I never grew up in an environment where I was encouraged to love myself for who I am. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I grew up in a family that felt the need to constantly point out my flaws, but I was never appreciated for my strengths either. I think the biggest problem was being the middle kid with a brother and sister with disabilities. There were problems that were way bigger than my self-esteem and whether I loved myself or not.
I can’t point to a specific moment when this started happening, but I can’t think of a time where I didn’t do this either. From a very small age, I’ve always felt like I wasn’t enough. Whether it was because we were poor and my clothes were cheap, not being beautiful enough like the popular kids in my school, not having enough friends or social status, whatever it was–there was always a reason that I felt so small. I haven’t spent my entire life miserable. There have been times where I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and saw something I liked but it’s never been enough to make me feel whole.
I still don’t feel like enough and maybe I never will. I still look at people on the street and imagine how perfect their lives are and how imperfect mine is. This comparing thing has gotten better for me since meeting my husband. He always builds me up by telling me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me for me. I know I have lots of flaws, but whenever I ask him what I can improve on, he tells me I’m perfect and I shouldn’t change anything. (I know he’s full of it but I love him for lying to me.) He understands why I have my low days and why I sometimes feel inadequate but he doesn’t allow me to wallow or bask in it. He’s so good at making me feel as complete as possible.
I hope that I can have one day in this life, where I don’t compare myself to every actress and model on TV and where I feel like I AM beautiful and I AM enough. I don’t know if it will ever happen for me, but surrounding myself with wonderful people like my husband is a good place to start.