“You are daughters of God.
You cannot be a generation of women who are content to fit in.
You must have the courage to stand out, to ‘arise and shine forth,
that thy light may be a standard for the nations.”
-Elaine S. Dalton
His first ice cream cone! Yes, I am a bad mom; I totally gave him sugar.
I recently met Ry’lee from Darling Me Avenue and absolutely fell in love with her store and what it stands for. She encourages women to “embrace their story”, which is a message that fits perfectly with my blog. So today I have teamed up with Darling Me Avenue to show off this cute floral dress from their store, as well as share my story about finding my self worth and my battle with depression.
Finding Self Worth
When I was younger, I was far from the prettiest or most talented in my school. In fact, I remember being teased by my crush over what I would wear and I spent more time reading than socializing. I wanted so badly to fit in. As high school progressed, I hid my love of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and all things fantasy. I straightened my hair and started wearing a little makeup. My friends were constantly flirting with boys and going on dates, I just felt invisible. It wasn’t until after high school that I finally had my first kiss and started dating.
In college I felt like I was finally noticed, but the more I dated, the less pretty I felt. I became consumed with comparing myself to others, and I never measured up. I tore myself apart in front of the mirror for being too fat, too dark, too clumsy. I hated myself so much that I was convinced that people wouldn’t like me if they saw who I really was, so I often pushed friends or boys I was dating away. I remember trying multiple times to make myself throw up to lose weight, but (thankfully) my gag reflex is not the best; so I would lay on the bathroom floor crying. My thoughts hurt so much. I even occasionally resorted to self-harm (which is something I have never shared on my blog before). I literally had no self-esteem.
When I was twenty-three, I got a consultation for plastic surgery. I came out planning on getting multiple procedures to change so many parts of my body. After a couple of days, I had a moment of clarity and realized that changing my body wouldn’t change what I really thought of myself. This was a huge wake up call for me. I finally realized things needed to change on the inside and start finding self worth. I knew that God loved me and saw me differently than I saw myself. I needed to see what he saw. I needed to be happy when I looked at myself in the mirror.
I started praying and asking God to soften my heart toward myself. I slowly started implementing little habits to break my negative thoughts. Every time I looked in the mirror, I made myself think about something that I liked. It started small with little compliments, and eventually grew into thoughts like, “dang girl, you look beautiful!”. I even made myself look up when I walked, which actually felt weird at first, I kept thinking I was going to trip! I avoided things that made me sad, including music, books and TV shows (at least until I felt like I was mentally stronger). I constantly prayed that I would feel Heavenly Father’s love for me and I would understand what it meant to be a daughter of God. Quickly, things began to change. I no longer felt like the world looked so dark. I later met with a doctor and was diagnosed with depression, and recognizing this further helped me to combat it. I felt liberated! I no longer made choices based on what others would think of me, I did things for myself. I embraced the things that I loved, and realized that it is a good thing to be different. I truly learned to love myself.
I still have some ups and downs, but I can honestly say that I have learned to love myself; and that has been one of the most important things I have ever learned.