“No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”-Eleanor Roosevelt

This has been one of my favourite quotes for years. However, I often find myself forgetting the sentiment of it. I find myself comparing myself to others…wishing I were more beautiful, more talented, more successful, smarter, more money etc.

I think about this quote and really, logically, I know that I am “Me” and that however I feel is how I choose to feel about myself. Sometimes though, it doesn’t feel like a choice.

I look at my family: off the top of my head when I thought about it, my mom rarely put herself or her body down while I was growing up. My dad either. My grandparents seemed quite healthy with their self-esteem. My sisters (while 9 years younger than me), seem pretty healthy in their self-worth. So, what happened to me? I feel like I’m the only one that screws up so much and thinks so badly about myself and hasn’t amounted to much.

Then, I took a closer look. I was riding in the car with my mom a month ago and she made some sort of off-hand comment, and I realized…that was totally her thinking lowly of herself and putting herself down (with her projection of she imagined someone reacting to her). My dad has struggled with his own self-worth for most of his life. My grandparents also have their moments of insecurity, but very rarely express it to me. It has peeked out a few times over my lifetime and I always feel like I want to hug them, because they’re so sweet. My sisters…in terms of their bodies, they seem to be pretty confident and take care of their bodies. In terms of themselves, I think they both struggle (as we all do), but don’t seem to express it so openly.

I think that’s the bottom line of what I discovered. I’m the one that expresses my disdain for myself more openly. I’m the one who more consistently puts value on what other people think and then I say it. If we think about it, putting value on what other people think is so harmful. Everybody is coming from a different place and their values are so varied. Culturally, when there’s a certain standard of beauty and we feel less than because we don’t measure up to that…it’s so harmful. Especially for things like physical characteristics. That’s how we are born…how our genes came together and out we came.

I’m inspired by people like Lizzie Velasquez who decided to own who she is and what she looks like and to make a great life for herself. Not to let other people’s insecurities and opinions dictate how she viewed herself and loved herself. I admire that so much.

Because I really struggle with it. Especially the older that I get. I look back at older pictures of myself and think, Wow! I was so good-looking! How did I not see that?!

So, my focus is to really own who I am, right now, exactly as I am. An out-of-shape, in-debt, single, aging woman, who loves their family, friends and cares for people. And while, I know…the way I write that sounds like I’m putting myself down…really, it’s where I’m at! So I’m owning it! 🙂

Let us go forward and love ourselves, exactly as we are, even if nobody else in the world does. At the end of the day, it’s me with myself anyway, so let’s make that the best relationship that we have: with ourselves! xo

*M

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