More than a Mirror

I woke up this Sunday morning with a pit in my stomach.

Bleary eyed, groggy, and frankly, just disappointed in myself.

Not for anything you’re thinking right now. Come onnnn people, get your minds out of the gutter. 🙂 You already know I’m saving myself until marriage.


But I was angry with myself for a different reason: I didn’t treat myself with love and respect the night before.

I think there’s a grave misconception about something:

Loving yourself.

I give a lot of lip service to those two, seemingly “okay-okay, enough already“-esq words.

We think…it’s something that you would tell a teenage girl, going through puberty with acne and a retainer.


“Love yourself, honey.”

Or, we think about someone looking in the mirror, unhappy with their appearance, pondering the Dove commercials. “Love yourself.”  And, yes, those are two things that “loving yourself” encompasses. However, when I talk about loving yourself, I’m talking about waaaaay more than just a mirror.

It dictates your behavior.

During the depths of my anorexia, self love was non-existant. The very essence of the disease seeks to destroy oneself. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’re slowing killing yourself. Blunt. But true.

There is no “self love” there. In fact, the exact opposite.

So, the biggest aspect of my recovery has been to learn how to reverse that mindset – which had been engrained in my head, conditioned as the norm,  and was my “autopilot” —  and learn to love myself.

And what I’ve learned is that this extends far beyond a mirror.


This past weekend, I experienced, firsthand, yet another area that is influenced by loving yourself: romantic relationships.

Now, I know, this is nothing new. You all know the journey my love life has been on.

But this was a new manifestation, if you will. And it revealed a gaping hole in my progress.

Self love also means not letting people treat you poorly. 

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To make a very long and complicated story short-ish, basically, a boy did not treat me with emotional respect. This boy I have a complicated history with, invited me to his party…where his new girlfriend was in attendance. But here’s the thing: I willing put myself in that situation where I knew my heart was going to be broken. I went and put on the the brave “we’re just friends” face, even though that’s not how my heart felt.

Gurrrrl, you stand up for yourself, honey! Don’t you take that crap! Boy’s a player, ain’t got time for those games.


Believe me. I’ve heard it. From my mom. From my friends. From my rational mind after the fact.

BUT. I still subjected myself to a situation where my finally “healed-and-moved-on” -heart would be reopened.

And I’m angry at myself, because I allowed it to happen. I allowed my heart to “go there” again, and let myself be disrespected emotionally.

It’s disappointing more than anything. Because here’s the thing: my actions communicated to myself that that’s what I think I’m worth. My behavior — going and seeing this guy that I still had feelings for, now with another girl — it communicated to myself, “You know what BBB? You’re really not worthy of being someone’s first choice.


Acting with love for myself, I would have not gone. I would have not submitted my heart to being hurt like that. But I did, and it shows just how far I still have to go on my journey to true self love.


Yes, loving yourself means accepting the person staring back at you in the mirror. Embracing your freckles, accepting your imperfections, having confidence, “BOdy POsitivity” or BOPO, if you will.

But there are far “weightier” implications that those two little words have.

And that is, to demand to be treated with the respect you deserve. To only surround yourself with people who see you for the incredible person you are, and treat you as such.

It means saying no to things that aren’t good for you.


This looks different for everybody. Everybody has that one thing that they just can’t quit, try as they might. Be it, compulsive shopping, smoking, excessive partying or drinking, overeating, under eating, gambling, you name it. I found yet another “thing” this weekend: emotional irresponsibility.

Who knows, maybe I’m just being too sensitive. Making a mountain out of a mole hill.

But actions speak louder than words, and if I really reflect on my decision to submit myself to that emotionally hurtful situation, it communicates a lot.

At the end of the day, self love dictates everything we do. It’s the foundation we build our lives on. And if that foundation is grounded in fleeting things like money, or success, other people’s opinions, beauty, the latest fashions…we’re going to be in a world of hurt. It’s like building a house on sand.

