Why Do I Hate Myself?

Updated: Jun 18



I never thought I had a problem with the way I thought about myself.


I would watch my friends and observe how insecure they were;

Always thinking they were the reason the guy left them.

Thinking they weren't smart enough to voice an opinion or make a change.

Feeling uncomfortable about who they were, and how they looked.


I was, and always have been bold, opinionated, and confident.

We are all wired in certain ways, and these characteristics are a major part of the person I am.

So, I equated my opinionated and seemingly confident demeanor to the value I saw in myself.

I told myself I wasn't like them.

Or you.

Or any other human with major insecurities.


But the more I started seeking out truth from every angle of my life, voicing my real feelings, and trying to be who I really felt I was, the more the truth of my biggest insecurities started to seep out.


The thing is, you can't claim to be a pacifist and go about punching people when you're upset.

You can't call yourself a vegan , if you *only* eat meat once a week.

You can't seek truth and you definitely can't live within it, if you don't face the truth of who you are- in the deepest, darkest places.

The places we often avoid by turning up the headphones, scrolling in the stillness, and pushing out the quiet at all costs.




Sometimes, when I think about the transformation of my health from debilitating migraines, chronic fatigue, major IBS, and general physical miserableness; to a healthy, vibrant, and functional way of living I feel as if I had a curtain over my eyes my whole life prior to that transformation and then it was lifted.


Although I was outspoken in general, I didn't question much.


My life played out the way it was presented to me.


I was taught to eat unhealthy and damaging foods my whole life and so I did.

I learned it was attractive to wear makeup and tight clothes, so I wore them.

I learned to not seem 'too' emotional, so I withheld my emotions.

I grew up as a Christian, so I remained one without actually determining if that made real sense to me.

I learned that talking about my period was wrong, so I didn't.

I learned to seek approval from boys, and so I did.

I learned that you have to be good in every subject in school to be smart, so I wasn't.

I could write 100 more of these statements, but a good amount of them are incredibly personal and I still feel twinges of shame when thinking about them.


When my diet changed, I started questioning everything.


Does that sound dramatic?


Good.


Realizing that I was never taught my whole life how to eat correctly, something so basic and vitally important to my quality of life, made me question all of the things I had been taught.


What else was unknowingly damaging me?


About 3 months after changing my diet, something shifted in my thought process about my face.


My mom always told me

'Don't start wearing makeup until you're sure you're ready, because once you start, you can't stop."


I didn't understand her then, but I do now.


Why can't you stop?


Because suddenly, you see a different version of yourself.


A better version.


Makeup physically changes you.


Obviously.


It makes you 'prettier' or without flaws.


Right?


Women wear make up to look pretty.

It can be said different ways:

"I wear it to cover up my acne, because it looks so bad."

"I wear it to feel more confident about myself."

"I could never go out without makeup, I'm not as pretty as the girl that does that."

"I just like the way I look more with it."

"It just makes me look better."


Make-up to a young girl, is a sign of maturity into a world of beauty and lust.


Finally, you can get the attention of the boys.


Finally, you can look older than younger.


Finally, you can look pretty.


It started with a little mascara.

Then eyeliner

Then blush

And finally to cover it all; foundation.


If you ask a girl what her 'go-to' beauty staple is, she will most likely have one.


Most girls say they can't live without mascara.


Some girls have to have some lip liner.


Others, really need the foundation.


For me, it was eyeliner.


Thick and black.


So dramatic.


I loved that look.


I don't remember thinking my eyes looked less-than before, but once I started wearing eyeliner, I didn't like the way my eyes looked without it.


My exact thoughts were that my eyes were too small, boring, and because they were brown and not a prettier color, they needed something to liven them up.

My eyes definitely needed more allure than they had.


Without eyeliner, I felt I looked dull. Truly.


The worst thing was when I didn't wear it, someone would say "are you okay? you look tired."


