Take a break from self-hate

Over the weekend I had a lot of different ideas about what I wanted to write about. My crazy mind drafted up close to 100 topics I felt a need to share. I “accidentally” polished off a bottle of Sav Blanc on Friday night, which I normally steer clear of these days (that’s another story) and at the latter part of the evening, I popped up some random post on my Instagram account regarding vanity and how superficial the world has become. I referred to a picture of my younger self in my Army uniform and compared it to a different version of myself during the height of my selfie-taking (and rather insecure) phase. I wanted to demonstrate how once, I seemed comfortable in my own skin – makeup free and untamed eyebrows yet, I wore an authentic smile, one which represented both pride and a curious lust for life.

I think my intention was to compare that photo to a time several years later, where I felt lost, unsure of myself and with a desperate need for validation disguised in the form of “likes” on a filtered, airbrushed (and most likely), filtered again, selfie and show the evolution of personal growth from then to the present day.

I deleted my Instagram post, because, at the peak of my “vino high” I was in fact, executing a false sense of confidence. I hinted that I was beyond the insecure phase and that I had somehow, woken up one day to discover the secret to self love and acceptance. I insinuated that I was now some kind of empowered “confident woman”.

Pffffffffffffffttttttttttttt

To be clear, am I confident? In some ways. Have I learned to accept myself for all my flaws? Not really. Do I still take selfies and wack on a filter? Well, yes, but these days I prefer to use my camera phone to capture events and memories rather than my face . I’ve also long dropped the airbrush tool. Thank goodness.

I have four children. I don’t want them to see me constantly in the bathroom with my face masques, makeup and fake tan. I wish they could see their mummy throw on a tshirt and track pants and head out to tackle the world, makeup free, rocking a “DGAF” smile. No matter how much I run this dream through my head though, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to making it a reality. I wear a slither of foundation to spin class for Pete’s sake! Yes, I KNOW it’s only going to sweat off and clog up my pores! My fake tan sometimes sweats through my light coloured tank tops too and I look like I’ve been rolling around in clay and smell like a rotting coconut. Ew.

It’s funny how it all works though. How many of us can see the beauty in others and aren’t afraid to let them know, “Your skin is beautiful” “You are such a caring friend” or “Congratulations on your promotion. You work hard and deserve it!” Accepting a compliment however, without being over-modest and shrugging it off or feeling the urge to respond by self-deprecating, is a challenge for many of us.

We can be successful, kind and compassionate. We might be raising articulate children, living a healthy lifestyle and outwardly, looking like we’ve dam well got it all worked out.

We can also have everyone fooled.

I don’t have to stand in front of a mirror to recite all of my physical “flaws.” I know each and every one better than the back of my hand. My head is too big for my body, my teeth are chipped and crooked, my nose is too wide, I have a double chin when I look down, I have scars all over my stomach, stretch marks on my boobs, cellulite on my thighs, I can’t wave excitedly, for fear of my “tuck shop lady” arms joining in on the party. My heels are so dam dry, they look like cracked mud plains. In fact, they’re so dry and cracked they look like an earth quake has erupted on each of my feet.. and they hurt when I walk. Yikes.

So that was kind of brutal.

Last night, I quietly cried to myself under the covers about something I recently felt excluded from. Childish, perhaps. I can beat myself up about things sometimes and I overthink and over assume and it can cause my heart all kinds of agony. I had my 6 year old daughter, Sophie next to me, and although it was pitch black and I thought I hadn’t made a sound, I felt her little hand reach out to me and touch my face. I don’t know how she knew or if she even did, but she gently patted my hair and held my face as though she could sense my sadness.

I wiped my tears and I snuggled close to her. I’m not even sure if she was awake or asleep, but that one little act reminded me of what my purpose in life is.

I am a a mother and I am loved. I am a wife and I am loved. I am a friend and I am loved. I am flawed, and still, I am loved.

And I love, right back.

I may pick my physical self to pieces which results in spending too much time in the bathroom but I am pretty content with the person I am on the inside.

This week, I have been truly overwhelmed by all the love and support I have received from family, friends and acquaintances surrounding my new blog. The encouraging and heart-felt words have really aspired me to take the reins and see this thing through. I can’t remember the last time Ive had a good dose of “determination” and how bloody amazing it feels to have some goals. Thank you.

Today, I’ve decided is the day that I stop picking myself apart and instead, I am going to transform every negative thought I’ve held of myself in to a positive one.

I might give myself a hard time about the 9 years I’ve spent out of the workforce instead of building a career, but instead, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend that time being a full time mumma and guiding my four children through to school age.

My feet are cracked and sore, but I’ve got two strong legs to stand on. My teeth are a little crooked, but I’m lucky enough to have good dental hygiene. I look like a bobble-head, but that head of mine is host to a creative mind. Ive got scars and stretch marks, but those are a constant reminder of my ultimate honour – being fortunate to carry and deliver four healthy children.

If I could flip myself inside out and put my heart out on display, you would see that every part of me is sincere and I would never be afraid to show that to the world.

I AM confident in my character.