But, if our lives are grounded in love – self love that comes from claiming God’s immense love for each one of us – we’re going to be able to withstand whatever comes our way.

So, no. Self love is not just about a mirror. That’s part – but only a very small part.


 

 

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246 thoughts on “More than a Mirror

  1. Hi BBB

    You are so right 🙂 self-love is about so much more than just the mirror! It’s definitely about not letting people treat you poorly but it’s also about showing yourself kindness, compassion and grace if you make a mistake (cuz goodness knows, we all do!) Such a great revelation on your journey though…because the first step is always awareness – and awareness that you let people treat you poorly or with disrespect is the first step to putting a stop to it in the future and for standing up for yourself and saying “you know what? I’m not cool with that behaviour.” Love and peace to you. Taliah xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Taliah! Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection☺️ I really appreciate your encouragement and kind words. You’re right-there’s a lot more to self love than just a mirror. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Hugs and love to you xoxo

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  2. BBB, I am so sorry for the heartache you are experiencing! But I am also so PROUD of you for what you are learning! It takes these little scrapes and stumbles to learn how to stand up for ourselves. AND you are sharing what you are learning along the way with others. Which takes real self-knowledge, wisdom, and courage. I read a very challenging and perplexing reflection by Chiara Lubich the other day from “The Art of Loving” on the Bible passage “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” She wrote, “…to understand the gospel passage…you must take it literally *without qualification* …not just as general advice. Because when we start acting that way, people are struck by it…” It sounds impossibly hard, but then I remind myself that with God, all things are possible! I am praying and hoping that we can all start loving ourselves this fiercely, because from there, we can spread that love everywhere. Reading your post helps me to believe we can do it! ❤️

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    • Hey Lulu! Wow, what a beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing that quote!–how powerful. You’re right-we have to take it without qualification. Definitely something i need to work on. I think I’ve found my new morning reflection verse! ☺️ thanks for stopping by and for this lovely note. Have a wonderful weekend my friend! Hugs xox

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  3. Yep, if you love yourself first and foremost you would not put yourself in a situation that could damage you. Very good post. Loving yourself is the most important thing. You need to use that moment as a ” rise above ” moment. You went to the party, saw the other girl and obviously played nice in the sandbox . Now it’s time to walk away with your head held high and leave him in the dust.

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      • Hi, BBB,
        “But actions speak louder than words, and if I really reflect on my decision to submit myself to that emotionally hurtful situation, it communicates a lot.”

        It does, and you may not have recognized everything that was communicated–both ways. I believe there may well have been a whole different way to look at this. First, If people always loved themselves first and foremost, would there be such a thing as courage? Why would anyone risk damage to their precious “self”? Yes, you took a chance of being hurt by going to the party. To me, I think you were saying, “You know, I’m taking a chance; but, I think I’m ready. I not only respect myself, but, God loves me and will give me the power to handle this situation. Together, we can handle this.” And, …YOU DID! You have a right to feel good about what you accomplished. Looks to me like you persevered in a classy manor. And, I’m betting you also came through a whole lot stronger–in more ways than one. I’m thinking your were tested–and came out with your colors flying. I wonder what the ex-boyfriend learned?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much for these words of encouragement. It really means a lot. I love this fresh perspective you offer. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you’re right. ☺️ you speak so much truth. God DOES love us and will strengthen us to endure whatever comes our way. Thanks again for stopping by. Hugs xox

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  4. An absolutely wonderful read. I too have experienced these moments of ignoring my rational self and all those around me – Self love is the standard for how others will treat us. Thank you for sharing, thank you, thank you.

    -IV

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  5. Having spotted the error of not loving yourself right, it’s important not to wallow in it, and beat yourself up – that’s not loving yourself either! Be proud that you spotted the problem and have dealt with it. Look forward to doing better the next time. Well done – great thoughts beautifully expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for sharing this! I grew up with a verbally abusive father. Nothing any of us did was right. I felt that he was hardest on me. Calling me stupid and ugly. So, it was ingrained into my brain that I was not a worthy person. My husband now treats me like I should have been treated all along. He calls me beautiful every single day.
    I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you again. Have a blessed day! 🙂

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  7. Self-love is such a powerful tool, my dear. It is most definitely not as easy to do as some may claim but it is doable.

