Your worth isn’t dictated by your appearance.
There have been so many times in my life where I fell into the trap of believing that my worth is linked, completely and wholly, to my appearance. It’s what I learned when I was young from various sources.
Thin and pretty is good.
When you are thin and pretty, amazing things will find you.
You will succeed.
Your life is perfect.
Everyone will love you.
Fat and ugly is bad.
When you are fat and ugly, you will be ridiculed and made fun of constantly.
Nothing good will come from your life.
Everything in life will be miserable, and you’ll be faced with challenges constantly.
When you are fat and ugly, you’ll never be happy.
No one will love you.
This thought pattern only increased in intensity as I went through my teenage years and into adulthood.
And I was so indoctrinated into these thoughts that everything that happened in my life PROVED that these thoughts about my body, my confidence, and my value were truth.
It became my belief.
My belief about myself.
My belief about others.
My belief about how the world sees me.
I believed that how I looked should determine what I did and didn’t do.
It was the be all and end all of my life.
If I didn’t look a certain way, I stayed hidden.
The shame within me about how I looked grew larger and larger.
Every time my body fluctuated in life, I felt defeated. I could never win.
But I’d keep up the battle, because each time I had hope that I’d be able to lose weight and be a success in life.
It was an exhausting game to play with myself.
I have so many regrets from that time in my life.
Too many moments and memories that passed me by because I couldn’t dare step out and do the things I wanted.
Friendships I didn’t pursue because I thought I’d be judged by the way I looked.
Vacation and trips that I missed out on.
LIFE passed me by because I wasn’t worthy of these things when I didn’t look like how I thought should.
So many thoughts like this drove my actions.
My body and looks ruled my life.
Until I stood up, and said enough is enough.
I couldn’t live this way anymore.
I started to work on myself, developed a better understanding where these beliefs came from, identifying the truth of the situation, and how I needed to build my worth on a foundation that has NOTHING to do with how I looked. To be confident as I am, without having to change my body.
You see, my life had all been about fixing an internal issue with external change.
How could I possibly see all the other wonderful and amazing things about myself if I ONLY focused on how I looked?
My view of myself was clouded by a body that I hated. I couldn’t work past that hatred to see what is beyond the exterior that makes me ME.
I only saw my outer shell, and that view either told me I was good or I was bad.
I was a moral failure most of the time because I didn’t look the way my beliefs thought I should.
What I WORKED to believe is that I am MORE than the way I look, no longer giving my body the control over my life.
I have found freedom.
Freedom to enjoy my life just as I am.
Freedom to fully engage in relationships with others.
Freedom from the judgement of others.
Freedom from the mind control that my body had over me.
At the end of the day, regardless of what my exterior looks like:
I am a success.
I am loved.
I am valued.
I am worthy.
Just as I am. And so are you.