I sat with my childhood best friend this week, in my parents’ house for a ‘sleepover’ just like we use to do when I was 8, 10, 12 and basically throughout our childhood.
The house was the same, the people were the same and it pains me to admit it but so was the conversation.
Ten years later we were still discussing a lack of self-love, our imperfect body image and potential romantic interests.
Ten years later and the insecurities that plagued our childhood still interfere with our present-day lives. This was a gutting realization for me.
Because the conversation had only slightly grown,
Hours of therapy, personal development groups, self-help books …
Many experiences with romance now, which we hadn’t back then…
We have felt the effects of a lack of self-love so many more times now, than back then …
and we have been with our now ageing bodies at least 10 years longer than those first conversations…
Yet, it seemed we still carried the ‘not good enough’ baggage on some deep subconscious levels and we were back to being 8, discussing how we wished our lives were somehow different to what they are.
The thing is when we were 8, 10, 12 no one told us we had the power to change it and so we continued living like this for the past 10 years.
The truth is we have always had the power to change this and more so today than ever before.
So I woke up the next morning and vowed to myself, in ten years, when we sit down again and have the chats it will not be the same angle we discuss.
I refuse to live the next ten years in a way that has kept me in cycles of self-abandonment, poor relationship choices and feeling like something was missing.
The truth is something was missing, it was me, it was my authentic self-esteem.
I abandoned my body with food, alcohol, criticism and neglect in the form of bad diets, over exercise and at times pushing to the point of burnout.
I abandoned myself in relationships, in a hope that my needs wouldn’t bother my partners too much, I could go under the radar and hopefully not draw too much attention to myself, my flaws, only to explode with blame and resentment.
I abandoned any once of self-love, in exchange for the love of another.
This was all in an effort of trading for outside validation.
These were the choices of my insecure and scared 8-year-old self attempting to keep up with life and find love.
I knew it when we spoke; I knew it when I listen to my besties words and pain.
I knew it was a seeking of love and acceptance in place of my own love and acceptance of self.
I woke up and silently vowed, that I will not spend another ten years repeating the pattern of my inner 8-year-old. I refuse to believe the love of another is more valuable than my own. I refuse to believe that the old story of not being good enough and I refuse to continue talking about it all as if I am powerless to it.
As I write this, I ask myself, but how?
It will be an unfolding experience I am sure, as all my learnings to date have been, as I unlearn, relearn and learn a way to be in this world and to heal what has held me back. I will commit and bank on myself like never before.
I will risk the rejection of others on a pursuit of self-love.
I will be the fool as many times as I need to be as I practice vulnerability.
I will talk to myself as I want to be spoken to.
I will no longer excuse my self-abandonment or bullying ways towards myself.
I will attend therapy not because I am broken but because I deserve better.
I will stop appeasing and start honouring my own crazy wacky needs.
So I ask you if you sat down with your bestie, what would the conversation entail?
Would it be developed, new and progressive or that comfortable place you held way back when?
What story have you been subconsciously replaying the past 10 years and are you ready for a new one?
I know I am.
This was written 4 years ago, thankfully on discovering this, the past 4 have been wildly different. I have another 6 to invest in my change.
If I could give any advice, it would be to start today. It is never too soon.