    I like to do little things for myself each day out of love! Perhaps I will paint my nails, write myself love notes or organize and primp my space. Each of these things are free and make you feel amazing.

    It isn’t easy to come out of a negative space. I remember hating myself so much to the point where I took a ton of PM pills and prayed that I didn’t wake up. When I did I realized that I had to change and the only way I could become the person I wish I was was by loving myself unconditionally.

    I dug myself out of that place and I only hope that people who are feeling that way can listen to what people like us have to say about these topics. Imagine the lives we could save!

    Have a lovely Sunday!
    Kyanna K.

    ❤ <#3 ❤ <#3 ❤ <#3 ❤ <#3 ❤ <#3 ❤ <#3 ❤ ❤ <#3 ❤ ❤ <#3 ❤ ❤ <#3 ❤

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  8. And just maybe – there might have been somebody there at the party that likes freckles … don’t be too hard on yourself for going ! Perhaps as well not to go to this guy’s celebrations again for a good long while, but wish him well ! And don’t become a hermit !

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  9. Pingback: I am a princess. | Pearls and Swords

  10. Thanks for sharing!! This was awesome/hilarious/inspiring and I definitely needed to read this today. It’s funny how having an eating disorder numbs one for so long that recovery becomes so much more then food, weight, body image, etc…it’s your whole life.

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  11. Yep ….been there with the ‘put a brave face on’ then think WHY did I just put myself through that? …….and you know what? …am STILL a work in progress and I’m probably almost old enough to be your Mother:D:D…..we’ll get there eventually tho kiddo ….and it looks like your learning a lot quicker than I did:D:D

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  12. Yay for this article. I don’t struggle with anorexia but I struggle with my weight gain. I may not have the full understanding of what you are going through but I have had to learn to love who I am and surround myself with those who love me for me.

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  13. Love this post! It is always inspiring to see other’s progress. I’m happy for you.

    Being emotionally irresponsible due to lacking self love describes my relationship history with men. I got so tired of it that I think I let my self loathing take me to a place where my eating became out of control. That led to me becoming overweight. As a lot of my self worth is determined by my weight, I have completely removed myself from the possibility of having a relationship because I don’t feel worthy now that I’m heavy. But this is serving as my protection from continuing to be emotionally irresponsible. Oh the work that lies ahead!

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    • Hi friend, thank you so much for this reflection. Self worth and self love has (and continues to be) quite the journey. I, too, had it wrapped up in my weight for a long long time. It is only recently that I’m finically realizing that my worth comes not from my looks or weight, but from Above. 🙏 And trusting that has made all the difference. I’m sending you a big hug my friend. You are precious in His eyes. One day at a time. Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much. I’m working on developing my relationship with Him and I believe it will be very important in my recovery. Your faith is part of what attracted me to your blog. Hugs back. xxx

