So many years I lived in bondage and pain. No one ever knew the pain I felt in my heart or the way I picked myself apart day after day. I was so unhappy with myself and I could never imagine anyone as seeing little ol’ me as beautiful. I look back at those years and thank God for them because without those crucial years I would never have the appreciation for all that God has given me today.
I now know and understand that I had to live on the “other” side in order to gain and grasp a true idea of how severe not believing in oneself can be. There are terrible repercussions to negative self talk and poor self esteem. For me, I was so broken and unhappy that I stayed entangled in a severely abusive (physically and verbally) relationship for many years. I had no courage to stand up and I thought in some twisted way that this (he) was the best I could do.
Oh, to whoever is reading this… listen closely. Whether you are beating yourself up or someone else is beating you up- the damage is so severe and it can impact you equally as such. The way you speak to yourself and the way you THINK of yourself matters. Please understand me, we can all have things that we want to work on or focus on but how you speak to yourself regarding these things matters!
I fought with such poor self-esteem that it started to infiltrate each and every aspect of my life from my own health to my relationships with others. I lived a very sad life for many years not knowing exactly what to do to be released from the bondage I felt daily. Somewhere deep down, there was an ember burning however. A little “spark” if you will that knew I DID deserve better.
As I started to take back control of my “health” (I was 208 pounds at my heaviest) God taught me about taking back control of myself and my self talk. He gave me the STRENGTH to pursue the life I deserved. The more I started to get healthy, the more confidence I gained and the more I started to realize that I did not deserve abuse from a man any more than I deserved abuse from myself. I gained the courage needed to leave my abuser and never look back. While I was TERRIFIED, I was much more terrified of what would happen if I did not do this.
My self talk (slowly) started to change. I would start to make little pacts with myself that I would go a whole day without speaking negatively towards myself. Although I did not recognize it as this at the time, the Holy Spirit was just inside of me moving me in the right direction! I became keenly aware of my self talk and would IMMEDIATELY stop if I said something negative and replace it with a positive thought.
One time, I remember CRYING my eyes out and staring in the bathroom mirror repeating ‘You are beautiful’ over and over and over. At least 20 times. With tears running down my face I just kept saying it though I did not believe it. Something amazing happened along the way though, I slowly started to believe in myself. I started to believe that I could take on the world and that I DID deserve GREAT things!
You see, sometimes we get so beat up by life (our upbringing, relationships, abuse etc) that we start to get a VERY twisted perception of what healthy thoughts are. We start to believe the lies and we take the bait. I just pray that you really let these words resonate. YOU deserve to live a beautiful life and you deserve to FEEL GOOD. We tend to lose ourselves and just “accept” where we are and if I can plant one thought in you it is this: Life is NOT meant to be lived just “settling”… there is something created unique JUST for you by a God that loves you unconditionally. If satan can get you to hate yourself and to not believe in yourself than he has sold you the lie and wrecked your life. NEVER give the enemy this power!
So, here are some simple and practical things you can do starting TODAY to believe in yourself! It is time to turn your self-esteem back around!
**PRAY- the power of prayer in my life is astounding. We can’t do this alone. We NEED the love, support and guidance of Christ. Ask Him for help and lay it at His feet. Jesus loves you and wants you to experience the fullness of ALL that He has for you.
** AWARENESS: Become aware of EVERY thought that crosses your mind. If you start to say anything negative (about YOU or OTHERS!) immediately (and I mean immediately) stop and have a “redo”. Replace this negative thought with a positive thought! This takes time, patience and practice but you can do it!
**TRUTH: know the truth. Understand that you are created and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Start to pray that God will open your heart to the truth of who He is so that you do not buy the lies of the enemy anymore. You NEED Him to get through this process.
** JOURNAL: Start journaling your experiences. Writing is therapeutic and helped to get me through the worst things in my life. Start to write what you feel and get out your emotions on paper. Much of what we deal with is due to an inability to cope with the many emotions we face daily. Each day write something you LOVE about yourself. Start to condition yourself to recognize the MANY things that make you so amazing. Journal your goals, your dreams and your life. You will be astounded at what this can do.
**YOU TIME: This is key!!!! Sometimes, we fall into the mode of caring for EVERYONE else but ourselves. Allow yourself time to enjoy your hobbies. If you are a busy mom- take time for YOU (and I mean guilt free time!) because this actually gives back to your children. So many people get caught up in “life” that they forget who THEY are. This can send you to a very bad place.
I want to end with this, whether you believe it yet or not: you are BEAUTIFUL. You deserve to live a life of abundance and JOY. God has a plan for you and I guarantee you that hating yourself is not in His plans for your life. The above things are not easy but then again, anything in life worth having is not easy.
Take the time to learn what makes YOU so amazing. Take the time to “relearn” if needed and be diligent in seeking positive thoughts for your life.
I can honestly tell you that everything in my life changed when I started to change the way I spoke to myself. I improved my relationships and got rid of those who were poisonous to me. I gained control of my health and started to teach others how to do the same.
Today is YOUR day. What are you waiting for? Your life is waiting.