I KNOW. I AM DULL AND TIRED LOOKING. I HAVE NO MAKEUP ON. THANK YOU GINA.


So back to my face epiphany.


3 months after changing my diet.. and life.


I stood in the mirror, and told myself I wanted to go bare.

Just like I did with my food- back to the basics.


I decided I needed to know what that felt like.


I had been wearing a full face of makeup nearly every day for 7 years after all.


So, I stopped wearing it.


Oh my gosh.


I hated my face that week.


It sucked. My boyfriend told me a thousand times he 'couldn't even tell', but I certainly could.


I was sure that everyone else could too.


Everyone knew. Everyone thought I was tired, lazy, and most of all dull.


But it was also really nice not taking the extra time to put it on in the morning and being able to rub my eyes without the worry of a potential smear.


After that first week, I decided I wanted to keep going.


Each day I stood in the mirror and said out loud to myself 'your face is perfectly fine all by itself.'


Seriously.


I had to talk to myself every day, and assure my mind that these 'dull looking eyes' were the new normal.


I didn't believe it would ever look normal to me though.

I figured it would always be weird and bare, and I would only feel pretty on the occasions that I wore eyeliner again.


But I kept doing it, because there was this small part of me that desired to love and appreciate the way I looked without any additions.


Here I am,, three years later, to tell you that I don't ever wear eyeliner.

Even on the special occasions!

Because when I do I feel so weird.

It feels heavy, and unlike me.

It feels like a mask I'm hiding behind.


More importantly, I feel good about who I am without eyeliner.


I love my eyes.


I think they are full of spark, and who doesn't love a color that reminds them of chocolate?


It wasn't easy to just stop wearing it, and pretend I felt good enough without it.


I had to tell myself every single day that I didn't need it, and it didn't define me or my beauty.


I had to stare the problem straight in the face (pun intended!) and speak to it.


Speak truth into it.


This is kind of an intro to this post.


A long one, admittedly, but an intro into some serious thoughts on why we are living in such a way that we can't even be alone with our thoughts, or go a day without feeling massive insecurity about ourselves.


Someone told me yesterday they've never been able to meditate, because they can't stand to be alone with their own thoughts.

That's rough.

Are you scared of your own thoughts?


You might be reading this thinking "I absolutely love myself. I'm good on this."


But, I challenge you to really dive deep and pull back your curtain;

you might find some insecurities that have been instilled without any consciousness on your part, and in turn are holding you back in life.


If you know you struggle with this, I'm here for you.


I'm sitting here writing this to you and for you, because I believe we need to talk about it more than just a picture perfect person posting an Instagram caption telling us to just 'love ourselves more.'


The paradox of the culture we find ourselves in currently is the image and perception of our lives as perfect, or at least better than someone else's- and yet we are struggling harder than ever before with anxiety, insecurity, and feeling alone with these issues.


Do I think I've got it all figured out when it comes to insecurity and self-loathing?


Nope.


But I have come a long way from where I was, to where I am now.


I respect and love myself more than I did in the past. I've learned how to distance myself from all that unnecessary insecurity and shame shouting at me with every step I take.


It has taken copious amounts of personal inner work (it always will), true healing from God, and peeling back layers of lies and misinformation I've been fed.







So, let's first identify what this 'self-hate' could look like for you.


It could be the way you speak to yourself about your face or body every time you see a mirror.


It could be the way you shame yourself when you can't resist the candy bowl.


It could be the repeating story you tell yourself about not hitting the mark-

just not being good enough.


It could be the insecurity you feel about being an emotional person.


It could be the way you abuse your body through drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or any other major coping mechanism.


It could be your curly hair, your back mole, your large nose, your peculiar toe, your small breasts, your chubby stomach, your stretch marks, your freckles, or your height.


It could be the disgust you have for yourself when you remember how mean you've been to people who love you.


It could be the way you speak about yourself to others in conversation.