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  14. Thank you so much for your honesty. I loved every single word from this post. It’s so true that we can allow people to abuse us if we don’t love ourselves. For some reason I used to think it would be selfish to love myself, but really I was wrong in hating myself and beating myself up! I’m now learning how to love myself while serving others. God bless you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I know you may think you sound funny but I don’t think you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill at all. A relationship is a very serious thing especially of the marriage kind. We are people and people were made for relationships. That’s why we have mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends.
    Go back in the Bible to Genesis where God made Adam and Eve. If you pay close attentions there was a time when they were not always together. Togetherness came after they had each had a time with God–so to speak. First it was Adam and he named animals and did all kinds of stuff with God, but the Bible doesn’t say how long this time was. Maybe days. Maybe weeks or months. Maybe even years. But in any case, Adam had some alone time with God to learn about himself and his Creator. What a wonderful thing!
    Then God put Adam to sleep, took a rib and made Eve. Now in most translations right before giving her to Adam but right after making her there is a comma. Now in writing or story telling a comma is a pause.
    Sometime in that pause, was a time that it was just Eve and God. We don’t know how long this was. Once again the Bible doesn’t tell us exactly. But before she met Adam she just knew God. This was a time of relationship with God—just her and Him.
    This may seem like something minor or maybe I sound like I’m digging to deep, but before a relationship for us outside of ourselves, we must first build a strong relationship with the One who made us, and we must keep this relationship and work at it even in seeking that wonderful future spouse. Asking Him about the respectable, good qualities to look for—or even better yet that He already knows you both need and desire.
    Take this time as a time to keep drawing toward God, and pray about whoever this person might be. He might need the prayers too. 🙂 And if I may I would recommend a couple of books to take some time reading though I know their titles might sound funny or old fashioned in comparison to how the current world views relationships, but this guy really puts the idea of marriage in a godly perspective for both the girl and guy. The first teaches you how to focus on the loving yourself and God enough to yes, say no to bad relationships and be willing to wait for the one in store for you—”Why I kissed Dating Goodbye” By Joshua Harris. The second, by the same guy, goes onto to describe the depths and real meaning of what it means to seek a romantic relationship in the depths of marriage and the seriousness of things to consider, again for both guy and girl and respecting each other and serving God through it all: “Boy meets Girl”.
    And even if you don’t just remember this is your pause, your comma, like Eve’s and is your time to keep pressing into relationship with God while you wait—even as impatiently as we may be sometimes. 🙂 it will all be very much worth the wait.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Faithbook, thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. What wisdom you’ve shared! You’re right-this is my comma. My time to really get to know the Father. And yes, I definitely pray for my future husband. And thanks for the book suggestions! I’ll definitely check them out! Have a beautiful day and thanks for reading! Hugs and love xoxo

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  16. I enjoy reading your posts. I do not struggle with anorexia and I do not have the faith you do, but I do struggle with loving myself. It seems easier to love and forgive others than myself at times. Your posts are always honest and insightful, and well-written.
    Just don’t be so hard on your self. We are all human and imperfect. You tried and you realized it was wrong and you moved on. The thing about romantic love is we have to try and go out on a limb at times, also make ourselves a little vulnerable. That doesn’t mean we don’t love ourselves. It means we are trying to find a connection and a partner. If it is not right for you or it is not reciprocated, than you respect yourself and move on until you find the love you want and deserve. That is eactly what you did. Good for you!

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  17. Wonderful blog! So full of wisdom. I sit here amazed that, after all the years I’ve lived, and with as much as I thought I’d learned, this is a facet of loving ones self that I’d not even thought about/recognized. Thank you for sharing, and teaching.

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    • Thanks again:) I’m so glad this struck a chord with you. There are so many different faces of loving yourself-i keep finding different ones in my day to day. Another big one is shopping! For years I wouldn’t buy myself any new clothes/only shopping from goodwill, because I felt I wasn’t worth it. And this is someone who has always LOVED fashion and pre-ED I used to have so much fun dressing up for school everyday with matching outfits etc. so a big big change. I have recently turned that around and have relearned that I am worth buying nice clothes. That its okay to celebrate myself with a new outfit every now and then. I’m worth it! So are you! ☺️☺️☺️ thanks again for stopping by and for your support. Hugs and love xox

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  18. I love that you were able to step back and realize you weren’t loving yourself well and then decide what you were going to do in the future. Thanks for sharing your story here, because so many people don’t even realize some of their actions aren’t self-loving. As a person on this journey myself, I needed these words. So glad I discovered your blog!

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  19. I have to say I saw this coming a mile away. My youngest daughter had it bad for a guy in high school. So much so that she said yes when he asked her to senior prom…along with the other two girls he asked. I told her wasn’t respecting her, he was playing them all, but she insisted that’s how it is in her generation.

