“Stop comparing yourself to the media measuring stick”. Sound and simple advice from Kristine Carslon, author of “Don’t sweat the small stuff for women”. How many times have I flipped through pages of magazines and online magazines, staring at bodies and women who are supposedly perfect?
How many times do I let myself start thinking of all my imperfections and bash myself over the head with the proverbial media measuring stick and every time, the victim that gets hurt by all of this is my precious self-esteem that seems to yo-yo with the expectations of media.
I am an ordinary woman with extraordinary expectations. I am my own worst critic and can be own worst enemy. I often forget to look back at where I have come from and congratulate myself for where I am now. Well 2014 is going to be different. This is the year for me to discover myself and become my biggest supporter and best friend to myself.
Motivational Quotes @DavidRoads reminded me that “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” My thoughts in 2013 took hold of my confidence and like a snake squeezing its prey; my happiness fell to a low comparable to my all-time low in 2007/8. It was social media and the ocean that salvaged my heart and helped me back on my feet. I am ready to face the world again, but this time I have a few secret weapons on my side.
- I have a loving partner who cares for me, loves me, makes me laugh and laughs with me, makes me cry, takes his time to try to understand me, is willing to push himself to better our future. He is patient, he is kind, and he has a childlike kindred spirit with a huge heart. He is my companion in the worst of times and one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters in both the good and bad times. He is my rock but does not weigh me down, he wants to see me fly and will offer me his wings in order to see this happen. He holds me above the waves and hugs me in the cold. I am truly happy with him, he is my secret gatekeeper and I would not trade his belly and yellow crocs for anything!
- I have friends, real friends that I can call on at any time. A small group of people that I can share my happiness and sorrows with. Those that allow me the honour to share theirs. They trust in me as I in them. We have fun together, we set goals together, we help each other realise our dreams and congratulate each other when good things happen. My friends are my windows to the world; through them I am able to see the outside with varied lenses. They make me smile, they make me jealous and in an instant they send my jealousy packing with their laughs and hugs and willingness to accept me for who I am and not what the media wants me to be.
- I have social media. I am no longer afraid to open my world to strangers who can be the most endearing of all. Social media has opened up a world for me that I did not know existed. A parallel universe with new people, friends with common interests, common hates and love, willing to share and teach me new things I did not know and willingly show online love. Some of these connections have turned into real life connections. I have found a happy place that I can express my thoughts and feelings and although being judged, in many respects, I am learning so much about myself and my dreams through an unfamiliar joyous tool that is quickly growing into a beloved universal tool.
- My hobbies are keeping me sane. I have fallen in love with my kitchen, my camera, my makeup, my computer, my writing, my books, my pilates studio, my yoga studio, my swimming pool, my family dining room table, my car, my hair, skin and nail salon, my neighborhood walks, my pets. Every day is another chance to express myself through activities that make me smile and calm my often-racing mind.
- I have my family and what a big family it is indeed. I have opened new paths to my sisters, my brother, my parents, my in-laws, my cousins, my aunts and uncles. I have allowed myself to be shown love and give love freely. An entire support network has started to flourish in ways I only saw in movies but now my reality resembles a world I can happily relate to, a group of people who offer unconditional love, a world of caring and support that is unrivaled.
- I have my health. I am no longer on sleeping tablets and my body is welcoming any form of exercise I offer it as well as healthy nutritious meals. My body is responding positively to caring thoughts and allowing me to experience so many things that were not possible in the past. My health is ready to evolve and my body is willing to go that extra mile for it. I am able to like myself in the mirror again and focus on my positive aspects, slowly but surely working towards a self-image that I am proud to stare back at in the mirror.
I have so much to be grateful for and so many things that make me happy. Now the challenge comes in maintaining a sustainable healthy attitude. Take the bad things and grow and learn from them, treasure the good things and let go of things that make me unhappy. It is time to let the fear go and the happiness in. It is time to be my unique self and love myself for it. 2014 will be a year of mindful relationships that will help me develop and start touching some of that extraordinary self I can often only dream of. It’s time to make happiness a reality!