It could be the way you consistently remind yourself you have done nothing to deserve happiness or peace.


It could be the constant, reverberating regret you hold within you.


It could be a thousand different things.

It can come up in a thousand different ways.

And it can wreck you- emotionally, physically, and spiritually.





Shame.


Where does that come from?


Christine Caine, founder of the anti-sex trafficking organization A21, describes shame as something we were never meant to bare the burden of.


It dates back to the Garden of Eden. You know.. the whole apple scene.


Before the downfall of humanity, the Bible says

"Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."


Out of all the emotions that exist, God created humans with the intent of them never knowing the feelings of shame.


The enemy knew that he could use this emotion God created humans to never feel or know, to hinder them in fulfilling their potential in this life.


To keep you from living the vibrant life you deserve.


Christine says it best;

"the enemy will always try to shame you in the area that God wants to use you somewhere in your future."


Another thing she points out is that most of us don't know the difference between guilt and shame.


Guilt says "I did something wrong."


Shame says "there is something wrong with me."


The beautiful aspect of doing something wrong, is running to a heavenly Father who washes all that guilt away. We call that grace, and my goodness it is so very sufficient.


But shame is this deep-rooted feeling that something is inherently wrong with you.


This is simply untrue, because the Bible tells us that God created mankind in his own image.


No mistakes were made in the creation of you and me, because we were made in the image of a perfect and wonderful source of life.


Shame has been present all throughout history, it isn't a new thing that started in our culture.


But where does it stem from in our personal lives?


Let's start with the first form of shame we usually encounter:


Parents


Parents *generally* have the best intentions, but they are also human, and can shame us in ways that unknowingly stick with us for our whole lives.


I used to cry a lot growing up.

It felt uncontrollable.

When I felt emotions rising up in my body, they always came out through tears;

Sadness, anger, embarrassment, and even joy.

Cue the tears.


My parents didn't go around shaming me for crying.

They knew I was a crier, and always comforted me.


But, as I got a little older, when they were frustrated with me and I was crying they would say

"you're so emotional, you always cry."


Suddenly, 'emotional' had a negative connotation to it when it pertained to me.

I felt ashamed for crying.


I started to hate myself every time I cried when I didn't feel like others would deem it appropriate.


I would tell myself I was weak, and just too emotional.


These thoughts spiraled into other thoughts about myself that weren't even true, but stemmed from this root of shame I felt from being an emotional person.


This is just one example.


Think about your childhood for a minute..


What did your parents say to you that you've held onto, and believed about yourself your whole life?


Maybe your dad told you to never cry.


Maybe your mom told you to work out more because you were getting a little heavy.


Maybe they told you that without good grades, life would be much harder and in turn not very enjoyable for you.


Maybe it was your brother or sister telling you that you were the least liked, or an accident altogether.


Here's the thing.


I felt so bad about myself when I cried in front of people, or felt intense emotions as an adult.


In my brain 'being emotional' was negative, and in turn weak;

and it was something about myself that should be stifled, changed, different..... better.


I held onto this belief throughout my childhood, and now into my adult life.


What happened to make me hate the emotional aspect of myself?


Shame.


Shame that was placed (not even on purpose!) in my mind long ago.


It wasn't until I started living my life in service to others through my compassion and emotions, and also letting these characteristics guide some major life decisions, that I realized being emotional is wonderful.


Being emotional is an amazing tool that I've been given to feel and empathize with others.


It's why I became a health coach- to guide others in changing their lives in positive ways, because I don't want anyone to suffer in the ways I did.


My emotions have shown me when to let go of people who didn't respect me.

My emotions have birthed much creativity, writing, and photography.

My emotions give me a much deeper connection in my relationships.


Being so emotional is beautiful, and nothing to be ashamed of.



Friends/Peers



If you haven't come to this valuable piece of knowledge yet, you should know that

who you surround yourself with is incredibly important.