    Um…

    Let’s just say, Father Knows Best.

    One man, one woman; marrying or dating. Julie taught our girls “Never date who couldn’t be a mate.”

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  20. I’m always happy when I come to your blog. I just mentioned you in another one of my posts . You are one of the most inspiring writers I know about. For me it’s because you are not doing it alone , that you have a really personal relationship with the divine to keep you going , but not going in the same dead end direction which many people seem to prefer out of fear . Instead your relationship with the divine forces you to grow in a way where your gift is in showing the challenges. And showing that it can be done and it’s not a straight line and it’s not a goal , it’s here and now how you do things and if you don’t have your relationship with yourself right you don’t have much to build on . And I believe that human beings were made for relationships, we never would’ve survived without cooperation and community and that sort of love is gone in this culture of the individual . It’s one of the reasons why people are falling apart. And then being blamed for it when we are not supposed to live in competition and separation , including separation from our entire self and the divine.

    I personally have been through something like this in the last year and it was really hard to figure out why. Once I understood what it is that I thought he was able to give me even though he couldn’t then it suddenly went away , all of the pain. I didn’t need to keep going back trying to , this is the weird part, trying to get what? What did I think was going to change? I knew that it would make me miserable . It turned out that it was easier to be miserable about him and then it was too acknowledge my feelings about being ill and possibly dying soon. In reality he didn’t really cause the immense anger and grief and depression I was feeling , but I would use him as a trigger to allow myself to feel feelings about something that I didn’t want to deal with . Strangely once I stopped doing that he and I became really close friends again. Then again he never did me wrong in any way and he stood by me even when I wanted him to go away because it hurts so incredibly much to have contact , but the pain for me came from knowing that even though we want to be together because of my illness and us having lives on different continents we won’t. And that seems so unfair , after everything the last decade has put me through which has opened me so much even though it is closed me off from the world almost entirely , I became suddenly very aware of all of the things that I will miss out on .

    When I’m doing something that is self-destructive often it’s a twisted way to meet an emotional need that I haven’t realized. No longer does it feel like a screwup but it becomes the doorway to greater understanding of my own wound or one of many of them LOL. and my dictation capitalizes LOL by the way LOL.

    I had something with a not romantic relationship popped into my life, the type of relationship that I am prone to be most harmed by which are people who take and don’t care and also do not show appreciation and have no sense of loyalty even to themselves , it’s just about surviving and they don’t know themselves and they haven’t taken accountability yet . Or sometimes worse they do know themselves and they haven’t taken accountability. The person had a lot of ulterior motives which I didn’t see it at all until I was already in the relationship somewhat and then all of my inner alarms started going off , saying that this was not going to be healthy for me , but I felt trapped because we were introduced by a mutual friend that I didn’t want to lose. Well I lost him anyway . Because I couldn’t pretend that this behavior was okay when it was actually incredibly hurtful . The person who introduced us told me that we have to make special allowances because she’s “vulnerable .” And that made me wonder what he thought I was? Sometimes if you seem strong it feels like punishment for me at least. I like I’m the person who supposed to save others when that’s up to them and their relationship with the divine and their courage .

    For me I took it as a good sign that even though the alarms were going off and I couldn’t figure out how to get out and salvage the other friendship I at least knew that the alarms were going off and eventually ended it when I was far too stressed out for someone so sick. In the past I maybe would’ve let it go a lot longer or I may blamed myself and not realize that the manipulation happening .

    So sometimes I think of these things as reminders of how far we have come. I mean, six years ago would you have had the self-awareness to know the very next day what had just happened? Maybe it’s a reminder of how healthy and self loving you have become. You were in a situation that was the belly of the beast and the next day you knew that you put yourself there and it isn’t where you want to be. How many times in our lives do we do things like that and not even notice? Maybe it was a good reminder of how far you’ve come. I’d like to give you a high-five for recognizing something that I bet you wouldn’t have four years ago. To be supportive of how much you have grown , how strong you are to be able to see where you are accountable and also that you know that self-love is most important for survival , we can talk all we want about that but you proved it. Nipped it in the bud.

