I think self-love is one of the most difficult things to achieve. It is so easy to love anyone else and share all the kindness in your heart, but it is SO hard to feel that same way towards yourself. Not only because it takes a lot of altering to your internal dialogue, but also because of this idea that we have been told that loving ourselves is ‘narcissistic’ somehow… There is a huge difference between recognising your values and your strengths and admiring those aspects of you, and being a self-obsessed asshole sitting on their high horse and treating everyone else like they’re beneath them. And it’s like, ummm…? Miss/Sir? No one has wanted to say ‘hi’ to you since 1974, so get off your high horse and give it a rest already.
I’ll get to the tips right away without dragging this further…
Here are some tips on enjoying your own company:
Take yourself out ALONE – There is nothing ‘weird’ about spending time alone outside, because you’ll be spending hell of a long time with yourself for 80+ years (hopefully) no matter who you end up with. Try maybe taking yourself out for coffee and take your laptop with you to do some work or study. Get a French coffee from Tim Horton’s and a donut, and sit there with your laptop doing some work. Try doing this once a week or every other week.
2. To-do list of movies to watch/books to read ALONE- If you decide to stay in or you’re just be as lazy as I can be sometimes, then you might want to watch a good movie or a tv series with some popcorn or a tub of ice cream, whatever it is that you enjoy. If you prefer reading then get books that you would enjoy depending on the genre that you prefer.
Here are some of the great movies you could watch: – Get Out – The Split – Shutter Island – Inception – The Wolf of Wall Street [Don’t ever watch it with family or anyone under 18 please. A lot of nudity and sexual scenes] – The Lovely Bones [Saiorse Ronan is amazing] – Hush – I Am Legend [Old but gold. Will Smith RULES] – The Pursuit of Happiness [Another old but gold Will Smith movie] – I Feel Pretty – Bird Box [Sandra Bullock’s movies are the BEST] – The Blind Side [Sandra Bullock] – Premonition [Sandra Bullock] – The Help [Emma Stone] – Crazy Rich Asians – Confessions of A Killer [The Ted Bundy movie]
Series: – When They See Us [4 episodes only and based on a true story] – The OA – Black Mirror [AMAZEBALLS. Sci-Fi and every episode is a different story with different characters. Best episodes are: Shut Up and Dance, PlayTest, Hang The DJ, NoseDive, White Bear and Black Museum] – The Good Place – One Day At A Time – Breaking Bad – How I Met Your Mother – Grey’s Anatomy – Stranger Things – Jane The Virgin – Anime: Death Note <3
3. Create An Atmosphere – Give your room a different vibe that’s uplifting. I got myself fake red roses to put on my desk and a vanilla scented spray for my room. Give it a more positive vibe that YOU enjoy!
4. Gratitude Hour – Give yourself an hour each day to journal everything you’re grateful for. It can be something as small as ‘Got a phone call from an old friend’ or ‘Sunny day!’ Keep a gratitude journal and write a list of things or even a paragraph of what you’re grateful for.
5. Set daily micro-goals – I can be forgetful sometimes especially that as a university student living alone, you got a lot to do on your own. Sometimes I write on some post-it notes stuff that I want to do today, such as: – Buy groceries – Read article – Call my friend – Tidy desk – Gratitude journal Keeping a micro goal list and checking things off your list gives you a sense of ‘accomplishment,’ obviously not the same accomplishment as winning the fucking Oscar award, but at the end of the day you see that you have been productive on your own all day and completed everything you wanted to.
6- Reward YOURSELF – After a rough, long week or any big/small achievement, you reward yourself. Do something you don’t usually do alone. If you don’t usually add bath bombs to your bath, time to get a bath bomb and some bubbles in there. Maybe even reward yourself by going out with a friend. Just treat yourself the way you would treat other people to start developing a friendship with YOURSELF.
7- Listen to podcasts of topics that interest you – Whether you like sports, self-empowering podcasts, etc… look for podcasts that interest you and save them to listen to them when you’re alone.
8- Learn something new – This kind of falls under listening to a podcast or reading a book. One way to keep yourself busy and enjoy your own company, is to learn something new. That can be cooking, a new hobby, a sport or even education. Since last year, I have been interested in learning more about the ‘law of attraction’ (not that kind of attraction, get your head out of the gutter) which is basically a concept that suggests how our recurrent thoughts and beliefs manifest and impact our reality (it’s quantum physics basically and psychology). I watched a documentary called ‘The Secret’ to understand it more and watched videos about it to understand it more. It was such an eye opening concept to understand and read more about.
9- Write a letter to yourself – Sometimes we all need some reassurance and the best person to understand you is YOU. I wrote a letter to myself last year that I look back to when I’m not feeling my best or when I have days where I feel self-conscious. You could write a letter to your younger self and give that person the advice and reassurance you wish you received back then. This is another way you become your own best friend and start to develop a bond.
10- OWN something that broke you in the past! As I mentioned in one of my blogs before, I was in a toxic relationship where I was constantly body shamed. Recently I found a dress that I once wore when I was with him and I remember how he made a joke about how I don’t get cold during winter because he said that I’m “fat.” Wanna know what I did when I found that dress? I wore it with PRIDE and loved how my body looked in it 🙂 I changed my story and chose to be in control, NOT HIM. NOT ANYMORE. See photos below
NONE of these photos have any filter or edits. You know why? Because those fake filters are one of the big reasons why we’re self-conscious. I like to use them sometimes but not because I want to look “perfect.” I am NOT skinny and I don’t think I’ll ever be. And I know that a lot of guys won’t find that attractive and women (the ones that truly disgust me) who have no respect whatsoever will make comments about my body, but I don’t give two fucks anymore. I don’t label myself as fat, average or thin. I label myself as beautiful and courageous. Also I don’t wear foundation so can we please talk about my skin? 😝
The best inspiration I ever found was when I owned my heartbreaks and pain. Find your inspiration within yourself and watch how fucking invincible you will be.
Loving our bodies is one of the most difficult things to do especially when we’re bombarded with all those fake social media photos, people who have cosmetic procedures done, toxic family members and emotional vampires (bf/gf or shit friends). Now I’m not judging anyone who has a cosmetic procedure done, it’s your body and your choice. I’m talking about the fact that a lot of us have unrealistic expectations is because our bodies aren’t built a certain way and we tend to look for those qualities in others. Today I am writing this blog to guide you and help you to start accepting AND loving your body.
As someone suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) I understand how difficult it is to love your body and not let it get to you. I have had mornings where I woke up refusing to get out of bed because I felt like shit about myself. I had days last year where I felt so down that I would cancel an outing or not go to the university lecture. Whenever I was invited to an outing or an event, my first thought would be “oh fuck.. what can I wear to hide the bigger parts of my body?” or “I won’t be able to wear that dress/skirt because of how ‘big’ I will look.” The thing is about body dysmorphia (will write a blog about it and how I deal with it) is that a) You obsess over every ”flaw” in your face/hair/body and b) You see those ”flaws” 3x worse. So I could literally lose 10 kg and barely see any difference, even when others tell me shit like “you look smaller yay congrats!” That’s how fucked up BDD can be. So when I tell you I get how painful it can be to even look at yourself in the mirror, I fucking mean it.
Until earlier this year, I struggled a lot with loving myself and my body to the point that I saw a therapist for 3-4 months. That is when I was diagnosed with BDD, social anxiety and anxiety. #NOSHAME Mental illness is very much real, but that is a whole other topic. I know what it’s like to be the meanest person TO YOURSELF to the point that you make yourself cry because you think you’re “unattractive.” I know what it’s like to just want to get out of your body or wake up in a different body because you hate it sooo much. I know what it is like to be angry at yourself for the body your in, especially that I have PCOS [Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome] so my weight is constantly changing no matter what.
So it REALLY SUCKED that I felt like I am not in control of my body and I barely opened up to anyone about my struggles. Now I understand that it might seem inappropriate for an average sized person to talk about weight struggles and body image problems as I’m aware there are people out there with actual obesity issues. So let me clarify this by saying that I CANNOT and will NOT speak for anyone with actual, real obesity problems. I am sharing my journey and how I deal with it. Lack of confidence can come in all shapes and sizes, and really a bully can body shame you regardless of how much you weight. I lost a good amount of weight this year and someone literally told me “But your boobs look smaller now..ugh” none of your business. My boobs are fantastic 😛
So, How Did You Start Loving Your Body?
Finding The Source – I say this a lot and I will say it again, we aren’t born with these insecurities, we are TOLD to be and feel insecure about certain parts of ourselves. So really, how did you develop that body image problem if you weren’t born with it? In order to solve ANY problem you HAVE TO go back to the source and find out what caused it in the first place. I didn’t discover this in one sitting obviously, so I kept self-assessing myself and asking myself by going back and trying to remember how it started. It started when I passed puberty and my body was changing quickly and I was around people smaller than me who talked about wanting to lose weight and sharing their diet plans. I promise you that when you find the source, you WILL call yourself out every time you get a bad body image thought. This is what I tell myself “hey, these aren’t YOUR thoughts. That is what you have been hearing.” You gotta call yourself out and remind yourself that you’re telling yourself what others are saying. I came to realise that the source is always one or more of the following: – Social media – Fake, photoshopped magazines – Friends AKA Shitty Emotional Vampires – Toxic family members – Society – Shitty Ex/Current BF/GF
Let It All Out – Most of the time, we as human beings tend to hold back and tell ourselves to just get over it and that it will pass. What really happens is that you push those thoughts aside and then they come back later and hit you hard. What I discovered was tough but helpful, is to say out loud EVERYTHING I hated about my body until I don’t have anything else left to say. I say it all out loud until my mind is clear of those thoughts. I know you’re probably thinking “well wtf? I’ll just make myself feel like shit.” Well maybe in that moment, yes, but that is PART of the self-love process. You can’t get better until it’s all out. Let it all out, then move to the NEXT step. DON’T STOP AND QUIT HERE. You can do this with someone you trust and feel like you can be vulnerable with, or you can do it alone.
Acceptance – Like I said earlier, sometimes we set ourselves UNREALISTIC expectations regarding our bodies. We were all built genetically a certain way, fat is distributed differently in every person’s body and we all have a different metabolic rate. Create a CAN DO and NOT IN MY CONTROL list. What can you actually change? Be more active? Reduce stress levels? And what is out of your control? Bone structure? Start to really understand the nature of your body more and love what’s not in your control because that is the ONLY body you will ever get. You can either spend the rest of your life hating it or celebrating your body for what it is. I was watching a live video recently of a social media influencer @MarysCupOfTea who said that your body is NOT an image, it’s an experience. The word ‘image’ started after social media and cameras became a big thing. DON’T let your body ‘image’ get in the way of your ‘experience.’
Words of Expression – I have noticed that more times than none, we tend to use the wrong words of expression like “I feel fat” or “I feel too skinny.” ‘Fat’ and ‘Skinny’ are NOT FEELINGS. You feel uncomfortable, unsatisfied and hurt. THOSE ARE FEELINGS. Change your internal dialogue and start to use more effective communication with yourself. By understanding the core of your feelings, you know where the work needs to be done.
Find A Healthy Balance – A lot of people think that body acceptance means being lazy and eating unhealthy. Your health is the reason why you are still alive, so I encourage you to start feeling healthy on the inside by finding a balance between body acceptance/self-love and a healthier lifestyle that you enjoy and fulfils you.
Unfollow Anyone Who Makes You Self-conscious – All those fake filtered people on social media should be unfollowed THIS INSTANT. You are NOT helping yourself or your self-image when you’re constantly seeing all those photoshopped pictures on Instagram of people with ‘perfect’ skin and #bodygoals. Anyone who posts their diet plan should be unfollowed too unless they’re a health professional. Why? Things work differently with our bodies and that is exactly why there are over 15 diet plans out there. Surround yourself with diverse body images from skinny to average to fat to obese. I AM NOT PROMOTING OBESITY OR BEING UNDERWEIGHT as they come with a lot of health issues. This is about respecting and loving all body shapes and sizes.
Shift Your Focus – Instead of focusing too much on what you like and don’t like about your face/body/hair/skin, maybe start admiring what you really like about yourself and your body. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend who tells you they are having a bad body image days.
Quit The Labels – Stop labelling others, but most importantly STOP labelling yourself! Stop labelling yourself as too thin, fat, skinny, obese or average and start labelling yourself as strong, beautiful, loving, compassionate and badass! You are more than JUST a body. You are who you are because of the experiences that have shaped you, because of the past mistakes that have changed you and because of the better person you chose to be. Perfectionism DOES NOT EXIST. BE REALISTIC PLEASE.
Stop Accepting Body Comments – I no longer accept “you lost weight” as a compliment as it just feeds into the idea that being smaller is sexier or prettier somehow. Small, average or big – they’re all beautiful! Lets reduce the focus on our bodies and caring about who lost or gained weight. Your body is a temple and it is YOURS ONLY. Don’t let anyone put you down about your size or shape from now on.
Set YOUR Own Beauty Standards – We are all letting society set beauty standards for us. If you go a few years back being ‘too skinny’ was hot and now women want bigger boobs, thicker thighs and ass. So really who sets those standards? This is JUST a trend, trust me. Even I myself was approached by a skinny girl who said that she wished she had MY body because it’s more of an hourglass shape which is more ‘feminine’ somehow. This is bullshit you guys! We live in a world now where you can LITERALLY change your gender! So really your shape and size DOES NOT define your masculinity or femininity. Trust me, I myself used to say my figure is masculine because of my broad shoulders. Now I look at them and I think ‘Lord I LOOK like a badass fighter!’
I do have bad body image days from time to time which is a HUGE progress for me. I used to think about it almost every minute of every day. No one looks perfect all the time, so I will share some NO MAKEUP days down below 👇🏻
Please note that there are a lot of stuff that I will not add to this blog to respect the privacy of the ex-shitty-relationship. I am so glad I came this far and managed to heal and truly move on. Abuse is something that you ALWAYS HEAL FROM. And when I say abuse I mean mental, physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. If this is a topic that has triggered you in the past or will, please ignore this blog and do NOT READ IT. Your health and safety should always come first.
I know everyone who knows me will be shocked by this blog as I haven’t sat down and really spoke about this with ANYONE.
– National Domestic Violence Month: October
How Did It Start?
I started dating when I was 16, which is obviously a very
young age to open your heart to someone and start a relationship. Back then, I
was very self-conscious about my looks, my body, my face, my personality and
literally everything you can think of. I felt so unloved in the past since I was
bullied for years and I had other personal stuff going on.
At the age of 16, I met this guy whom I found attractive. He noticed me when I was feeling alone and lonely, and when we started talking, we found similar interests. One of our first conversations was about our interest in video games like The Last of Us, Beyond Two Souls and The Walking Dead. He really got my attention at that time, and I felt like he was different. When I say ‘different,’ I am talking about his mindset, since I come from a culture that is still somehow closed minded. I always felt different from my culture and I never thought that I would really find someone, not even a friend, who is that similar to me.
We started talking, and we got so much closer. We were close friends for around three months and then he started checking me out, flirting with me and noticing everything I do. I’ll be honest, he swept me off my feet. And we started sharing some personal stuff about our lives which made us grow even closer and I started feeling safe with him. Then some time later, he confessed his feelings to me twice and asked me to be his girlfriend. Obviously, I have reciprocated those feelings and they were super strong. When we started dating, things were so sweet, romantic and gentle. I remember we used to talk on the phone for 2-3 hours after midnight when everyone slept, and we would have endless conversations both on the phone and on social media.
I got too attached to him because I didn’t love myself enough.
I let HIM dictate what love, happiness and confidence really is. He was very
affectionate at the start of the relationship and I remember how much he talked
to me about how strong his feelings were towards me. I was super happy to the
point that I loved him blindly, because again I didn’t love myself enough. I
was truly, madly and deeply in love.
So, What Happened?
Even though he was very vocal about his feelings towards me, he never really did those little things or romantic gestures, like getting me a red rose or even a necklace… I was starting to feel really needy and at times we started arguing. Then when our parents found out that we have been seeing each other, he promised to not leave regardless. However, the way he was treating me, and the relationship changed. He was becoming too cautious as to when to see me, when to text me and he was angry that his parents were mad at him because of me. We started arguing A LOT and he was really aggressive with his stabbing words. He even told me at some point, “you don’t even know how to love.” Till this day I remember this sentence because it stung like hell. He started fighting over the smallest things and hated the fact that he was being judged by his friends that he is ‘dating.’ Yes, ‘dating’ is still a taboo in the Arab world, but I didn’t give a shit and I still don’t.
As I mentioned earlier, he was really aggressive with his words. And at some point,
he started calling me ‘fat.’ He made comments about how I would fall because he
thought I was too fat, even though I was thinner than I am now. I let it slide because
I thought to myself that he is just going through a difficult time. Then it got
worse from here… At one point he took his anger out on me and started yelling,
calling me names like ‘whore’, ‘slut’ and ‘stupid.’ I saw his rage and that side
of him when he got angry which made me wonder in that moment if he was just
angry or mentally unstable.
The problem wasn’t just that he called me names, the problem
is that I believed him because I didn’t think I was pretty enough or smart
enough or worthy in any shape or form. And after that we started talking less
and we were barely even meeting. It felt so lonely when I was with him and that’s
the worst place you can be at. Then a while later we both agreed to end the
relationship since he was too angry all the time and he couldn’t stand the
sight of me somehow.
A couple of months later, we got back together because I
followed my heart. I was still very in love with him, so I looked for excuses
as to why he was acting that way and I wanted to make it seem like it’s my
fault rather than his. And the same shit happened over and over again, we’d
start fighting a lot, break up and get back together, which went on for a year.
What Happened Next
That Was So Awful?
In New Year’s Eve, he texted me to apologise for how he treated me, and he said
that he is all better and he wants to make things right because he is still so
very in love with me and that I make him feel understood, calm and complete. I
agreed to get back together (because I was dumb as shit and had absolutely no self-respect).
Four days later, he told me that a family member passed away and he was deeply
struggling at that time. I wanted to be there for him, and I tried to see him.
When he asked for space, I gave it to him. When he asked to talk about it, I
listened. Even when he screamed at me, I let it slide because I knew that anger
is part of the grieving process.
You know how sometimes when you keep trying to reassure
someone that you don’t even know what to say anymore so everything you say
comes out wrong? Yeah, I did that. One night were talking about it and I was
trying to tell him how strong he is and that he has been through worse. That
obviously infuriated him because to him that was the most heart-breaking thing
that happened to him, and in that day, he said, “I HAVE BEEN THROUGH WORSE???”
Then he called me every name in the book, from to bitch to even ‘cunt.’ You
name it… That made me feel worthless, but I still let it slide, because I
thought to myself “I made him angry. It’s my fault. He really does love me he
is just angry right now and he is hurting.” And then he blocked me (one of the
many times he did) and so I had to reach him through his friends, and then one
of his neighbours told me they will go check on him and they told me that “he
is fine. He is just listening to some metal music.” I thought to myself that
well maybe he is trying to ignore the fact that he is in pain, so I waited for
him to unblock me and we started talking again.
For the next 5-6 months, he kept doing that – name calling, blocking me, starting arguments, talking about how much in pain he is, pushing me away, ignoring my texts and phone calls, refusing to see me but still went out with his friends. I didn’t understand why he treated me that way and he said, “well I don’t want to see you and I would rather spend time with my friends.” Mind you, these are the same friends that disapproved and judged our relationship, but he told me he shut that shit down. Even though I should have left from this mistreatment, he kept me on his leash somehow, saying that I am the only one who understands him, that I am the light to his dark room, that he wants to spend time with me but he just doesn’t feel like seeing anyone and that he truly loves me till this day. So, my dumbass STAYED even though he was a dick to me. I remember feeling so stuck… I wanted to leave because I was so mentally drained and exhausted, but I loved him very much and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to live without him. I was so depressed at that time and that’s when I started getting so anxious (Go read the blog I wrote about dealing with anxiety).
At some point he told me that he pushes me away because he feels like a burden and doesn’t want to pressure me by talking about his deep pain. I felt so much for his pain and I tried to tell him that part of being together is sharing our ups and downs. I even talked to a friend who drew portraits and asked him to draw one for him as that might cheer him up. When I sent him a photo of the portrait because he refused to see me, he talked about how it was awful because he didn’t like how his nose looked in that drawing, and he deleted that photo. When we went out finally, he kept making comments about my body. Even at some point he lifted my top a little and said that I need to slim down a little and that I would be sexier if I lost weight. He even said, “imagine how much fun we would have if you were thinner.” And I remember that day I wore a black lace dress to look pretty and I was wearing black because 1. I love black. 2. My grandfather had passed away a week prior, which by the way he told me to “fuck off” when I told him that I need to talk because I was upset the day he died. I remember feeling so small.. Like I have become the woman that allows someone else to spit on her dignity and crush her in pieces…
It was such a dark, tragic year. And then by mid-June, I couldn’t
take it anymore, so I told him how I feel about how he treats me and how it’s
all so wrong, then he kept making fun of what I said. HE LAUGHED ABOUT IT. Then
at some point I just lost it and said, ‘WE ARE OVER!’ I felt so bad that day
and regretful because I thought that the last thing, he needed was to lose
someone else and I asked him two days later to get back together but he refused
and told me he wants to focus on his healing.
When that happened, EVERYTHING that I was refusing to deal with HIT ME HARD – All the bullying and other stuff that has happened to me that I was ignoring because I didn’t want to bother with this whole painful, long healing process. [That’s where the other blog comes of ‘Personal Power: How Did I Find Myself’ comes].
So, we broke up and I was so damn angry all the time. I
cried for three hours straight that when everyone slept, and I couldn’t feel my
legs. I started coughing and almost choking from my tears, literally. My heart PHYSICALLY
hurt that at some point I genuinely thought that I was going to die. My head
was throbbing, and I started feeling dizzy, and I kept crying till my throat and
chest hurt and fell asleep. I remained deeply depressed for months, till he
came back and said that he was doing all better. Then as usual, we were on and
off because he’d say two weeks later or a month later that he is still not okay
and needs to just focus on himself.
How Did I End the Cycle and Get The Fuck Out? After almost 2.5-3 years of this fuckery happening, I completely changed. I focus on myself and started to really value myself which I explained it all in the Personal Power blog. When I was with him, I felt so detached and I was so sick and tired of hearing his excuses as to why he doesn’t want to see me and how he always pushed me away. The final straw was when he made it all about himself again and how life cruel has been to him and that he really does love me. THAT ANNOYED ME! It really did! So, I told him that the thing is with him, is that when one awful thing happens big OR SMALL, EVERYTHING STOPS. I explained to him that even though I understand that healing and mental health should be his number one priority, that I am also my number one priority. I kept going on about how the shit that happens to him is not anyone’s fault and that he can heal in his own way without mistreating me in the process. And I told him that I CANNOT to be the crutches to his emotions since I am not an emotional caretaker and he has absolutely no self-control. I went on and on about that and told him that “I am focusing on myself from now on.”
Now that’s not to say that he was faking his pain, because he really was in excruciating pain that at some point, he isolated himself from the world and pushed everyone away.
That heartbreak was the moment my life and I changed (IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY) and since I have reached my lowest point and managed rise up again and still have the capacity to really care about others and really laugh from the pit of my stomach, anything else that happened to me just hurt for a while. I was broken in the past and I glued myself back together to remain glued and strong.
What Did I Learn from
When you love yourself fully and truly, you will DEMAND that amount of love and respect from others.
Sometimes people need more help than you can give them, know your limits.
Shit that happens to others is not an excuse to act aggressively and abusively towards ANYONE.
Someone who TRULY loves you, respects you and DOES NOT body shame you.
YOU CANNOT help someone who refuses to accept help or help themselves.
Respect is a two-way street.
Love is nurturing, compassionate, sweet, kind and respectful. Love is NOT demeaning, or degrading or disrespectful – SHITTY PEOPLE ARE
Change does NOT happen in a matter of weeks. To change a flaw in YOURSELF takes time, accountability, commitment and determination. So, don’t expect to change ANYONE if that change doesn’t come from within them.
Focus on yourself before adding anyone else to the equation.
I am worthy and I still do believe in love! Love exists and it’s very much real between friends, partners and family members.
You are NEVER ALONE. I found tons of support and love from people when I started talking about my past struggles.
If you’re getting back together with someone make sure they have earned that trust and respect again. Make sure they prove to you how much they really value you.
Your body is a temple and it is YOURS. DON’T allow anyone to abuse it verbally or physically.
No more excusing excuses.
Feel comfortable to share your story in the comments and how you survived domestic violence (mental, physical, sexual or emotional) IF YOU ARE READY TO! I am always here for ANYONE who needs me. Please find help and talk to someone about this, there is ALWAYS a way out.
Being vulnerable is never really my thing. I always feared and hated that to the point that I would barely ever cry in front of people. There are people who have known me for years but never seen me cry or talk deeply about my thoughts and feelings. However, part of my self growth journey is to be vulnerable enough (yet still maintaining my privacy) to be as real as I possibly can with you all. Today is a bit of an emotional day for me (in a good way) that led me to make a personal decision..
I had an induction session at my university today, and after the session ended, the tutor and I had a conversation about education and where I currently stand. My tutor gave me a bit of a confidence boost by reminding me that I am courageous and how I always chase opportunities that I find. After walking out, I remembered every single time I fell apart and every time I didn’t believe in my self. (Dramatic.. I know) And with that memory striking, I remembered that there was ALWAYS someone there cheering for me and telling me to keep going.
All of my siblings, my mother and every “real” friend I have had has always seen the strength and resilience in me that I didn’t see back then. I talk more about personal growth journey and how I got back up from the things that tore me down in my other blog, “Personal Empowerment: How Did I Find Myself?”
Back then, I didn’t see that there was always someone there for me. I felt so alone for YEARS, and even though there were moments where I felt like my feelings aren’t understood and because I find it difficult to open up, they still loved me. They were there for me even when I didn’t see it and when I pushed them away.
If you go back 3-4 years ago, you’d see that I wasn’t the person I am today. I wasn’t as brave or assertive or headstrong as I am today. And what I love about where I’m at today, is that I am allowing myself to grow every single day and make sure that I make at least one person feel better every single day.
As I write this while holding back my tears, I want to thank every single person that has ever cheered me up, to every single person that saw what I didn’t see in myself, to every person that has loved me and still loves me and to tell every single one of you that I love the fuck out of you all, and I mean that from the core of my heart. I really do hope that you can feel my love and tight hugs right now 🖤💋💋💋
In the midst of “reminiscence,” I have decided to open my heart more and to allow myself to feel every emotion with passion. I have decided to stop holding back and to let myself cry when I need to, to let myself feel whatever I am feeling and to allow myself from now on to be open to love and close friendships again. After a very big heart break from my FIRST relationship, I fell apart because there was a lot of shit from my past that I was too scared to deal with and go through the painful healing process. I closed my heart for the longest time and didn’t allow myself to fully immerse in the “falling in love” and “dating” experience since then. But that’s not what I’m doing anymore. I will live and feel every single emotion because I get one fucking life. I want to be as social as I possibly can, get the job of my dreams, embrace my body regardless of its shape and size (also discussed this in my previous blogs – I have PCOS so my weight fluctuates no matter what) and I want to fall in love again.
Being vulnerable is NOT weak or pathetic in any shape or form. It’s part of being human and really expressing how you feel. Anyone who doesn’t respect that, fuck them. Your feelings are VALID and IMPORTANT. Make sure your voice is always heard. Now I know that throughout this journey it’ll still be “weird” to open up from time to time and to talk about my feelings, but I am willing to break that barrier and to be my authentic self as much as I possibly can.
As I end this blog, I just want to remind you all that you are NEVER alone. There is ALWAYS someone out there to hold your hands and pull you back on your feet, but you have to let them in. You might feel alone right now in a room full of people or find yourself in a relationship/friendship that makes you feel misunderstood and alone, but I promise you that walking away and going through the long healing journey is SO worth it. You hold so much power in you that you will see one day, and you, in your own unique way, you’re fucking beautiful from the inside out. You’re not alone and there is a way out, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
To be honest, I am ecstatic about this decision as I know I’ll develop the best fucking friendships and relationships. At the same time, I’m terrified of opening my heart to people, which is why I will also be very cautious with who I choose to be vulnerable with. I am always here if you want to talk to someone or if you feel alone. Sending you tons of love and light. And if no one told you this today, I love you queen/king 💋
“Loving yourself is the hardest love but the most valuable love you could ever give.”
“Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is still standing.”
Let’s be real, body shaming EXISTS. We all have been to family gatherings where we were told “oh have you gained weight?” “Damn you lost a lot of weight. You should be careful” or shit like “what have you done to your hair?” Sometimes you even sit with a friend or a cousin and they start nit picking on others. “She definitely got lip fillers. That’s why she looks like a duck” “Man that guy is too thin and short. Ew not my type.” Body shaming can be difficult to face and even harder to speak up if it comes from someone who is close to you.
Notice the caption under the photo up there? “Love shouldn’t hurt.” Now, love isn’t just between a man and a woman. It can be family love, friendships and siblings. It’s strange to me how people constantly say love is kind and/or romantic then you hear people saying they lost weight because their partner thinks it’s more attractive. Apparently the idea that “fat is bad” and “fat means unhealthy” still exists. Before we jump to how to deal with that bullshit, let me explain something about “fat.”
FAT is distributed differently in our bodies. There are people who get more fat around their hips when they gain a few pounds. Others get fat on their buttocks. You DON’T know what someone’s fat percentage is or what it should be and how the fat is distributed around their body. And really it’s none of your damn business. Focus on YOUR appearance not others.
’Fat is unhealthy’ let me remind you that we ALL have fats and cellulite. Fat is IMPORTANT sometimes! There is a reason why underweight people and anorexics (eating disorder and hopefully diagnosed by a professional not a dumb fuck on social media) are asked to gain some weight because we all need a specific fat percentage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to promote obesity as it comes with a lot of health issues just like being underweight is as dangerous.
Muscle weighs more than fat. Weight doesn’t instantly tell you how much body fat you have. Weight = fats, muscles, bones, etc… body builders weigh a lot because of their muscle mass. Do your research and educate yourself https://8fit.com/fitness/muscle-weight-vs-fat-weight-frequently-asked-questions/ Of course if you don’t want to educate yourself or do research, then it’s your choice. But if you don’t have anything nice to say or anything productive to add to conversation, then just keep your mouth shut and stapled.
NOTE: Any change you attempt to do should be done for YOU. It’s YOUR body and no one else’s. There is a reason why we’re in different bodies and we weren’t born in the same body as someone else haha. Embrace your body and only try to enhance your beauty. If you’re self-conscious about your body and confidence, please go read my other blogs.
You Might Be In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship
I don’t know anything about your relationship or the nature of it. But I do know that someone who loves YOU accepts YOU as a whole. They love YOU for YOU, not for who they want you to be or this image they have of you which isn’t you. Why do we spend so much time trying to make the other person feel loved and that their imperfections are perfect when we don’t receive the same respect and affection? Respect is a two-way street no matter what the nature of your relationship is and how long you’ve been together. Even if it was said in a moment of anger, that thought came from somewhere. One day we’re gonna grow old and I don’t think anyone will think in their 80’s that they should have been 15 kgs lighter when they were 27. Love is not about how thick your thighs are or how long your hair is. It’s about loving YOU as a PERSON, not as a body.
Emotional abuse is as bad as physical abuse. And it is NEVER too late to stand up for yourself. If a partner (man or woman) makes a disgusting comment about your body, explain to them how that makes you feel and try to let them see how they have been brainwashed by society. I personally think that’s not a relationship worth investing in because of the reasons I explained above. If it doesn’t stop, walk away. It’s hard of course, but it is even harder to feel lonely in a relationship.
NOTE: Body positivity and acceptance does NOT equate to eating junk food and/or being lazy. Health is SUPER important. My blogs are not meant to dismiss the idea of getting in shape and eating clean. It’s about raising awareness of issues that arise these days and explaining how to deal with them from my personal experience.
Toxic Family Members
If a parent, cousin, uncle or aunt criticises your body or makes fun of your appearance, try to do one of the following:
A) Explain how that makes you feel (if they listen like a normal human being)
B) Politely ask them to fuck off. “You know I don’t really see the point of that comment. Thank you for raising your concerns but I’m good and I have my doctors to look after me.”
C) Make them look stupid using humour 🙂 “hahaha you think? I actually see myself in the mirror every day so I know how I look like haha. Glad you care so much about MY body.” Emphasise on ‘MY’ to make them look stupid and I promise you they will be embarrassed.
Whatever you decide to do, distance yourself from that person. I used to keep quiet about, but I choose to speak up. It won’t end it I let them hurt me or just throw nasty comments that are pointless tbh.
Message To WOMEN
LADIES! Why are we judging and criticising each other? Don’t we have enough cultures trying to silence us? Jobs STILL paying men more than women (simply cuz they have a 2-inch dick)? Don’t we have enough labels to deal with daily? Sexism??? So really, why are women hating on each other a lot these days?! Why is social media filled with women trying to tear each other apart? Quit your attempt to cyber bully people because YOU lack confidence and respect. Spread love or just work on you, yourself and you. I promise you that I won’t stay quiet if I see a woman skinny shaming and fat shaming other women. So much for ‘Female Empowerment’ lol.
Also, why are we making fun of men now too?😂 We are already have a lot of work to do ladies to get together, so why are we labelling a guy’s masculinity based on how much muscle he has? I understand we all have preferences, but judgement and body shaming is NOT okay. It’s disgusting.
Message To Men
I truly believe that men deal with body image issues, but they aren’t as vocal about it as we are because of this preconceived notion that men shouldn’t express emotions and that being “man enough” is about being tough, going to the gym, drinking protein shakes and being 6”2
Watch this video by Justin Baldoni (AKA Rafael from Jane The Virgin) https://youtu.be/Cetg4gu0oQQ
This platform is open for you to talk about it. There is no judgment here. However, I DO have a problem with “guys” shaming other women about how they should look like. I hope you read my blog properly and understood that masculinity is about RESPECT. It’s about showing your daughter, wife, girlfriend and sister that you love them unconditionally regardless. MEN don’t judge a woman based on how she dresses, how much she weighs and what she eats. “Boys” do that. Actually I call them “baby boys.” Don’t be a baby boy, because you’re the one who is going to lose HER, lose your masculinity and get your ass roasted. I had enough of this bs. And trust me, everyone’s patience runs out eventually. So no matter how much she loves you NOW, she’ll lose all the respect and love she holds in her heart for you sooner or later. Don’t be a dickless baby boy 🙂
I’m writing this blog to give you 20 tips on how to improve your self-confidence and self-love, because that’s the key to personal empowerment. These tips I have mentioned below are based on my personal experience, communication with a mental health professional and doing some online research. Feel free to share this blog with anyone who needs a little boost or so. I promise you if you implement these changes and tips in your DAILY life, you’ll start to feel a difference. It takes around 21 days for something to become a habit, but I want you to challenge yourself for 30 DAYS and see if you start to notice SOME difference and feel a little better about yourself. Of course if you’re dealing with depression or any other mental health condition you’ll need extra help, but these tips can definitely help. On that note, I wrote a blog about how I deal with anxiety so please check it out if you need it.
Tips on Enhancing Self-Confidence:
1- Spend Time Alone: You need to understand that you’re spending the rest of your life with yourself no matter who you end up with. This is why I am asking you to spend some time alone and enjoy your company a little bit more. You’re living 70+ years with YOURSELF, don’t you think it’s crucial to maybe love your presence a little bit more? I urge you to start by watching a movie alone at home with some pop corn and take yourself out for coffee and wear whatever makes you feel comfortable when you do so. You need to start feeling a bit more comfortable with yourself to start loving you, yourself and you. YOU CAN DO IT. There is absolutely nothing wrong about doing that, it doesn’t make you weird or socially awkward. Fuck whatever anyone else says. This is about YOU. “Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”
2- Change Your Lifestyle: Time to eat clean (nourishing food that you enjoy and that serve you right – improves your overall health, makes you full and satisfies you and makes you feel good) That doesn’t mean eliminate sweets and carbohydrates COMPLETELY, just make sure what you eat serves your body right. Also, the healthier you eat the less cravings you have. You can enjoy a cookie or a rocky brownie without binging if you eat INTUITIVELY. Looking after your emotional and physical wellbeing is ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT. So get yourself checked every 6-12 months and start doing exercises that YOU ENJOY to stay committed- Swimming, martial arts, yoga, going for a walk in nature, weight lifting, etc…. Also, practice GRATITUDE- Shift your focus from what you don’t have and dislike about yourself and life to what you actually like. Start to notice the beauty in your daily life and write it down if you have to EVERY SINGLE DAY till it becomes a habit. “Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind.Body.Spirit.”
3- Be More Forgiving with YOURSELF: Again, you’re spending the rest of your life with you, yourself and YOU. Learning from your mistakes and holding yourself accountable is one thing, and being self-degrading is another thing. You need to turn over a new leaf and move on from what you’ve done. You know how kind and forgiving you can be to others? Yeah well you are the most important person in your life and it’s time to be that kind and forgiving with yourself. Also, you need to ACCEPT that not everyone will forgive you and they DON’T HAVE TO. You’ve done what you’ve done and whether or not they want to forgive you and see the new you, it’s their choice. Just like it’s your choice to accept them over time and move on to start anew. “Be very gentle with yourself. The world is very very very hard on you.”
4- No More FUCKERY: Time to get out of TOXIC relationships, fake friendships, emotional vampires, staying away from fuckgirls/fuckboys and family members that bring you down (if you can). You don’t serve yourself and allow yourself to evolve and grow by having emotional vampires and fucks in your life. Remember that a fuck can’t invite himself/herself in, unless you open the door for them and let them in. I don’t care how long you have known each other or who they used to be. What matters is who they are NOW and how they make YOU feel. Of course walking away and tearing that chapter from your life is so hard, but you gotta do it and the faster you do it, the quicker you’ll get on the healing and growth journey. You can’t avoid the problem forever, it’ll only grow. You get one life and one body in this life, anyone who doesn’t appreciate that or makes you feel like shit needs to shipped far away to the land of fuckery! Goodbye. It’s their loss anyway. “There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The truth nobility is in being superior to your precious self.” – Quote applies to both MEN and WOMEN
5- Dress To Impress YOU: That includes clothes, accessories and your hair. It’s important to feel comfortable in your clothes and love what you wear, because that’s what gives you a little confidence boost. Dressing to impress others won’t really fulfill you and make you love what you wear. You can still impress them by walking around confidently whether with a hoodie, a top and jeans or a stylish, classy outfit with some heels on. Confidences makes you BEAUTIFUL! How many times have you seen someone appeal so many and think to yourself “But there are way prettier people..” – Not that I like that thought or support it, but we all have this vision of what a sexy, gorgeous person appears to be- “The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.” – Sahaj Kohli
6- Groom Yourself (From the inside out…)- This aligns with ‘Dress To Impress YOU’ because looking after your skin, taking a long, warm bath, getting your nails done and styling your hair makes you feel “clean” and more satisfied with how you look and smell. “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection.”
7- Go For A Change: DO something different and new for YOU, whether it’s changing your body (Not that I’m saying you have to look a certain way. You’re stunning no matter what, but if you want to enhance or shrink a part of your body, it’s your choice but do it for YOU, not your partner or so-called family and friends). You can get a new haircut, hair dye and/or find a new hobby.
8- Purge Yourself With Positive Affirmations: Our subconscious mind contains messages and affirmations we’ve been sending to ourself through internal dialogues, songs we listen to, movies we watch and people we’re around. Which is why it’s time to change that dialogue and start affirming more positive stuff about yourself like we believe it and our subconscious mind will start soaking those messages. “The problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.”
9- Embrace Your Quirks: Embrace everything about that makes YOU unique. Screw being ‘normal,’ being normal is overrated. Pffft. Start asking yourself what is unique about you and what can you love about that quality? “Have unshakable faith in yourself to become everything you want to be.”
10- Write Down EVERY single Day AT LEAST 5 Things You Love About Yourself: Being self-aware is a crucial part of self-growth, that’s how you become aware of what needs to change (aka FLAWS) and what needs improvement. But self-awareness is also about noticing the parts of you that deserve more attention and love. I know that you’re probably thinking how the hell can you find 5 different things to write down DAILY. But let me tell you it’s exactly like writing an essay, you don’t know where to start and how to do it, but the moment you get a pen in your hand and start writing it down, the easier it becomes and that’s when more ideas and thoughts flow. “Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways.”
11- Stand Your Ground! Make a decision to NO longer take bs from ANYONE. Respect is a two-way street and that applies to relationships, friends and family. Do NOT allow anyone to walk over you or talk you down. No one is worth putting yourself down for! There is nothing humble about making yourself feel like crap so people around you feel better about themselves. This is how you become more and more assertive NOT blunt/rude.
I’m sorry, but it’s not your problem that they lack love in their life or confidence or even if they have shit going down in their life. We all have at least 2% control of what comes out of our mouth and how we respond to certain things. They are on their own journey of healing and self-discovery, and you are on yours. “The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you’ll tolerate.”
12- Quit The Hate: Too often do we judge and criticise others, whether we do it on social media to cyber bully people (with/without the intention to do so), behind others backs or in their face. Confident women/men don’t sit around making fun of what someone else wears or lives their life. I think we need to start learning to mind our own business and leave people alone. People who hate are either too arrogant, self-conscious or just sick themselves. Distance yourself from them and DON’T be them. “Our self-respect tracks our choices. Every time we act in harmony with our authentic self and our heart, we earn our respect. It is that simple. Every choice matters.” – Dan Coppersmith
13- Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: In order to grow, you need to start doing the things you’ve been delaying and never actually done them. You need to start being more courageous to gain confidence in return. Start small, and you’ll be able to do more.
14- Check Yourself Out: Instead of standing in the mirror and hating on your nose shape, body size and skin imperfections, how about telling yourself what’s beautiful about it? And if you don’t think a specific feature is pretty enough ask yourself how did that belief start? What’s the root of that belief? Is it a toxic partner? Social media models? Because really, what is beauty and who sets those standards? I remember back then people were for thin eyebrows, and now everyone is getting them tinted or a brow pencil/gel. Also thin legs were considered ‘hot,’ now there are YouTube videos on how to have thicker thighs and wider hips. “Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is still standing.”
15- Release The Negative Energy Within You: You CANNOT love yourself when you’re filled with hatred, heart ache, sadness, anger, and so on. You need to release that energy and there are a lot of different ways to do so (upcoming blog will explain), but you can search online, read books, watch videos -I love Ted X- spend more time in nature, change your internal dialogue and talk to a counselor, therapist or psychiatrist/psychologist if you need to do so. Remember, we ALL have or had a mental illness because it is NORMAL. Screw that stigma around mental health and there are a lot of platforms and movements now that are for mental health. Not that you need any approval to feel a certain way by a platform, but I’m just saying that you can get tons of support just like you get criticised. Quoting something I always say: “Today I choose to purge myself out of a toxic mindset, because I am worthy of being loved with every fibre of my being by myself.” You deserve to feel that same way <3
16- Put Yourself Out There: Remember what I said about being courageous and brave? When I talk about being brave, I don’t mean to jump without a parachute, that’s just irresponsible and dumb. I mean start chasing the opportunities you’ve been wanting to chase, start going out and meeting a new man/woman and go after what you want (without demeaning yourself in the process. Be passionate, NOT DESPERATE). I think one of the things us human beings fear the most is REJECTION. You need to understand and accept that rejection is part of life, whether it’s being rejected by someone or a job interviewer. If you think you’ll never get rejected, then you’re fooling yourself. It’s a part of life and sometimes being rejected can be good. Maybe you wouldn’t be with the friends your around now or the workplace that you love now if you haven’t been rejected in the past. And being rejected by someone is how you know it’s time to move on and avoid the confusion of ‘do they like me but not show it?’ “Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.”
****17- IDGAF Attitude: Do you want to love yourself? or get a glimpse of what it’s like to feel invincible and unbreakable about who you are? Then you gotta develop that IDGAF attitude. You weren’t born to please anyone and you most definitely didn’t sign a contract to make that friend, lover, family member approve of who you are and what you do. You should never need anyone’s approval and that is the worst prison to put yourself in. I used to care so much about what people will say about what I wear as a hijabi and how I’ll look when I go out without makeup. Then I remembered that a) Who are they to judge? I don’t answer to people, I answer to GOD. (If you don’t believe in God that’s okay ofc) b) The only opinion that matters is how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. People have different styles and come from different backgrounds, and that’s what makes this world a wonderful place to live in. That’s what makes each person different. Seeking advice is okay, but seeking ‘approval’ is a no-no. Yeah they think your passion or hobby is lame, so what? They think you need to gain some weight, who gives a shit what they think? Remember that you allow people to get to you by listening to them. If what you’re doing is not harming anyone in any way, then it’s none of their damn business what you do.
18- Stop Trying To BE ANYONE ELSE: Kim K’s body is perfect for Kim K, Rihanna’s skin tone is perfect for Rihanna. And you are perfect for YOU with who you are and with your imperfections. Chasing after what’s not really you is the best way to be inconfident. Of course you can get some inspiration and find a role model to look up to, but trying so hard to not be YOU is not how you will love YOURSELF.
19- Assertiveness: Being assertive is not about being rude or disrespecting anyone, it’s about being comfortable with sharing your thoughts and feelings. Keeping yourself in that bubble of thoughts can make you feel very lonely. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in. This is why I said you need to develop the IDGAF attitude to judgements and criticisms. Having different opinions and sharing them with one another is totally fine, but being CRITICISED for having an opinion on something that you have every right to do so is disgusting. Be fearless and courageous. Be brave!
20- Specialised Knowledge: Having knowledge about a topic that you’re passionate about puts you high in spirits. You know what the heck you’re talking about and how it can benefit/help other people. Knowledge can be in stuff like education (sciences), law of attraction, nutrition, art and music, and many more.
If you read this ENTIRE blog, THANK YOU SO MUCH and I really do hope it helps. I know it’s a lot of information, so I suggest you pick three of these and start working on them. I suggest you work on your mental wellbeing first before applying any of these tips. Other than that I say start with ‘IDGAF Attitude,’ ‘Change Your Lifestyle,’ and ‘Write Down 5 Things You Love About Yourself Daily.’ And remember that I am more than happy to listen if you need someone to talk to xoxo
The journey to finding yourself and your confidence is so hard for those who grew up without it. It’s one of the most difficult things to achieve as you grow up, change, go through different experiences, walk on different paths and meet different people. There are days where it feels like I’m on top of this world and so damn invincible like today, and I choose to feel that way every single day. As I also I have days where I feel insecure or find it difficult to love myself, I practice positive self-talk, affirmations, embrace my quirks and purging myself with content. I go for walks, appreciate my beauty with and without makeup and CHOOSE to be in control of how I perceive myself. It is a never ending journey BUT it is so worth it. Each and every single one of you deserves to feel loved but it has to start from within YOU. Happiness is a decision and it’s in YOUR hands. So I choose today onwards to love my features, my body, my personality and to feel confident in my own skin. And I choose to love this person with every fibre of my being because this is who I’m spending the rest of my life with! Remember on these painful days that yes, it is so damn hard but it is hella possible!👑💋
As a 20 year old, I’m not too far away from school/high school years. It hasn’t been THAT long, so I remember the challenges I faced and struggled with.. read this as you might need to and share it🖤
To every student/kid that feels lonely or outcasted: I feel for you and I am sending you a tight hug.. feel my hug and hear me say these words “this too shall pass” and “even though it might not feel like it, but you’re situation is temporary. Your value is defined by YOU, not by people or your ‘popularity’
To every one of you that feels overwhelmed or burdened by schoolwork and personal life: You have so much potential and power. Give yourself a break by taking a long, warm shower or by going for a walk and keep moving forward. It won’t be for nothing. This will all be over sooner than you think.
To every one of you being bullied or made fun of/picked on: It doesn’t matter how brave or not you think you are, just be brave enough to find help. Talk to an adult, teacher or school counselor. Please save yourself because you have to be able to rely on YOU. Just be BRAVE and I am sending you tons of love and light from the core of my heart🖤
To every one of you who is self-conscious and/or is having mood-swings: Remember, us as women, our hormones are constantly changing, which is why our mood changes a lot. Especially at this age of yours, your body and brain are still developing, so you’re going through a lot of changes. It’s just a phase. Hang in there please. Watch this video to have a clear understanding as to what happens to our body throughout the 28 days: https://youtu.be/WOi2Bwvp6hw
If you’re self-conscious about your appearance or if you struggle with anxiety, please go read my other blogs.
Sending you all positive vibes, tons of love and light🖤🖤 Feeeeeeel my hug💋 Please do contact me if you need anyone to talk to🖤