Hanging out with negative people all day, will keep you feeling negative.


Surrounding yourself with uplifting, positive people will enlighten you to be more optimistic.


Regardless, sometimes our friends can be brutally honest, which is often warranted but also often unnecessary.


Remember the time your best friend told you your boobs looked way smaller than she thought they actually were?


And now you feel like "Oh, if she thought that, then everyone else does too.."


Or the time your guy friend told you that you talk too much?


And now you always try to keep your thoughts to yourself around people, for fear of being

'the girl that talks too much.'


Or maybe the time you had dinner with a group of friends at a burger joint, and because you ordered a salad your best friend said to everyone "I told you she would do that, she always wants to eat healthy."

(oh, that one's just me...?)


Assessing your relationships and the value they hold in your life, is helpful in determining where some of your shame stems from.


You may not have realized the way you view yourself depends largely on the way your group of friends does, until you sit down and think about the opinions and ideas you assimilate from them.


If you have that one friend who claims to be so close to you and just adores you, but then calls you out in front of other friends all the time, making you feel feel awkward and shameful; let her go.


If your boyfriend tells you that you are beautiful, but you look your very best when you wear foundation, making you feel confused about your true beauty; let him go.


If anyone is telling you to be less than who you truly are, because who you are just isn't good enough;

let them go.


Another thing to add here:


Do you respect yourself?


I hate even admitting it, but I once dated a guy that wouldn't let me change the radio in the car, was incredibly selfish, and often checked out other girls in front of me.

He even said to me once "If we weren't together, I would totally get with that girl."

Um, ouch?


Nothing like someone clearly wishing they weren't dating you, right in front of your face.


During this time, I didn't respect myself enough.

I should have known from the first day he got upset about me touching the radio that this relationship wasn't worth my time, or my inherent worth.


Whoa. Radio control = inherent worth?


Well that is what I was sacrificing, right?


Once I started being treated badly, I started feeling bad about myself.

I started believing it was okay to be treated in a way I didn't like,

because I felt ashamed for wanting better.

I was sacrificing my inherent worth, for a terrible relationship dynamic.


Once I hit a breaking point, which was very loud and emotional (it's my strong point, remember?)

I realized how much respect I was lacking for myself.


Respect for myself is now one of my biggest strengths.


It's actually vital to loving relationships.


Be wise about who you choose to share your life with.

It can lead to life-giving joy and authenticity, or constant striving and shameful feelings within yourself.



Comparison



"Comparison is the thief of joy."


You may have heard that before, but do you really believe it?


There are two subjects within this area of shame I want to talk about.


First, media- as in advertising.


Media such as TV commercials, shows, magazines, radio, and marketing in general.


This type of marketing is specifically designed to make you spend money.


And it works. Marketing is incredibly effective. Why is that?


Because marketers play into what you might perceive as flaws, or areas in your life that are 'lacking.'


Oddly enough, we don't come into this world believing we are lacking much of anything, until we have been told we are.


Marketing specialists know the exact words, phrases, music, and even colors that will trigger certain emotional responses in you!


If you weren't aware, marketers use psychology to understand and then convince consumers into believing what they need them to.

They can then sell them a product that will help the consumer achieve this belief they've planted.


Marketing convinces us that we need a new car for status, safety, or convenience.


Marketing convinces us that we need quick, cheap, processed foods because we are too busy for the real stuff.


Marketing convinces us we aren't pretty enough to be loved or accepted, so we need makeup, clothes, jewelry, etc.


Marketing convinces us that we need a vacation we can't afford, because we don't have enough time to relax.


Marketing tells us we need more sex, because we are less connected.


Marketing tells us we need to take synthetic drugs to 'fix' our health issues.


Marketing tells us we are living in modern times, so we need to keep up by buying smarter phones, computers, and cars.


Marketing reinforces many of our desires for the incessant more and better.


The best way to navigate this is to avoid it when possible, and be aware of when it's happening to you.


