Ladies, love and self-esteem: Love yourself starting today

She has always been overlooked.

Some refer to her as “the ugly duckling.” As she came into her own, grew into her features, she learned what it meant to be the center of attention. She quickly learned how to turn the heads of men; she would never be overlooked, again.

She was often rejected.

She was taught to be seen and not heard. She was tossed around, from family to acquaintances, and she never learned stability. She blames herself for her inability to settle down.

Her entire life, she was told that her skin was too dark.

She was teased about disappearing when the lights were turned off. She was teased about her prominent facial features. As an adult, she consulted with plastic surgeons and uses skin lighteners.

Her entire life, she was teased about her weight.

In grade school, they laughed at her wild, bright red hair, and said that her teeth were “too big for her face.” Now, the braces, voluptuous body, hair dye, hair straighteners and weekly trips to the salon still don’t fix the damage she continues to inflict upon herself when she looks in the mirror.

The people she trusted most betrayed her.

They used her, hurt her, left her in ruins. They stole everything she had. Now,the only thing she has left for herself, is hatred.

She only knows how to be harsh and critical …

with herself, with her co-workers, her friends, her family and strangers. She’s been hurt, therefore, she hurts others. When she is jealous, she lashes out, and she breaks spirits with ease. When she is upset with her life, she lashes out at those she envies. When she is unsure, she lashes out, and she is the epitomy of the idiom, “Misery loves company.”

She does not see what the world sees; she never has.

Forty years have passed, and she still hasn’t accepted the woman others refer to as loving, kind, gracious and beautiful. Not to mention, she is quite the comedian. She cringes when complemented. She makes herself the butt of every joke. Deep down, these jabs she takes at herself: her weight, skin, life and calling herself dumb, are a cry for help. Depression oppresses her and no one knows that each night before she closes her eyes, she considers pressing a pistol to her temple as she prays for better days.

With all of the things we carry: the burdens of others, our own baggage and scars, fears of failing and disappointing, the fears of being “too assertive/hard” – in all of this, where do we find time to love ourselves? How many of us truly love who we are and what we see in the mirror?

There is so much to the word woman - so many layers – when do we find time to let go of the pressures of the world and embrace what we are?

n. pl. wom·en (wmn)

1. An adult female human.
2. Women considered as a group; womankind: “Woman feels the invidious distinctions of sex exactly as the black man does those of color” (Elizabeth Cady Stanton).
3. An adult female human belonging to a specified occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination: an Englishwoman; congresswoman; a saleswoman.
4. Feminine quality or aspect; womanliness.
5. A female servant or subordinate.
6. Informal
a. A wife.
b. A female lover or sweetheart.
woman [ˈwʊmən]
n pl women [ˈwɪmɪn]
1. (Social Science / Anthropology & Ethnology) an adult female human being
2. (modifier) female or feminine a woman politician woman talk
3. (Social Science / Anthropology & Ethnology) women collectively; womankind
4. (usually preceded by the) feminine nature or feelings babies bring out the woman in her
5. a female servant or domestic help
6. a man considered as having supposed female characteristics, such as meekness or timidity
7. Informal a wife, mistress, or girlfriend
We are so much more than these definitions.  We are so much more than the labels we are given. We are so much more than the labels we give ourselves. We are more than our scars. We are more than our insecurities. What will it take for us to believe in ourselves?
self-esteem
noun
1.

a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.
2.

