We are often our own worst critic and fail to see the beauty, both inside and out, that others see in us. For Daylle, it took years to overcome her low self-esteem. She looked to please others in order to please herself. But once Daylle was forced to look at herself, she was able to accept what she saw and gain a sense of pride in her true identity.
Self-acceptance was impossible when I saw myself as fat and ugly. For many years I endured pain from being an out of control people-pleaser with low self-esteem to compensate for my VERY unfair self-perception. People took advantage of me and gave me no respect. It made sense, since I was a door-mat and didn’t respect myself.
Happiness was an elusive state that I thought I’d get from the people I went out of my way to please. But other than snippets of joy when someone I’d done a lot for threw me a bone of appreciation, happiness eluded me.
My first awakening came when I attended a neighbor’s make-up party and got many compliments on my good skin and beautiful green eyes. I never knew I had them until someone put a mirror in my face and forced me to pay attention! I wore makeup to work the next day and was startled when people said the makeup made me look prettier. I questioned it and got puzzled looks from people who thought I was attractive and couldn’t understand why it surprised me.
Then I read a quote by Anais Nin: “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
After many years of unhappiness, I recognized that the time had come to make a choice: remain stuck in a place that made me unhappy or set boundaries on what I gave others and do more for me.
I chose the latter! The more I turned down requests I didn’t want to do, the better I felt. I only helped people to be kind, not to buy acceptance. It was the beginning of accepting me, in my imperfect but wonderful shoes. Each small victory over my fears felt delicious! My forehead no longer says 'welcome' and I’m filled with self-love. Today I’m a self-empowerment counselor, speaker, and author.
Even with wrinkles and cellulite, I’m VERY happy being me! What’s most important is to accept me as I am and treat myself lovingly. Every kind gesture to myself was a brick in the foundation of my self-love. Looking back I realized that I was depressed when I had no self-love. Life seemed like a chore.
Developing self-love fueled learning to take care of me. Today people can’t believe that for a majority of my life I felt worthless, fat, and ugly—all because I wasn’t perfectly thin. Accepting all of me with love, and appreciating the beauty of who I am, flaws and all, keeps me smiling and giving back for my blessings.