Faith Forays

Loving Who You Are

If you guys read my column regularly, you might have noticed that I’ve been going through a personal rough patch lately. Life isn’t always roses and dandelions, as you well know, because we’re all living in the same cosmos and we’re all going through one struggle or another. I want to talk to you about something that I’ve been learning in my own life recently, and it’s this: I’m learning how to be content in who I am. I’m learning how to like myself.

I used to have this vision in my head of who I’d be. I thought that I’d wake up one day and have just arrived, the perfect incarnation of myself. I’d be witty and smart and courageous and not make so many mistakes. I’d have shiny hair and a nice body and I’d be an ultra-confident, ultra-cool version of myself. I’d tell myself that one day, one day, I’d be this girl, this girl I could so perfectly envision, but until that day, I had nothing to like about myself. Because I wasn’t her, my perfect version, because I was loud and shy and a little bit messy, I didn’t need to work on liking who I was.

There’s this quote I once read from the wonderful actress Gabourey Sidibe, and I loved it so much that I have it memorized verbatim. In an interview, she said, “One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl.” I think this applies to more than just seeing ourselves as beautiful, although heaven knows that’s a struggle of epic proportions at times. There comes a point when we must realize that the perfect incarnation of ourselves, the one we are carrying around in our pocket, hoping we’ll wake up one day magically transformed into, is just a fantasy. It’s not a real version of you. The real version of you is the one that wakes up every morning in your slightly-mussed hair, the one that gets lipstick on the corners of her mouth, the one whose laugh is so obnoxious that bartenders try to cut you off at happy hour, even when you’re not drinking (okay that last one might just be the real version of me). This you has skinny thighs or maybe a few rolls or some cellulite collection activities going on, and the real you is irresistible and perfect, simply because who you are is unique, incredibly, wacky, and loveable.

You know how they always say that for others to love you, you first must learn to love yourself? I’m not sure how scientifically accurate that statement is, but the proverbial they might have a point. I think others will always love us, but you start to maybe value that love a little bit more once it becomes a shared thing. If your first reaction when a friend compliments you is to assume they’re lying, you may know what I mean. I was out shopping today with a friend (and by “shopping” I mean trying on clothes mostly for fun) and over the stall doors we were discussing body image, the things people have told us about our bodies, and the hangups we’ve developed because of that. At one point I said, “I’m no spokesperson for having the perfect body.” and my friend replied, “But you are a spokesperson for loving the body you’ve got!” And my heart was really warmed by that, because someone else recognized how comfortable I am in loving my body, no matter its size.

This is about more than just our bodies, though. That is a huge part of self-love. But really, I think the shift from hating my body, hating my personality, and thinking I just wasn’t anything that special, happened once I decided to live my life as though I were of value. I began to make that decision every day, looking for the things I like about myself and learning to love those that I didn’t. I’ve made peace with my raucous laugh; I enjoy dressing my body in things that are flattering to it. I’ve just taught myself how to settle into my own skin and be comfortable in who I am. I’ve got my bad days and my backslides into self-hatred, but I just wish I could share with the world at large how wonderful it feels to really, really like who you are. It’s the best thing, and it makes you love others more, too, when you’re not spending so much time hating on yourself.

Featured image via Shutterstock

  • Jenn Zorinpari

    This is a great and inspiring article, Becca. Also love the fact that the article is short :) I couldn’t read long articles.

    • Becca Rose

      Short and sweet keeps it internet friendly 😉

  • Millie Minor-Gibson

    That was great. Thank you. I completely relate to the part about thinking you will wake up one day and suddenly know who you are. I expected that to happen in my 30’s, but 5 years in it hasn’t happened yet.

  • Amanda Walker

    You are so right Becca! I completely understand what you mean about a different version of yourself. I had gotten so bad recently that I would actually be surprised when I looked in the mirror because I walked around imagining a different me than I actually am. I laugh at EVERYTHING and its very loud. I have tons of outgoing girlfriends that always seem to out-shine me because I’m so shy. I realized lately that all those things were changeable. I am working on being absolutely gorgeous to myself. And you know what?–the world has noticed.

    • Becca Rose

      Thanks Amanda! Something I’m learning is that my weird sense of humor and all those quirky things that I used to be insecure about are actually really cool, unique things about me to be appreciated. I’m going to venture to say that the same idea applies to you, and to all of us!

  • Vanessa Van de Mortel

    That was a wonderful article. I think all women, and men for the matter struggle with self love, and we shouldn’t we are who we are, we are all made a little different, and we are all beautiful. I just did a boudoir photo shoot for a group of ladies and they were all from different walks of life, shapes and sizes, and everyone of them was unbelievably amazing and beautiful, and it was something I needed to see as I have been struggling with the age old self dislikes. We are all beauties, and we need to give our selves a big ass hug and remind ourselves sometimes! Thank you for the great article girl! xo

    • Becca Rose

      Wow. That photo shoot sounds so amazing, and so empowering!!