an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself.
***
Self-esteem is something I pray about, often. The words self-esteem, I admit, are like a foreign language to me most days. How many of us beat ourselves over the head with the things we are not, did not do, cannot do, will never do/be?
Where does it begin?
What do we need to do to fix the crippling thoughts?
How many of us truly, deeply love ourselves?
 I am constantly thinking of the women who have never learned to love themselves beyond
the exterior – the surface.
I wish I could change the way young girls view themselves and idolize unrealistic images fed to them on television and magazines.
I am constantly wondering what it will take to forget about the weight loss challenges, the make-up, the things that hide our imperfections – why do we punish ourselves by waiting on “perfection?”
How fair is it to wait to love yourself?
Look in the mirror on your worst day while you are in your worst mood. What is the first word that comes to mind?
If you were to describe yourself in five words, what would those words be?
Now. How many of those things were negative, based upon unecessary pressure, the way you felt that you looked or what someone said to you?
Do you have to fight with yourself to come up with something good to say about yourself?
The lack of true love for ourselves, and the insecurities we often develop –  I often wonder: what gives us the right to doubt and criticize the miraculous wonders that we are?
We are all beautiful and unique; why do so many of us have so much trouble looking at our reflexions and telling ourselves these things? Where is the genuine self love…
Beyond our hair…
Beyond our nails…
Beyond our material possessions…
What do you love about you …
 What happens when you don’t love yourself and embrace what you are and have been blessed with?
What happens to a woman who never learns to love herself?
“It may snowball into other areas of her life: low self esteem, lack of confidence in her ability, experiencing true passion or completing anything of substance in her life – she does not reach her full potential.” Ann H.
“Then she will never learn how to love others.” – Jakell

“Then her happiness is always in the hands of others” – Erica E.

“She can’t possibly develop genuine love for another.” – Megan Henderson

“She will never fully trust when someone else says, ‘I love you'” – Hollie Clark

“It is difficult to love someone else …” – Shanta

“She may allow herself to be used and abused and feel empty inside cause if she doesn’t care about herself than why should anyone else.” – Tamara

“She won’t be able to identify the feeling of love towards her by someone else.” – Tamara

“She can’t love anyone else.” – Blayne A.

“She will never know her true potential, thus denying the world her beauty.” –  Laura

“She can never fully love others.” – Brooke W.

“She may not appreciate true love when it comes her way.” – Crystal Torres

“She can never love another.” – Lesley M
“No man ever will!” – Daphne S
“She will never experience an orgasm.” – Missy G.
“She will never learn to love another …” Donesha T.
“She will never be able to learn how to love someone else.” – Benjolynn
“She will never be happy.” – Melina
“She can’t love anyone else.” Vergina
“She will never really be able to love anyone else.” Ey Wade
“Then she can’t love anyone else!!!” – Stephaine C
“Doesn’t look for it.” – Renee W

“She will never know her true worth.” – Samantha A

“Then she can’t love anyone else.” – Stacey R
“She will never be happy.” – Tarra A
“She’s suffered the biggest heartbreak of all.” – Lea T
“How can she show her children what love is?” L Young
“She will never be truly appreciated or loved by anyone else.”  L Young
These quotes are sincere. The list of ways a woman misses out without loving herself, flaws and all, goes on and on. If you’ve learned to love yourself, please hold on to that. If you have not, please start, today. Love yourself – starting today.

Song of Solomon 4:1 Behold,you are beautiful, my love, behold,  you are beautiful! Your eyes are dovesbehind your veil.  Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the  slopes of Gilead.

God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in  moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit. Christians who have come to  terms with their inadequacies, fears, and failures. Believers who have become  discontent with ‘surviving’ and have taken the time to investigate everything  God has to offer in this life.- Charles Stanley
Read more:

If you don’t love you, how can you love fully love others? Without embracing and loving others wholeheartedly, you are missing out on something remarkable.

***

7 comments
  1. Very insightful of women. We indeed can be our own worst enemy.

  2. Crystal said:

    It’s really sad that some women go through their whole lives thinking and feeling this way. Women likenyoungive these woman hope and inspiration to love their self.

    • To inspire? – That’s all I could hope for. Thanks, Crystal

  3. dang. spoke to me like you wouldn’t believe. thanks for that

    • Thank you. When Donesha, who wrote the poem, and me started the post, that was all I prayed for. To speak to at least one woman who (like myself) should stop being so hard on herself.
      Bless you. Thanks so much.

      • Donesha said:

        Amen! This brightened my day. The sun is shining on my face…literally.

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