Self-esteem is something most people work on in their lives. But what if everything you already wanted is already within you? I was lying in the bath the other night, washing my legs, feeling super sexy, appreciating and loving my body, when I suddenly realised that “Wow, I no longer have the thoughts that I used to have”. Thoughts that had run with me from my teenage years, such as;
- I hate my body,
- I wish I was thinner,
- I wish I had someone else’s body,
- I want longer or thinner legs,
- I wish I had a six pack or a flat tummy,
- I would prefer a more muscular and athletic looking body,
- I wish that my breasts were smaller.
But now… I love my body just the way it is!
- How my tummy has a beautiful gentleness to it and a little feminine curve,
- That my legs are no longer hard and muscular; they may not look like a model’s, but to me they feel long, awesome and slender and are exactly the way they are meant to be,
- My bum; it’s sexy, curvy and amazing, not pert or ‘perfect’,
- How delicate my fingers are and my cute little toes,
- My breasts are amazing and I wouldn’t change them for the world,
- The graceful and playful way that my body moves.
Then I thought about other times I have felt this way, for instance when I’m in the gym and I move with such playfulness and grace and with a huge smile on my face. Long gone are the days where I’d push my body hard, training to extremes and being obsessed by the perfect body image.
A big support for me has been that I now listen to my body and have such fun in doing so. For example, I leave the gym when my body feels it’s had enough, rather than just staying another twenty minutes when my body is clearly tired. So I leave feeling full of vitality, full of me, full of joy because I have honoured my body; there’s no adrenaline buzz, exhaustion, or pain.
When I eat now there is no form of control, no obsession, no thoughts about calories, no worrying about fat, or whether I can eat this or can’t eat that, or if I eat this then I’ll skip a meal, or not eat tomorrow. I simply eat now to celebrate, appreciate, nourish and love my body, and me.
I have so much fun in doing so. I love going food shopping and cooking now, feeling what foods to buy and eat, whereas before it used to be such a chore. That’s not to say there’s days where I don’t eat things that aren’t the most nourishing and supportive, but every day is a learning – I know what I’m choosing now and most of the time I know exactly why. Before I would give myself such a hard time, which only prolonged the way I was feeling.
Now I simply say:
- Okay – what are you doing?
- This might taste good in my mouth but how will my tummy and body feel about it?
- Why are you really eating it?
- Why do you want to put this in your body?
- Why do you want to make yourself feel awful?
… when you are worth so much more than that: learn from it and move on.
Even the way I choose to get dressed now is so different: no longer do I just put on whatever, but I take my time to choose what I really feel like wearing. Sometimes it may be to celebrate how sexy I am feeling, and this can be in jeans, a vest top and trainers, or at other times it may be to nurture me and keep me warm on a cold day; it may simply be that I feel to wear a certain colour, or it may be to honour how beautiful, feminine and delicate I am feeling. I feel so much joy in honouring this – I dress for me, not to impress or entice another. Even when I put make up on, it’s not to build my self-esteem, look better, cover up or hide what I don’t want others to see, but all of it is in celebration of me.
I can now stand in front of a mirror and claim that I am beautiful and damn sexy, whereas not too long ago I would avoid looking in mirrors as I would be quick to pick out all the faults that I thought I could see instead of seeing the true and beauty-full me.
And the amazing thing is that this love that I feel is not from anything I can do on the outside, it is something that is within me: I just need to allow myself to stay connected to it, to myself, and be present in my body.
I’ve tried so many things to feel lovely but they simply didn’t work as they came from something outside of me. They may have relieved me of feeling my hurts or emptiness for a little while, but it never really allowed me to deal with them and know that I am already more than enough. I used things like getting a new haircut, buying clothes, a new nutrition or diet fad, a thinner or fitter body to feel better, alongside all the self-help and new age stuff, but there was always an un-full-filled feeling there.
The love I now feel for myself and for my body comes from within me. There’s a fullness, a celebration, a deep feeling from inside that simply, play-fully and joy-fully wants to emanate and radiate. It is the loveliest thing and it doesn’t stop with me.
When this love and joy is felt and embraced, I can’t help but share it and feel the love in others, for in truth it’s not mine to keep and hide away. Re-connecting to myself and allowing my love to be has been a support for me to appreciate myself. There is no longer a need for me to work on self-esteem, to look a certain way but to just accept, appreciate and celebrate that I am already enough – I am amazing.
It is with love, thanks and deep appreciation of Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and Caroline Raphael, for the absolute love and truth they present, live and share, and the constant inspiration, love and reflection from other practitioners and the amazing student body.
By Gyl Rae, Student and waitress, Scotland