The self-love journey is one I've been on for as long as I can remember. And every time I think I have made strides in this department, something happens and reminds me that I am still a work in progress.
The last year has been the most empowering and rewarding year of my life. Don't get me wrong, it was one of the hardest years of my life, but I won't ever remember it as that.
I will remember it as the year I created THIS life for myself, and of course, for Marlo. It was the year I learned to say "I love you" in the mirror and mean it.
It is the year my heart healed in the most magnificent way.
With this newfound inner peace, I was ready to take on the world. Diving into projects, social gatherings, and a new relationship.
I felt as though I was untouchable, on top of the world, so to say.
But last week, something triggered me.
Something that I should have never seen, but I did, and I spiraled.
I couldn't believe how easy it was to fall back into that space of self-loathing. As if the past couple of decades had not prepared me for the darkness I am unfortunately so accustomed to.
Instead of using all the tools I have learned throughout my years of dealing with this, I went right back into old habits, right back into that place of self-disdain.
I know how hard it is to switch the narrative in your head; I have done it countless times before, but for some reason, this time the switch wouldn't work.
It was almost as if I was having an out-of-body experience that I couldn't control, and I hated every single minute of it. I was watching myself move through the motions, watching myself self-sabotage.
It was like starting from square one, but this time I had a cheat sheet.
I wish I could tell you all that I snapped out of it instantly, or that I took a nice cold shower and reprogrammed my thought process, but I didn't.
It took four days for me to start feeling like myself again, four days that used to be twelve but that should be none.
As much as I practice loving myself, experiences have molded me into shielding myself. Almost as if I want to hurt myself before anyone has the chance of hurting me.
I believe this fear I have is the reason I have become such a self-aware being; I want to know every single flaw I have so that I am prepared for whatever life throws at me.
This defense mechanism is one I have built over time and mastered in the past five years. It has served me well but has also had some effects on how I navigate my relationships, especially the relationship I have with myself.
I've reached a point in my life where I no longer want to dwell in a space where my mind entertains self-deprecating thoughts, not just for my sake but especially for the sake of my daughter.
I understand that how she sees me love myself will play a pivotal role in her own journey towards self-love. She'll grow up hearing how much she resembles me, and if she witnesses me being critical of my appearance, she may begin to question her own beauty and worth.
I can share countless bullshit inspirational quotes but the reality is that I'm not entirely sure if I'll ever reach a point where I wholeheartedly love every aspect of myself. However, what I am certain of is that I will continue to find new things to fall in love with, whenever I see my reflection.