'I was teased and belittled but now I know I am all the love and acceptance I need'

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The love of self is the beginning of transformation. (Image Writer's own)
The love of self is the beginning of transformation. (Image Writer's own)

For some people, self-love and acceptance come so easy, as they should. But for someone who comes from a dark place far from self-acceptance and love, it sounds like a tall task. It’s me; I’m ‘someone.’

My path to embracing who I am was not an easy one. Growing up, I was not the most confident child. I was constantly teased for how I looked and belittled for what I lacked. But no one paid attention to the things that I had, like my gorgeous eyes.

I thought everything would get better as I entered my teenage years. I thought getting older would offer me a sprinkle of confidence and a solid sense of self.  Well, guess what? Nothing changed. It only got worse.

Self love, self acceptance, beauty, identity

It feels really good to know that I am all the love and acceptance I need. (Image writer's own)

Unrealistic beauty standards amplified my struggle with loving and accepting myself as I was. I always thought I was not pretty enough, not tall enough, not enough for anything or anyone. I got so obsessed with "being enough" for everyone that I fell into a deep dark hole of anxiety and self-hate. 

READ MORE | This Egyptian modelling agency is disrupting beauty standards

I remember being in a taxi going home from school during those years, and the driver was playing Beautiful by Christina Aguilera.

'I am beautiful no matter what they say

Words can't bring me down

I am beautiful in every single way.'

 These lyrics got to me. I was like, no, Christina, words can bring me down. I took my headphones and listened to some rap music to try not to give any emotion, but it ended up making me feel worse about myself. The wounds had festered within me.

It was not until I got to my second year in university when I realised that the only person I should be enough for is me. I finally saw the light; I noticed that the only thing preventing me from accepting myself and loving myself was me. I picked myself up.

I had spent so much time trying to be something that I was not that I never took the time to appreciate myself. I never looked in the mirror and appreciated my beauty. And now, at 21, I can listen to Christina's Beautiful and believe it.

READ MORE | 'I thought I was at my happiest until my mental health gave me warning signs I couldn't ignore'

It took me a while, but I overcame my struggle with self-love. I fought for myself, and I came through for myself. I achieved this by spending some time in therapy and surrounding myself with positive energy.

I eat healthier, and I spend time with myself. I look myself in the mirror and see how beautiful I am, and I can't believe I have been downgrading myself all these years.

I pay attention to my surroundings, the people around me, and how I feel about different situations. I removed, and I still remove anything that is rubbing me the wrong way and makes me feel bad about myself.

love, acceptance, beauty

Finally expressing my love for self and embracing me. (Image writer's own)

I'm so thankful I came to appreciate myself. I am still working on myself, but honestly, I am at my happiest.

Self-love to me entails being happy with where you are while striving to get to where you want to go—embracing yourself and your flaws. No one is perfect, and once you realise you'll never be, you can begin to love yourself.

Don't shine the light on whatever's worst, perfection is a disease of a nation, or whatever Beyoncé said.

Do you have a self-love story you would like to share? Let us know here.

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