Self acceptance? How in the hell am I supposed to except myself when I don't like anything about me? I'm not a good person. I've made so many mistakes and I've hurt so many people. I am a compulsive liar and a thief who turned to a lifestyle of prostitution and violence. How can anyone love me when I can't stand myself? I hate the way I look. I'm too short, I need to be thinner. I want longer hair. My eyes are too big, I'm not smart enough, fast enough or strong enough. The list goes on and on. these are the thoughts I used to have about myself and so many people have today.
You see, four years ago I embarked on a journey. My journey to self acceptance. I was depressed and contemplating suicide. I am a mom and a wife and I didn't have an identity. I was lost. "Who am I?", I would ask as I looked in the mirror and did not recognize the woman looking back at me. I have hurt so many people in my life and I have done so much wrong. I blame myself for everything. I was such a screwup. The negative thoughts and self harm is how I coped. What I had done for so long had not worked. I was exhausted. I was at the end of my rope. I wasn't living, I was barely even existing.
I remember the day that I made a decision that would change my life forever. Instead of being my enemy and critic, I decided to become my friend. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I learned a lot about myself while on this journey. I spent time alone with myself and got to know who I really a.m. I learned that my strengths and weaknesses are. I looked at my shortcomings and begin to embrace them. I'm not saying that I love my flaws, what I'm saying is that I have learned to except them. They make me unique. We are not made to be like everyone else. I stop comparing myself to others. I excepted the fact that I will never look like anyone else and that is OK. I live in my body and I needed to learn to love myself and the body that I have. I’ve learned to be grateful for my body and to work with what I have been blessed with.
Self-care… I would never intentionally hurt anyone else, so why do I bring so much pain to myself? I have to look at my life and the many mistakes I've made. I can't go back and change anything. But what I can do is forgive myself and move forward. I excepted the mistakes and tell myself that I did the best I could at that time. Am I sorry? Sure I am but I no longer beat myself up over it. I've learned what self forgiveness is and apply it to my life. I can fail at many things but I can't fail at being myself. Freedom comes with self acceptance. Well on my journey, I had the opportunity to meet myself for the first time in many years. I love Shannon and the woman she is today. I take care of herand I protect her. I speak beautiful words to her. My past… It doesn't define me any longer. I've excepted it and have learned from it. My past is what has made me into the remarkable woman I am today. I think I'm pretty awesome. I live for me today. I make the time to self-care. I am a great wife, mother and friend, but today, I come first. I owe that to myself. I am deserving.
I have learned many things on my journey but the greatest thing that I have learned is that I'm not beautiful like you…I'm beautiful like me.