Friday 23 September 2016

Learning to Love Myself

Happy Friday Readers! 

I've just realised that this blog is almost FOUR years old! Wow! 

I feel as if these past four years have brought amazing growth, and so many opportunities to improve on myself. Before starting this blog, I hated being photographed- I always felt that I was not photogenic and looked really awful in photos. I understand that this emanated from self image issues, and so much more. 
As a start, part of my growth through this blog was to become comfortable with being photographed, and accepting who I was on the outside. It also took a lot to click 'PUBLISH' on my first post, it was as if I was not comfortable sharing anything of myself with the world.
 I look back at a few of my first posts, and while the writing has changed, more real, as I became more comfortable with sharing my words, I also no longer cringed when looking at photos of myself. I still don't particularly think that I look drop dead gorgeous in photos, but at least I don't want to crawl under a rock every time I look at a photo of myself. I suppose everyone has those days where there may be bad photos, and I have made peace with that. And I don't even mind those terrible photos being seen/ posted anymore, it's just a moment in time anyway.

Most people who have known me most of my life, will testify that I am pretty confident, an overall achiever and always happy. I performed exceptionally well in my studies, while being married and nurturing a growing family. I tackled my career, while studying and did it all in my stride, and made it all look really easy. It was however unbelievably hard work, but my inherent personality would not allow me to take a moment to even feel the strain. I just powered on for years, climbing the corporate ladder, raising 3 kids, running my home... all while studying for various degrees. There was no time for me to reflect on anything, except what was happening, and with the never ending support of my partner and rock, I made it through in one piece. 
I was 'forced' through ill health to exit my career, the first step to this empowered version of me. Over the last few years, I have had to examine my motivation for the need to constantly excel, to be everything to everyone, and to make it look effortless. I have realised how so much of my childhood trauma still sat in my present and influenced my behaviours. Without going into too much detail around my personal process, I learnt the significant distinction between confidence (which I possessed in abundance) and self esteem (which I lacked). I learnt that my childhood had stripped my self esteem and in order to refill it and feed it, I excelled at everything I attempted. Without this awareness, the cycle continued, and while my self esteem was at a low, I continued to outperform (in life generally) but was never satisfied that it was enough. And so I would seize the next challenge and master it, and when it was conquered, not really feel the sense of accomplishment. 
I have learnt through intense personal work, that I don't need to excel at everything, and I don't need to make it look simple. I don't need to always look and be perfect for anyone but myself. I accept that my accomplishments are for myself and not to fill an empty childhood void, and I am now able to value my achievements for the diligence and commitment with which I pursue my ambitions.
I am now able to accept myself, warts and all, understand my weaknesses; and celebrate and value my strengths.

I am able to love myself, and accept the authentic love showered on me.

Today's post is a work look for me, one I wouldn't have worn in my corporate job a short few years ago. I planned on wearing my corporate formal trousers which I would would usually wear with this blazer, but it somehow didn't feel like me anymore. I can no longer relate to the woman I was when I wore those outfits - I now no longer wear what is considered appropriate but what I feel is appropriate for me.
So a t-shirt and ripped jeans with the blazer, and even the turban would not have been worn by the 'old' me. I am proud of how far I have come and overcoming childhood demons which walked with me each day.

My outfit:
Country Road Blazer
Style Republic jeans from Spree
Nine West heels (old)
Ted Baker handbag (old)
T-shirt (old)
Pearls (old)
Scarf from a market
Bracelets from Tiffany and Swarovski

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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