How often do you have a conversation with yourself in the mirror? Like actually look into your own eyes and have a chat like they’re your pal you haven’t seen in a while, showing genuine interest and care in what they have to say. Probably never right? This is why people struggle to make decisions about what they want, why they struggle to realise what it is they actually need, it’s because they don’t listen to themselves. If you’re anything like me then self-love will not come naturally to you. Harnessing that inner acceptance and practicing it are really two of the toughest things you will encounter, perfecting it is almost saintly.
I, especially, am a victim of my own school ground bullying. I give myself such a hard time to the point that I’m scared to even look at myself in the mirror in case I provoke a battering. I picture the hate-fueled voice inside my head sitting on a ghastly throne (sort of like the Iron throne but with a red velvet cushion because bony bum) waiting to hear my new big idea of what it ‘might’ enjoy doing next. Already knowing it’s going to be disappointed with my suggestion, knowing it’s going to pipe up with some negative response. Why is it I am always trying to please and plan for this asshole in my head? Why am I so afraid of what it might think or say?
‘I’ve noticed you haven’t been happy lately so how about we take you on a nice little walk through the park later to get some fresh air perh-‘
‘NO NO NO and NO. What a terrible idea. It’s freezing out there. And don’t think that just by walking for fifteen minutes it will even BEGIN to burn off the calories you consumed with that huge lunch you had. How dare you try to clear your head of me and do something productive with your time- get back into bed and remain there until you come up with a better idea.’
Something like that, anyway.
So as well as deleting my main sources of social media (which feels incredibly freeing btw) clearing out all my old photos that aren’t relevant to my life anymore and finally beginning to try to address and mend what happened in Australia (which clearly still affects me as I well up as soon as I think about it) I am going to talk, like, to myself, in the mirror, every morning.
There’s a really good part in the book of Eat Pray Love (which as cliche as it sounds is one of the best books ever written and will help you through life) where she explains this time where she was in an elevator and she sees a figure in the corner mirror which she recognises as a friend and goes toward her to say hello and embrace her- only to realise that it was her own reflection. She then goes on to say how in that split second of confusion she recognised her own self as a friend- and that that should be something she continues to do instead of viewing herself as an enemy. I know this all sounds a bit floaty and flowery, but bare with me for there is sense in all this.
After I came home from the gym today I lit a candle and stood in front of my living room mirror and just stared into my own eyes. I stood like this for two minutes, looking into my eyes as if I were looking into the eyes of another, deeply and meaningfully. After the second minute I start crying because it comes to my attention that this is the first time that I have looked into the eyes on my face rather than the fat on my body. Focusing for the first time on the only feature that gives a true indication of who I actually am on the inside. I have spent hours cringing at the things I hate most about myself but have only once at the age of 20 actually looked into my eyes and attempted to befriend and talk to the person behind them, the person I’m usually so gravely afraid of.
My ex used to get me to repeat the words ‘I am beautiful, I am amazing, I am interesting etc’ to him when I was feeling shit and I would repeat them for the simple reason that he was telling me too, not because I actually believed them or had any intention to actually believe them. But why not? Why continue to fight with yourself every single day when you are the only person you spend every day of your life with? You wouldn’t choose a partner who you fought against every day so why choose to live a life fighting against the only person you can unselfishly mold into what you want them to be?
I’m going all out on ways to self heal so if anyone has any good ideas lemme know- but even getting into the starting position feels pretty darn good