Learning to Love Yourself

fallen tree

The last couple of weeks have been difficult. The kind of difficult that makes you want to stay in bed all day and never get up. And the weird thing is that most of the pain was totally self inflicted.

I have learned recently that one of the most difficult emotions to deal with is shame. That voice inside you that says "You aren't good enough" is the voice of shame. If you let that voice continue to whisper in your ear without confrontation, before long you will start to believe it. This last week I stopped trying to fight it. I stopped taking care of myself and re-affirming that I AM good enough. I let my guard down and started comparing myself to everyone to prove to myself that I really wasn't good enough. 

IT'S NOT WORTH IT. 

All the oreos and netflix binging will not take that pain away. Only loving yourself and thereby loving other people can combat the shame and fear that seems to paralyze your mind and body.

Poor decapitated fish...

Poor decapitated fish...

Why is loving yourself such a hard thing to do? It's so easy to show kindness and love for other people, but when it comes to loving ourselves, it's infinitely more difficult. The answer is shame. Deep down we don't feel like we are good enough, or that we are un-lovable. 

I have learned to climb out of the hole that shame tries to bury me in (although I still need to work on not falling into the hole in the first place), and it all starts with making a list. What can I DO? What do I have control over? This helps me to think rationally, and not give in to the irrationality and self defeat of shame. Today I have checked nearly everything off my list and it's only 3 in the afternoon! Despite my failures and mistakes, I am a good person, and I am capable of doing amazing things. And here's the secret...

SO ARE YOU!

We are all god's children. We have a divine heritage. We are meant to become like him one day.

NEVER forget how beautiful you are! No matter what camera you shoot with, no matter how many weddings you have booked this year, no matter how many Instagram and Twitter followers you have,

"You is kind, you is smart, you is important."

- The Help

 

archer pond reflection

The photographs featured in this post were shot on my trusty Olympus OM1 with kodak trix400, and tmax 100.