“The feeling that “I am enough” does not mean that I have nothing to learn, nothing further to achieve, and nowhere to grow to. It means that I accept myself, that I am not on trial in my own eyes, that I value and respect myself. This is not an act of indulgence but of courage”Nathaniel Branden
As my outward body has morphed in phenomenal ways, I found a conflict in my head. My body is getting thinner, but my brain was not accepting that and I found myself still acting in ways that I would when I was “fat”. These old actions were being driven by insecurities, by hateful things that people did and said to me, and by my inability to believe in myself. I had no self worth. I was mentally beat down and believed I had no future. Now, losing weight doesn’t fix these problems, right? Well, for me it helped. Coupled with counseling, losing weight has done so much for me. It wasn’t because of the idea of becoming rockstar thin and beautiful, but it was from the idea that I would get my life back. That I would be able to do things that I couldn’t do.
I knew going into surgery that it was going to be hard and I was going to have to put a lot of effort into this to make it work. I eat healthy, I exercise, and I try to keep positive. To be honest, I have never been so happy as I am right now. But, yes there is a but, there is one very large lingering issue. I am not liking the physical “me” that I see in the mirror. My skin is sagging. I prepared myself, or so I thought. It’s bad and it is only going to get worse. I could easily regress into myself and never let my skin see the light of day, but I knew that it would do more harm than good. I have had to dig deep to find the courage to do certain things. Like, for instance, this past weekend for Memorial Day I took my kids to the pool. Last year I didn’t even put on a bathing suit. I felt like a whale at 400 lbs so there was no way I was putting on a bathing suit. As summer approached this year I started to get scared. Now I was 140 lbs less, but still scared to put on a bathing suit. My arm skin in something crazy. I can fan myself with my arms they are so flabby! My body jiggles when it wiggles! It’s kind of embarrassing. But, I put on a pair of biker shorts and a t-shirt and I got into that pool. You should have seen the excitement in my kids when they realized mommy was getting in the pool to play with them!
I had to have a talk with myself a couple of weeks ago. I needed to get my head in line with my heart. I needed my eyes to stop seeing the image in the mirror. I needed them to see myself the way that my Heavenly Father sees me and even the people around me. I needed to love myself and just say “I AM ENOUGH” just the way I am. I needed to work on my self-esteem. Nathaniel Braden defines self esteem as “the experience of being competent to cope with basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness.”
Worthy of Happiness…..wow, that is deep! You would think it would be easy to always feel worthy of happiness. You would think! Why wouldn’t everyone feel that they are worthy of happiness? I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago that I didn’t feel that worthiness. That is when I started telling myself every day that I AM ENOUGH! I am perfect the way that I was, the way that I am now, and the way I will be in a year from now. I deserve to be happy despite challenges. As I have started to believe that I deserve happiness I have felt a huge change in how I see myself and how I act. I stand in front of the mirror and I am in awe. I am pretty. I am beautiful. I am good enough! I have felt this shift happen in my life. It’s like a tidal wave of something that is washing over me and it feels amazing. I like taking selfies now! I see the beauty that others have seen in me for so long. I have to feel that how I feel on the inside is starting to protrude outwardly.
I feel like I have rambled a bit on this post, but hopefully at least a few that read this understand what I am trying to say. I have gone from someone who had no self worth or self esteem to someone who knows her worth and knows that I AM ENOUGH, just the way I am!
No matter your situation, no matter your struggles, no matter what someone has done to you…you are enough and you deserve happiness!
I decided that I also wanted to explain the picture I selected at the top of this post. I picked this particular picture because of the meaning behind the mountain and the rainbow. The mountain is obvious, but the rainbow definitely spoke to me. The rainbow is evidence of dark times, but it is simultaneously a sign of the light that God promises us. Rainbows can’t exist without the darkness and the the light. It helps me to know that no matter how bad things are that there WILL be light at the end of the tunnel!