By: Olivia Gardner, IATG Contributor April 20, 2016
If you were to ask me a year ago if I loved myself, I would have probably come up with some quote or tried to sound as if I had it all together. When in all honesty, a year ago I was probably the least confident I’ve ever been, but I made others believe the opposite. A year ago, I was suffering from migraines that made me feel so negative about myself and knocked me down quite a bit. I remember vividly the pain I felt, the doctors’ offices, the emergency rooms, and just wanting everything to be over.
A year ago, I was the farthest from knowing who I was. I thought after losing my Grandma that I had grown and learned about myself, but I hadn’t. I just buried my emotions and spoke lies to myself. It took that week of migraines almost a year after her death to push me towards a better me. It took an appointment with the neurologist of listening to prescriptions I would have to be on and her urging me to try yoga. It took committing to yoga and fighting the battles in my head, I had ignored for so long. This last year has been an emotional, reflective, and, of course, inspiring one, and I don’t regret any of it.
If you were to ask me now, if I loved myself, I would be honest and truthful. I do love myself. I love my mental, emotional, and physical strength. I love the confidence I have gained and how I carry myself and knowing that I don’t need anyone’s approval. I accept that there are days when my confidence is not the best, but that’s life; not everyday will have a cherry on top.
I just have to recognize when I’m being my own worst critic and confront it, because I’m not getting anywhere with negativity.
I love that I’ve learned to notice and appreciate the little things that I used to so often forget. I love that I can sit by myself with just my thoughts and stare at the sunset or the mountains and find inspiration. I love how I’ve learned to listen to my body and what it needs (most of the time). I love that I sing as if no one is listening. I love that I’m happy with who I am. I love that I am a work in progress and will be forever. I love who I see when I look in the mirror at the end of the day.
Whoever is reading this, I want you to appreciate who you are. I want you to realize how much you are capable of. I want you to love all of you – the songs you scream out loud to or cry to or just dance to, the inspirations you have, the stories you’re made of, the jokes you know, the food combinations you come up with on a whim, the laughter – because it makes you into this amazing individual. Don’t for one second wish to be skinnier or thicker, more blonde, more tan, whatever it is; take the time to love yourself for everything you have, and know that loving yourself is a lifetime process.
What do you love about yourself? Take some time today and make a list of all the quirky, unique things that make up YOU! Place the list somewhere you can see, and check it out whenever you’re feeling less than confident!
Olivia is a senior in high school from Colorado. She's involved with cross-country and is one of the captains for the girls' team. Sci-Tech also plays a big role in her life. She enjoys doing puzzles, yoga, and finding inspiring stories anywhere about people making the world a better place. Her blog about life and inspirations is https://lalalifelove.wordpress.com/.
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