This week I am hosting an online event on learning to love yourself, all about self-love, self-care, the importance of nurturing the relationship with yourself, along with affirmations, tips, and tools for acceptance, appreciation, and LOVE for who you TRULY are in your very SOUL….
It’s so funny to me to think I am now teaching a class on self love because I haven’t always have a healthy relationship with myself, in fact, it was quite the opposite for a LONG time. When I was 7, I injured my front permanent teeth and ended up losing one.. Over the course of the next few years, not only did I suffer tremendous physical pain from the many procedures & surgeries, but also emotional damage because kids were RUTHLESS and made horribly mean comments about my teeth… Puberty wasn’t exactly kind to me either I had terrible acne, and developed quickly to a size D bra by age 13 It was such an awkward combination of feeling ugly (I got called “pizza face” on the daily), and getting unwanted sexual attention by not only boys my age, but older men too. By high school, I was THAT girl no one liked, not many talked to, and that walked alone most of the time. Except for the horny teen boys that frequently tried to grope me, I was assaulted a couple times, and the sexual innuendo and comments came at me from all directions! (I was filing my first sexual assault case at age 14)… The girls may have been even worse… Instead of rallying around me, being my friend, and protecting me like a girl gang should, they ignored me except to call me horrible names and make up stories about me just because I had big boobs & butt and got more male attention.. I felt so alone and awful about myself.. What was so wrong with me and why did no one like me? Surely it wasn’t my boobs, butt, or zits that made me so unlikable? What was so different and screwed up about ME that no one even wanted to talk to me? My self esteem was pretty much in the toilet by the time I started dating, so of course any positive attention from males was good attention in my mind. My first couple boyfriends were very narcissistic, toxic individuals, that took total advantage of me, treated me badly and made me feel even worse about myself… One guy was a serial cheater & liar, one was very verbally abusive, and one guy even had the balls to sit there and tell me all of the things I should have fixed with cosmetic surgery on my body from head to toe!!!
After I got married and had my first baby, my self image and self worth continued to spiral downward… I was incredibly depressed, popping anti-depressants and pain pills just to get through the days, while eating junk food and sleeping to comfort myself and escape reality. My pregnancies brought hormonal imbalances, my weight skyrocketed at almost 200 lbs, back down to the 150s, then back up again, all while suffering from debilitating migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, feeling worthless, fat, ugly, and most days just thinking of ways to end my own life. I can’t even count the number of nights I laid on the bathroom floor with either a bottle of pills, booze, a gun, or any combo of the 3 ready to just be done. I couldn’t understand why I felt this way despite having a husband that loved me and beautiful healthy kids.. Most would have seen my life as that “picket fence” type life, yet I could not overcome this cloud of depression and misery. A lot of days I “faked it” — had to feign happiness and love because I was buried underneath so much pain.
In 2011, I hit rock bottom and will spare the horrible details as what I refer to now as “the pit,” but that was the time in my life I felt I could go no lower… Years and years of mental anguish all came crashing down, and while it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, it was ultimately for my good. I had a few more rough spots after that, but finally turned a corner in my life and began to “wake up,” and started seeing things a lot more clearly, and learning about myself more.
My path to awakening and healing has been a slow, steady, but amazing journey. A wonderful, supportive counselor, spouse, family, and few very close knit friends I’ve been blessed with surrounded me with love and acceptance, helping this process. It took a while, but I found my wonderland under all the layers of other people’s toxic bullshit mixed in with my own insecurities and past traumas, and have truly come to know and love myself for who I am deep in my core being. Almost 3 years ago, I did a photo shoot project for myself, as a birthday gift of self love and acceptance for what I’d survived through and who I was becoming (ME, I was becoming more ME). It was entitled, “Be Bravely YOU,” and it really broke me out of the molds of what other’s thought I should or should not be, as well as showing me my true beauty, inside and out. I had people say rude things to me regarding the photos from the shoot (it was boudoir style, so many shots were in my undies), and some say “rock it, hot mama!” but for the first time in my life, I didn’t CARE… I was able to block out the negative and rude people, knowing they only viewed me through the lens of whatever issues they had going on. Maybe they were jealous, maybe they were dealing with their own self esteem and body image issues.. But from that point forward, I vowed no matter what I would just be ME in all my muchness, regardless of what people had to say or think and had finally learned to love myself.
I’m still frequently the target of some people’s negativity and rude behavior, but I’ve gotten to the point where now I don’t engage it. Like at all. Someone says something rude to me, makes a nasty remark, scoffs, or anything else giving a negative vibe, I instantly push it away. (In my mind I envision myself physically pushing my arm straight out and pulsing a light from it to get the negative energy away from me. Nerdy, I know lol — like the force hahaha) … Anyways, the bottom line is this. I have been through hell and back, have had my name dragged through all kinds of dirt, been criticized, judged, hated, mocked, beat, raped and threatened, and yet here I still stand. Why? How? Well first of all, because I’ve already had all this done and said to me, so there ain’t nothing new anyone is going to come up with! AND Because OTHER PEOPLE do not define or dictate my beauty, my life, my worth in ANY way, shape or form!!!! I know who and what I am —> down to earth, kind to most people, dorky & funny as heck, loving, nurturing, hard-working, mind my own damn business, and do my best to educate, inspire, and uplift people around me, and don’t give a flying crap what anyone thinks of my boobs or zits! I know not everyone is going to like me, and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea (but I’m someone’s shot of whiskey) and I am finally okay with that, knowing myself, loving myself, and nurturing that space within my soul…
Once you love yourself, you are truly INVINCIBLE!!! Be Bravely… YOU!!!!!!! ~Sabrina Kate