  • Cindi Goodeaux

    I couldn’t agree more!! I got there about 10 years ago and what a great and peaceful place to live when you accept and love yourself right now right here! I wrote the following and share it with every woman I can!

    Love Your Body

    telling you
    thin is in.

    Diet pills
    plastic surgery
    different is sin!
    All that’s left is hair,
    bones and skin?
    You win!

    But EVERY woman
    should be told
    her body is unique!
    Her girth is gold!

    Love every curve,
    lump, crevice, and scar!
    Let’s change their thinking!
    Let’s reset that bar!

    Forget the voices,
    the leers and tears,
    join the REVOLUTION
    building each year!

    Your body is precious,
    No matter its size!
    Your spirit’s what matters!
    Your heart is a PRIZE!

    To all the Divas,
    regardless of girth,
    raise your beautiful head

    © Cindi Goodeaux 2006

    • Becca Rose

      Thanks for sharing, Cindi :)

    • Kasthen Velarde Rosero

      I wish there was a way to favourite your poem :)

  • Gabriela Lopez

    You are beautiful. Your soul is beautiful. It takes a great amount of insight and patience to say what you’ve said. I personally SO appreciated your writing.. We are all working on this some way or another – I am finding myself hitting a speedbump on the path to self-love. Sometimes its easy, sometimes its pretty rough! I now understand what *they* meant by “patience is a virtue.” Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Becca Rose

      Oh, thank YOU for reading! Recognizing your own goodness and worth is still such a struggle for so many of us. I think it’s a continual decision.

  • Bianca Alvarez

    Thank you for posting this. :)

  • Kat Sandy

    This post really made my day. I’ve been going through somewhat of a slump and I can completely related to this. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!! I feel like an empowered female now!

  • Ella Pelayo

    And just when I thought I was the only woman in the world who have this different vision of me in my head, your post just knock it off in my system. I used to be afraid looking myself in the mirror. In fact, I had destroyed one just a few months back. The journey that we have being a woman and having all these advertisements of false images of what true beauty means makes it more difficult. I used to believe loving oneself includes hating what you don’t like and torturing myself every night for all the shortcomings and what not.

    Your post just made me and a whole lot of other women out there beautiful inside and out.

  • Dimple Pallugna

    I love reading your posts. They are always so comforting. :) Keep writing!

  • Alycia Lourim

    I am so glad you wrote this. I had an awful night and it went into my morning and I have been trying everything to find a pick-me-up and then I told myself I am going to go to Hello Giggles somehow someway the universe knows I need them. And here you guys are once again uplifting me when I really need a lift. You are so right. Its up to us just to make the decision and be happy with who we are because thats what we have got and we are the only ones who think we arent great, but we forgot we have a choice and the power to make that not true and to feel amazing everyday. Thank you for sharing this. You def did share this with the world 😉

  • Malavika Prabhakar

    I love what you wrote! Every few weeks or so I often tumble back onto the self-hate road, I’m trying but still struggling. Although an old article, I came across this last year and it really helped me “see the light” – – give it a shot!
    Thanks for the uplifting and yet again enlightening article :)

  • Ivan Remtoula

    Thank you so much for writing this amazing article. I’ve just read it and I absolutely loved it.
    I think loving who we are is a daily battle, because of everything we hear and we also doubt ourselves.
    Yesterday, I told a coworker of mine that she was beautiful, and she said I was making fun of her. I replied that I wasn’t and that I’ll always find her beautiful, no matter what she’s wearing (including makeup). As the saying goes, “tell a woman a 1000 times she’s beautiful and she won’t believe you. Tell her she’s ugly once and she won’t forget it”. I’m planning to tell this coworker that she’s become a great inspiration of mine and she’s a wonderful person inside and out but I’m a little bit afraid to do so. Does anyone have advice?
    Back to the article now, I think to love ourselves, we need to write on pieces of paper what we do and don’t like about ourselves and throw the paper with the negative points away, so we keep the one with the positive ones. Does it make sense?
    PS: the article you’ve written also applies to boys/men. Let’s not forget that

  • Stephanie M. Phillips

    This is exactly what I need. Thank you so much for having the courage and passion to share this. Your words are inspiring, and the reality of them is much needed among women and girls. So often, we seek the approval of others without caring about the approval of ourselves. I heard somewhere that instead of dismissing a compliment, we should respond with, “I know, right?” It lifts your spirits and gets a smile from the person paying the compliment. I try to remember this every day. I will take your words and apply them as well.

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