What a question eh? A real rip-snorter that can have you grabbing for those defence mechanisms, as quick as Clint Eastwood in a shoot-out. Believe me I went through a whole Kaleidoscope of emotions when I first asked myself this question, in the mirror, and ultimately ended up crying, when I admitted to myself that I didn’t. In fact, I was disappointed, frustrated and ready to divorce myself.
Let’s face it, it’s not a question we usually ask ourselves is it? Life gets busy, we can find a myriad of reasons and tasks that make sure we never have to spend time with ourselves. However, when something comes along that means we need to put the brakes on, it can be uncomfortable sitting with ourselves.
That was me after my hysterectomy – I was at rock bottom and there was no escaping me, as I sat contemplating the fact I was the furthest I could be from having the children I had always wanted. I mean I had no bloody womb! Did I feel less than a woman? Fucking right I did, but when I looked into the mirror and tried to tell myself I loved myself, nothing. I felt dead inside and could actual feel revulsion twisting my guts, I had nothing to offer but tears. What a kicker!
But out of this moment, came a realisation that I had to start liking myself if I wasn’t going to let this experience swallow me bloody whole. It was a real turning point for me. Now this wasn’t an overnight process, because I had spent most of my life developing a persona that I thought was the least offensive and therefore the most palatable to other people. Strange then that I was the one that started to feel revulsion…
What did I do to stop the rot? I re-evaluated what was important in my life to establish what I loved and wasn’t willing to lose, even though I was about to make some massive changes. I then looked at the things I was willing to release to make myself feel better about myself.
I started small – I stopped wearing corporate clothes at work. I wore jeans, because that was me – the authentic me. And I didn’t compromise unless I was client facing. It empowered me when my boss questioned the jeans and I would just smile and say ‘yes jeans again’. At one level it was a two fingered salute to the corporate world, but at a deeper level it was me being able to wear jeans again after the swelly-belly from the op had buggered off.
But, for me, this meant I could also start to stake my claim and start to develop an idea of who I was and what I stood for. And guess what, when I look in the mirror and look deep into my eyes now, telling myself I love myself – the response is an excited and genuine ‘yeah, I know’. So what could you do, today to start the process for you?
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