Yes, I found the love of my life. Who is He? Is it the same boyfriend I've been dating since eight years ago? Nope. And it's not even a man. It's She...
And she's been with me all my life. Yet at times I neglected her, criticized, punished, disapproved, ignored, and rejected. Yep, that's the girl I see every day in the mirror. She's amazing and I no longer need anyone else to see or say this.
But it wasn't always this way.
When I was a teenager, I subscribed to the idea that, in order to be worthy, I needed to be attractive to men. I'm not entirely sure where it came from—maybe because I got less attention than my prettier friends. Maybe it was the pressure to look a certain way from the media, or maybe because I got rejected by the guy I really liked. I can't pinpoint it to the exact moment when I started feeling unworthy, but it was definitely because I found myself unattractive. And it made me do some pretty crazy things.
I thought if I were skinnier and prettier, my whole life would be blissful; I would feel more confident and more attractive to guys. So I starved myself to fit the image of what I thought guys wanted me to be. Although it was not something that consciously went through my mind at the time, looking back, I did it all for approval, and from everyone but me.
When I was 17 years old, in order to attempt to "fix myself" and become a valuable human being, I went on my first diet, which ended with me fainting and seriously hurting myself. I didn't learn the lesson, though. My war with my body has lasted for over a decade.
I've tried insane methods to lose weight: from no-carb diets, to exhausting exercise programs, to a coffee-and-cigarette diet. You name it, I've tried it. I lost and gained weight, but until I did the inner work and found my worthiness—and my self-respect—no number on the scale could convince me that I was good enough. So I gave myself away repeatedly in hopes that someone else might.
The sad thing is, I'm not the only one. So many people go through life feeling they're not worthy of their desires (or being desired), and that they're not good enough the way they are. There's always something that needs to be changed...something to be fixed...something to be adjusted.
But that something is never you. You are perfect just as you are. And life gets a lot better when you accept that. At least, that's how it's happened for me.
After working with many women, I've noticed this recurring pattern—they try to fix themselves in hopes that life will be so much better when they're prettier, skinnier, or more successful. Because then they'll get the love and recognition. Then they'll get all the attention they want—whether that's the current or potential partner, parents, friends, bosses, colleagues, or any other person whose love and approval they seek.