Self-love and acceptance will always be a work in progress.
Every single morning, I wake up and look at myself in the mirror as I change out of my pajamas. I remember the promise I made to myself a few months ago — I will only look at my body in the mirror as soon as I wake up before I fill my stomach with all sorts of junk. I don't know if it's actually true or something I've tricked myself into believing, but I always seem slimmer in the morning, so that's the only time I'll look at myself.
Throughout the day, I find myself looking at my face and my hair in the mirror.
I can't help but look at my facial blemishes and my tangled, frizzy hair and pick and pull at it all relentlessly. I try to ignore it, but I always end up staring at my right eye that I swear is lazy, even though no one agrees with me. I look at my uneven eyebrows and I contemplate all the cosmetics and procedures I could use to fix the situation I've had since birth. But hey, at least I'm not looking at my not-so-slim stomach.
If there is ever a picture taken of me, I'll edit it.
I edit my teeth, my eyes, my eyebrows, my arms, my legs, or my stomach. There's rarely a photo that I'll let slide by without having to fix my imperfections. I've come to realize that hardly anyone will notice the blemishes I notice about myself, yet I can't stop trying to erase any little issue I see.
I hate wearing a swimsuit.
I can't stand the thought of people seeing my exposed stomach, I dislike the way my legs are proportioned to my torso. If someone wants to take a picture while I'm wearing a swimsuit, I will desperately try to cover myself with any surrounding to avoid even more people seeing so much of me.
It's clear I have an incredible lack of self-confidence.
There's a ton of things I don't like about myself and I just can't imagine the thought of people noticing my imperfections and disliking them, too. My family, my friends, and my boyfriend constantly tell me that I'm pretty, I'm beautiful, I'm skinny, I'm perfect.
But I just can't convince myself that I'm any of those things.
But here's the thing: I'm working on it. I try less and less every day to tear apart the body staring back at me in the mirror. I try to look at myself and think positively about things that I like and am happy about. It's not that I need all the reassurance from people around me, I just want the reassurance from myself. I want to be confident and happy with myself without having it be confirmed by everyone else.
I remind myself that I am perfect the way that I am, I was made this way and I should be grateful for the healthy body I have.
But it's still hard. It's hard to look at the body I've struggled to accept for so many years and find parts that I like. I'm working on it, though. I'm working every single day to accept and love the person I see in the mirror.
Self-love and acceptance is not something that can happen overnight.
It takes time and effort and I've realized that taking this time and effort needed to love myself is something I want to pursue. And I'm trying. I'm working on it and I hope to one day look past the imperfections and see a body that I can embrace and love.