Stop watching TV every single night.


Unsubscribe to all the emails trying to sell you something you truly don't need.


Don't go to the mall every weekend where you are bombarded with photos of models and products to make you feel less-than.


Be careful of the things you read!

Maybe this means staying away from magazines with tons of advertisements and opt for a book or newspaper with more education, and less selling points.


Stop listening to the lies.


Marketing is EVERYWHERE. It's actually over-whelming just thinking about it.


The best thing you can do to avoid the implications of advertising is to be aware of it.


Don't let media tell you through marketing who you should be.

Determine your own set of values, and don't let anyone persuade you otherwise.


This requires you taking a hard look at the person you are/who you want to be.


Remember who you are when the ad tells you that you need liposuction to lose the belly fat, when the underwear model portrays a body image you'll never attain, and when the jewelry commercial shows a bride with an incredibly large diamond ring.


You are enough just as you are.


Determine who you are without all the extra stuff, and get to know and love that person.


Social Media


Obviously when writing about our epidemic of dissatisfaction with ourselves, I'm gonna talk about social media.


I could probably write a few chapters on my thoughts of social media.

I'm sure some of you reading this feel the same way.

But, I'll keep it short.


We are addicted.


To the photos? No.

To the act of mindlessly scrolling? Kinda, but no.

To the likes? Well, yes.


But what do I see as the most addictive aspect of social media?


Constantly knowing what everyone else is doing.


I'm guilty of this.


If you don't think that's true for you, bravo!


But for most of us, the incessant need to know what's going on with the people we know, and the people we don't know, has become incredibly addictive.


If you're sitting at the DMV bored, why wouldn't you want to watch someone else doing something more interesting?


It makes perfect sense.


We don't always like our lives, so we scroll to find the best pieces of other peoples lives.


Unfortunately, addictions have high costs.


I believe shame is a part of this addiction.

Social media is a big reason why we don't like ourselves.


It's really difficult comparing your life to hundreds if not thousands of other people everyday.


You may think you aren't comparing yourself to people,

but it often happens without conscious thought.


I follow a popular food blogger who is full of positivity and I really enjoy her food photography.

She isn't someone I would 'want to be' because we seem quite different actually.

But, she lives in Hawaii.

I would love to live in Hawaii.

So every time I watch her videos from the beach, I despise the fact that I don't live in Hawaii,

even though I know and tell myself I shouldn't feel that way.


I follow another girl, who is such a brilliant writer.

She articulates thoughts and feelings so well to convey her message.

I always read her captions and then wish I was a better writer.


There are so many examples of this.

It can be a small thing, a big thing, or a ridiculous thing you think or feel when you see certain posts.


Instagram in particular is like a dream world.


It has become like a fantasy world of people, places, and things.


Thousands of exotic travel photos of places you've never heard of, a look into 'stay at home mom' lives that must have millionaire husbands, and exquisite food that makes your mouth water just looking at it.


That's just the tip of the iceberg.


Whatever you're into, you can find a sect of profiles dedicated to just that,

with incredibly popular and heavily followed people who have mastered the art of it.


If you find someone achieving 'success' doing the things you are/want to be doing, doesn't that set you up for comparison?


My biggest tips for social media consumption are:


Unfollow accounts that automatically make you feel

like you're not good enough


You know, the one girl who posts bikini photos every day with her perfect body.

That one mom who can afford to workout, cook every single meal, and dress her kids in really expensive baby clothes without ever looking tired or stressed out.

Or the account that consistently markets expensive makeup and jewelry to you, that you cannot afford.

If it makes you feel bad about your image, lifestyle, or inherent worth- unfollow it!


Minimize your time


It's a beautiful thing when you take time away from social media.

Bloggers dedicate huge posts to this subject, and I've never heard someone say

they regret taking time off.

It can mean deleting social apps for a few hours at a time so you can get some headspace.

It can be dedicating one day a week to staying off.

Or, it can be a week at a time!

Regardless on how you choose to do this, it's incredibly powerful and important for your mental health to step away from the social media world, and be present in your own reality.


Be conscious that your life exists outside of social media


I like to remind myself (often daily) that the parts of my life I show on social media are probably only about 20% of my total human experience.

That number may be a little different for each person, but nobody is showing you their entire life on social media.

It is SO EASY to get caught up in the 'world' of social media and start feeling like in some way it is your reality, but the truth is- it isn't.

You need to have engaging conversation with people face to face, enjoy coffee dates without taking a photo of it, and work on your career outside of social media connections and advertising.

Your life is actually about the small, seemingly unimportant things you do daily, and the people you are genuinely connected too.

Don't forget that or real life will start to fall apart without proper care.



Potential


I asked a few people about their anxiety before writing this post.

Why?

Because it's important to not only have my perspective, but the perspective of others.

I am writing this for others, after all.


I asked them

"What would you say the over-whelming thought or idea behind your biggest anxiety is?"


The responses varied a bit, but the common theme I picked up on was potential.


Not meeting a 'full' potential more specifically.


I can relate.


When I was suffering from anxiety in a more intense and present form than ever before, it manifested as not feeling like I was doing enough in a day.


I wasn't working on my business as a health coach hard enough.

I wasn't marketing myself enough.

I wasn't focused enough.

& then it would spiral into the next anxiety..

I wasn't being kind enough to myself.

I wasn't being patient within the process.

I wasn't doing anything right to be successful.


This was a place where God truly met me where I was.


During my morning alone time, I would cry and pray for peace in my mind.

I would pray for satisfaction within myself and the work I would accomplish in a day.

I prayed for grace to cover it all.


If you don't know my God,

He is faithful.


He came through.


During this time, I found a book by my favorite author I had been wanting to read.

Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist.

I would venture to say it's one of the most important books you can read

in the culture we are currently living in.

The culture of constant striving.

(such an important book in fact, that I linked it if you click on the title above :)


Success for me, is different than it is for you.

It's different for everyone.


For some, it's being the best parent they can be.

For others, it's making enough money to own a home and a car.

& others it's about feeling passionate about anything at all.


Niequist so wonderfully captures every anxious thought

I had been struggling with pertaining to my success.


At one point in the book she makes a very enlightening connection

between our self-worth and striving.


Of course we're unhappy with ourselves, when we feel like we aren't being the best we can be.


She explains that she has had to completely root herself in the love of God to feel secure within herself, because without the knowledge that the One who created us will love us

NO MATTER WHAT WE DO OR DO NOT DO, we will always measure ourselves up

to what we achieve or don't.


The thing is, we are our biggest critics.

It can be necessary for growth and achievement.

But it can be brutal as hell.


The One who created your ability to think, feel, and achieve will never stop loving you.


Romans 8:37-39

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


That love doesn't fade when you lay on the couch all day and ignore your emails.

It doesn't fade when you yell at your kids.

It doesn't fade when you gain 20 pounds.

It doesn't fade when you give up on yourself.

It doesn't fade when you don't graduate college.

It doesn't fade when your relationship fails.

It doesn't fade when you have 1,000 hard questions.

It doesn't fade when your anxious.

It doesn't fade.

Ever.


You know what that kind of unfailing love gives us?

Confidence.


Confidence in the fact that although we may never live up to what we see as our potential, we have already gained the most valuable part of our self-worth; unconditional love.


It is pure freedom to live with the confidence that we are loved, accepted,

and ultimately redeemed by no works of our own!

We are free to stop all the striving.

Even better, we are free to live without the anxiety of not measuring up.


Potential also ties into the comparison we just talked about.


Just because she owns a business at the age of 30, doesn't mean you will.

Just because he has a brand new Jeep, doesn't mean you should.

Just because they got married at 25, doesn't mean you need too!


Comparing our 'successes' to others just sets us up for defeat.


If we already 'lost', why keep trying?


As cliche as it may sound, we all have a different journey.

It's time you start making peace with that.


Stay in your lane, focus on your goals, and be grateful for each day.


For every success story, there is another person out there spiraling into massive life failure, living on the streets, or dying from terminal illness.


You are privileged to live in such a way to possess goals of your choice and the capabilities to meet them.


Let us remember to never step into a mindset of ungratefulness, for that is where the lack of contentment is birthed.


Sometimes I think, "if only I had earned my health coach certification earlier, I would have started this career before so many people thought health was trendy and I would be much more successful currently."


But you know what?


Instead, I was climbing mountains (literally and figuratively).

I was learning what it even meant to be 'healthy' and how to eat intuitively.

I was experiencing life and love and heartbreak.

I was working jobs that have given me skills I need to begin my career.

It wasn't time for me to step into a certification, because I had to go through

the process of my health transformation first.

I also needed to have fun, learn, and gain some much needed strength before

stepping into a world of entrepreneurship.


Why try and change time?

Embracing it for what it is, is much easier and more beneficial.


Your car doesn't define you.

Your paycheck doesn't define you.

Your boyfriend doesn't define you.

Your happiness doesn't define you.

Your anxiety doesn't define you.

Your potential doesn't define you.


So, what does?


Time to take a hard look at your life, and figure that out.


If you don't, you'll always be a victim to this anxiety of fulfilling your potential 'best' self.





That was heavy.


But, the subject itself is kind of weighty don't you think?


How do I end this?


I'll end it with some final thoughts.


Working through anxiety, shame, and self-loathing isn't simple.

It's quite complex actually.

It takes time. It takes an open mind. It takes honesty with yourself.


Someone once asked me "do you think you have flaws?'


I kind of laughed and said "well, yes!"


He said "do you think these are real 'flaws' or just perceived flaws because someone or something told you they were?"


I never saw him again after that day, but I'll never forget that question.


I seriously thought about that question for days.


And I still do.


Pause for a moment.

Take out your phone, or a piece of paper, and write down every 'flaw' you think you have.


Who told you that? What told you that? Why is it wrong/shameful/bad to possess that?

aaaaaand repeat; why is it wrong? why is it bad? who said it was?


This is the work you must do, to uncover where shame stems from in your life.

Question yourself, your thoughts, and your 'flaws.'


Quiet the noise. Sit in the stillness. Breathe.


If you're scared of your thoughts, ask Jesus for bravery, and peace over your mind.


He understands bravery;

He went through much shame, uncertainty, and the full human spectrum of emotions to ultimately bring us closer to Him.


This is why Jesus is our ultimate mediator to God the Father, because

he understands us on a human level.

He lived in the flesh.


Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin.


I believe it is fully possible to live a life out from under the terrible curse of self-loathing, shame, and ultimately anxiety.

I believe this, because I've made it here.


Once a girl who didn't like the way she looked, I now love and appreciate my unique beauty.

Once a girl who could never calm her mind or thoughts, I can now sit in silence and feel at peace.

Once a girl who let herself feel massive shame, I am now able to identify and move past those feelings.

Once a girl who believed there was no God or divine being, I am now immersed in His true love and goodness; more confident in His presence than ever.

Once a girl who listened to the lies of advertising, friends, boyfriends, and social media, I now stand firmly rooted in my inherent worth and refuse to listen.


Life is for the living- full of joy, authenticity, and kindness to others.


Only in taking care to learn more about ourselves, and in turn heal some of our deepest wounds;

can we live the fullness of life.


This is my biggest wish/prayer/intention for you today and everyday.


Learn to search deep, be honest, and give it to God.


1 Peter 5:6-7 - cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.


I love you.


xx,

Ashley



























Follow me on Instagram @mindful_manna