October 31, 2017
When I was younger I thought a strong woman was someone with a great deal of beauty. Although I now understand that beauty doesn’t have any standards, as a young girl I believed beauty to be very stereotypical. I believed that I was not beautiful because I didn’t look like any of the girls I saw on TV or in magazines. I saw beautiful silky hair and hourglass figures. I found perfect cheekbones and perfectly tanned skin to be the most beautiful thing about a woman. I didn’t look like any of the girls I idolized. I have big curly hair and freckles. I have pale skin and very prominent features, so I didn’t think there was anything desirable about me. I thought I was very peculiar and I really didn’t know whether or not that was a good or a bad thing. Part of me believed it to be more of a bad thing and that part of me was wrong. Let me tell you why.
My older sister taught me everything I know about feeling beautiful. She taught me that even when you feel horrible, you still get up and put yourself together. She taught me to never let anyone see me feeling sad, because that could very well be what they wanted and I couldn’t give them the satisfaction. So, going through life, I remembered that. I remembered her associating beauty with strength and I admired her for it. I didn’t quite live by her teachings until I was absolutely at my lowest point. I let myself go in every way. Eventually, I decided that I was going to pull myself out of this hole that I had allowed myself to fall into. I started trying to figure out the key to loving myself. I made myself a priority and I started putting myself before anyone else because that’s what I needed to do.
Have you ever thought about how many people have called you beautiful in your lifetime? I did. I thought about every person who’d ever called me beautiful and I wondered what it is they saw in me. That was the problem. It mattered to me what they saw and that was the thing that was going to destroy me if I let it. This is when I started thinking about what my sister had taught me. I couldn’t let myself be torn apart because I wasn’t desired by the person I wanted or because I wasn’t the spitting image of the girls I admired. I had to treat myself better than that.
At this point in my life, I have accepted everything about myself. I have overcome so many obstacles and I deserve to give myself a break. You deserve to give yourself a break. It’s so important to view ourselves as phenomenal beings. We are. Think about how far you’ve come in your life. No matter your age. You’ve made it this far. You’ve stayed strong enough to make it to where you are now. Don’t you think you deserve to love yourself?
I once believed that in order for me to be beautiful, other people had to think I was. I was in desperate need of validation. I needed to be wanted. I laugh at myself now for ever believing that. You know why? Because we never NEED anyone. We need ourselves. We need to believe we are beautiful and strong with every fiber of our being. It takes a great deal of strength to become so in love with yourself that it’s the only love you truly desire. I can honestly say that I no longer need validation from anyone else. My self love is enough.
I love myself the way I’d want someone else to love me. I am kind to myself. I am loyal to myself. I never allow someone else to change my opinion of myself. I make sure that I am taken care of and appreciated. After all these years, I have finally given myself everything I have ever looked for in a significant other. I give myself nice dinner dates and affection. I made it a point to give myself everything another person could give me. Including an orgasm. I got in tune with myself. I stopped looking for validation from other people that I was sexy and beautiful. I started looking for that validation within myself and I found it.
I found that deep love I have for myself and I put it first. I made it impossible for anyone to say that I wouldn’t have something without them. I became completely dependent on myself for happiness and satisfaction that way any other affection would just be a bonus in my life, not a necessity. I figured out what it was I needed and I made it happen. It was liberating, to say the least! Ladies, you can give yourself ANYTHING someone else can give you. Quite literally. You can decide to love yourself in every way possible and never look back. I did it and it rocked my world.
One of the first things I did on my journey was allowing myself to become completely vulnerable. I allowed myself to open up to a wonderful person, and she captured me in a way that helped me realize there’s more to me than meets the eye. I let my guard down and decided that even though I wasn’t quite feeling myself, I was going to strip down and arch my back anyways. Talk about tough love, right? WORTH IT!
Seeing myself in photographs that focused on my soul changed everything I thought about myself. I saw myself and I saw the fierceness within me. In a strange way, I disconnected with myself for a moment and I saw myself as a strong woman who has been through a million storms and somehow, through all of the chaos, LOOKED INCREDIBLE. I looked like a stunner. After that, I was truly feelin’ myself. I saw myself as a beautiful goddess who deserved to feel on top of the world. I chase that feeling on a daily basis now. I have become this indestructible woman. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would fall in love with myself in my 20’s, I would have laughed. Now, the jokes on me. I would move mountains for the woman I have become.
Written by Elyse Haro