c.also. Yes this has effected my self-confidence.He knows Dr.’s are puzzled what is still causing me extreem pain & spasm pains.
    He was sooo patient in the romance department while I recovered from my sergury. He can’t understand how hard I am working. P/t! (Everyone has giving me compliments how much better I look)He’s not around me enough during the day to know what I’m doing. I did tell him I was focusing on my health & suggested he do same with his issues. He is draining my energy instead of embracing me, he ignores me like I’m invisitable.Now I need to start taking my control back,be loving,try talking is our big one.Nothing I have to say is important to him.How do we begin to rekindle our relationship? 😢He also spends time daily with his healthy 95 yr.old father who is in good health.He did have a surgery & all went fine.thought then he would calm down,he just wants to start a fight? This is not how we lived our lives b4 😢

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Loretta,

      Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. If you could email us at info@twloha.com, we would be more equipped to send you a hopefully helpful reply with encouragement and resources. Please know that you are not alone in your struggles. You are deserving of hope and help. We will be waiting for to hear from you!

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |