When I walk past a mirror I briefly pause to stare at my reflection.
The reflection of a young woman who was at one time so broken, mirrors only talked to her negatively.
Telling her she wasn’t good enough nor worth a life worth living;
Telling her that the pain she inflicted on herself was okay because at least she wasn’t hurting anyone else.
And for a long time, I made myself believe tearing my own skin apart was the absolute only way to quiet the voices. How foolish of me; how misinformed.
My mom always asked how and why I read books so fast.
It was because I would pretend I was the main character and someone was falling in love with me as they were with them. I was desperate.
I longed for the dialogue in every story. Especially the parts where the main character would be affirmed; The parts where I felt most loved.
For years I didn’t understand this desire. I made myself believe that I was just too sensitive.
Students made me believe that I was the teacher's pet because I would glow from being praised.
I made myself believe that I was a burden, narcissistic or vain even, for asking to be talked to in a way that made me feel good.
Months into my Self Love Journey I was introduced to The Five Love Languages. Months later, I found I preferred You Are… affirmations over I Am… statements. Months after that, I learned that I could incorporate I Can… I Earn… I Will… Statements into my daily affirmation routines too. Prior to, I had convinced myself that the affirmations just didn’t work for me. Attempted to make myself believe that maybe I was just too broken to be fixed.
But these were all milestones that I needed to overcome and work through that got me where I am today. My biggest milestone? When I realized that I could simply stop searching for someone else to love me the way that I received and understood love and that I could affirm and unconditionally give myself the love I wished for from others.
So… if you see me out in public walking past a mirror and I pause to stare at my own reflection;
The reflection of a young woman who was at one time so broken…
Know that I am not staring in vain, but yet I am embracing and loving myself as I am.
Telling myself, “You are good enough. You are worthy of being loved and respected”.
Telling myself, “You are deserving of kindness and patience,”
That the pain I inflicted on myself was not okay because I was hurting myself and I deserve to be loved too.
For a long time, I made myself believe tearing my own skin apart was the absolute only way to quiet the voices. But a few years later I have finally found the truth. That I can quiet the voices by myself. All I have to do is look in a mirror, find my own brown eyes and say, “You are…”.
- Sarai, @5arais