    And sometimes we enter those situations thinking that we can handle it , or wanting to believe that we are that “cool” with the situation and it turns out we are not. You may have had something like that happening or may be sometimes I notice that I might try to make the other person feel like I am cool with everything but it’s at the expense of myself so what was the point?

    So there’s always something new that you can learn I have found end there’s always something to celebrate , the fact that you realized it so quickly is a really big deal.

    One of the main reasons that I like your blog is that you are a perfectionist and so I’m I and when I see yourself being hard on yourself the things that I want to say and to have you feel, like being able to get you to feel what my heart feels about you and the situation , it reminds me that I have to turn that onto myself too. Because I’m really hard on myself as well and so all of the emotions that come up about wanting you to feel successful end beautiful and brave end self-loathing and also having so much integrity and being there for yourself which allows you to authentically share with others so you are being there for them , your total honesty emotionally , it’s all the same stuff that I need to bring to myself , I forget to do my self compassion meditation . So when I come here I can really hear you striving , you’ve gone so much farther than I bet anyone would’ve suspected including you end you still are going, but there’s something about when you overcome a challenge and then found more challenges and struggles with them that eventually I think we get the strength to just want to keep doing that as much as possible to heal ourselves but also the world . Because we totally know that it can be done! But maybe we set our expectations too high about our own growth forgetting that in the beginning we were being loved and guided without knowing it and that we don’t have to try so hard now because we can trust that the process is still happening , even though we may be really eager to rush it . That’s the stuff that I realize about myself when I read the blog even if it isn’t anything you are dealing with . I just realize how much self compassion is needed when trying to be self loving. I don’t know if the difference between self compassion and self-love makes sense here , I guess self compassion is still being kind and loving to ourselves when we are not kind and loving to ourselves . And it seems to be the cure for perfectionism .

    Also you are an incredibly good writer and I wanted to make sure you knew that because I am wondering if you are going to go into producing your own film shorts that you write just because you have so much talent and depth in storytelling . Hollywood needs more of this kind of story being told in the media that it produces .

    Always a big supporter ! You’re writing reminds the rest of us to take care of ourselves and that is a really big ministry that you’ve done.

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    • Hi Heather! Wow, thank you so much for this incredibly kind and supportive comment. I appreciate you sharing your story with me. You’re right- self-compassion is so important. It is the foundation upon which we build our lives. It influences our relationships and pretty much every aspect of our lives. And that’s funny about the LOL’s! hehe I guess that’s a bit of an “inside joke” now hehe ☺️☺️ and thank you again for such encouraging and affirming words about my writing. It means more than you know. Sending you so much love. You are an incredible person and you deserve to have people in your life that recognize that and treat you as such:) thanks for stopping by xoxoxo

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      • You are one of the most divinely guided people I know and your hardship is your ministry. You know you’d die without God guiding you, but how you are guided alleviates the pain of others allowing them to find their higher power.

        I feel like 6,000 years ago or in China where religion is banned you’d honestly still be called because it transcends specific religion, no matter what culture this Jesus of love would find you. That’s what tells me who is really called. No matter when where or how, the call would take you.

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      • Hey Heather! my goodness, thank you again. You’re right–Jesus’s love transcends time, place, situation, language — EVERYTHING! His love finds us no matter what. What a comforting thought. Thanks again for stopping by and for offering such kind and encouraging words xox

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  21. Where did you get such wisdom, dear lady. I tripped across your site just this morning and unfortunately, I have to get to work in a bit, so I couldn’t read the whole thing. But I wish I understood these thoughts when I was a kid and again when my kids were teens. Thank you, BBB. I’ll have to read you more. Enjoy your day.

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  22. Wow! I feel like you’re my soul sister! This post certainly hits hone on so many levels, it’s almost like reading my own diary! Glad to have found you here 😊

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