I hope that for any of you who are reading my blog and who lack confidence and the inability to see what others see, can take something away from this. Together, let’s start practicing how to love ourselves and take care of ourselves. We don’t have to be cocky or over confident, but we do need to give ourselves a break from time to time.

I’m a work in progress. To some extent, I think we all are. Some of us are harder on ourselves than others and many of us are just better at focusing our attention, elsewhere.

I don’t know if I’ll ever hit the gym without a tiny bit of “something” on my face, and I can’t promise I won’t revert to hair extensions if these sparrow feathers of mine don’t hurry up and grow!!

And, while I work on my ability to genuinely accept a compliment on my appearance, I’ll continue to do my best at just being an all- around good human – and so should you! ❤️🙌🏼

If only, people could see their souls, instead of their faces in the mirrors they hold – Sulekha Pande

31 Comments on “Take a break from self-hate

  1. Love this post Kristin. And I love Sophie! How sweet is she?
    I just wish you could see yourself through my eyes. If you could your confidence would be sky high and you wouldn’t be wearing makeup to the gym…. You’d look in the mirror and see an amazing soul and a kind face that has so, so much beauty.
    Inside and out you are one of the most beautiful people I know.
    Be kind to you.
    Xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Everyone would agree with me that you are so beautiful Kristin, inside AND out! I love that you’re working on loving yourself and accepting yourself, flaws and all! I think it is something we are all continuously working on, to be honest. I also think though, that it’s definitely ok to wear a bit of makeup to the gym and not feel bad about it! Or to put on a bit of fake tan, have your nails done, hair done or whatever it may be, if that’s what makes us happy! It definitely doesn’t mean you’re insecure, just for wanting to look and feel your best!!! ❤

    And I'm sorry to hear you were upset after being excluded from something. Definitely not childish. I think it just means you have feelings and that you clearly love those who excluded you. Otherwise you wouldn't have been upset. I hope you are ok now.

    Oh and lastly Kristin, thank you for being so authentic and true to yourself. I know it can be scary to share your deepest thoughts and feeling with people and to be completely vulnerable. But I think so many people (especially women) need to hear this in order for them to feel like they are doing a good job, that they are not alone and that they too are beautiful, inside AND out.

    X

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh Leah, this made me cry. 😢 ❤️ (the good kind of cry) I do feel like I am sort of over exposing myself, but you’re right – I do put myself out there so that those things we “don’t speak about” are actually spoken about and so, we can all relate and not feel ashamed or alone. Those are awful feelings and if I can do anything at all to help people (women, in particular) even if it’s just writing about my own insecurities, bad habits and darkest secrets, well then I’ll do my part. ❤️
      And I’m ok. Feeling too much isn’t a bad thing after all! 😉 See, I’m working on it?!) 😉 xxx

      Like

      • Oh and Kristin, a GREAT book if you haven’t read it already is ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown. You’ll love it, especially with what you’ve written about in your latest blog. It is all about being in the game. Not just watching from the sideline and commenting. It is all about HOW to be vulnerable and why this is so very important in order be authentic and real and therefore be able to help many more people along the way. I think you (and many others) would really relate to this book. Xx

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Love you Krissy & I love this post. Keep on writing, you have a talented mind and such a big heat 🙏🏼 I am sorry to hear that you had felt excluded, that sucks xx

    Liked by 4 people

  4. So much love for this piece, you go MUMMA. One lesson I learned long ago in a time far far away taught me to accept all the compliments with a smile and a simple thankyou. No embellishments needed because you may never know the courage that was needed to give it to you in the first place xxx

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oh, I genuinely felt that last sentence you wrote hit me, hard! (In a good way) That is so powerful! I will take that on board, always! Thank you my gorgeous (and also, insanely kind and creative) friend. xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s wonderful to watch you follow your dreams, and this was your best piece yet. Authentic and well written and reflective of many of our conversations over the years. Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading forever.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Kristin you don’t see yourself as we see you. You are so beautiful in and out. You don’t need make up or hair extensions or fake tan but if they make you feel good go for it. All Mums need to do things that them feel good as we always put ourselves last behind the family. Taking time out to do our nails etc gives us time to recharge our batteries. Sophie is a beautiful soul and evidence of what a great job you and Adam are doing raising your four kids. Your pain at Willow starting school shows how much you love them as does the fact you were unselfish enough to put your fears and sadness on her. She was given the tools to enjoy being at school by you. You build your kids every day. I see a stunningly gorgeous woman who is a fantastic Mum, wife and friend. Keep writing I love it all.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Julia, you are always one of my greatest cheerleaders – not just of my writing, but of my life and my family. You are like the guardian angel always watching over us and I feel you always have my back. Thank you. Always. I hope one day I can give you a big hug and just show you how grateful we are and how every thing you say and do means so much. You’re one of the loveliest souls I’ve ever known xx

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You are, and always have been beautiful inside and out. We all have insecurities and wish many things about us were different. But we are who we are and a beautiful heart and soul is so much more important than any outward appearance is. It’s what’s inside our tired old bodies that counts, not what’s outside.
    You have been shown this by a sleepy little girl, through her actions, because when we know someone we loves needs to feel that love ….we don’t need words.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Haha oh I love you! I feel so upset that I missed you today! The weather slowed things down to start, then gave us some glory which stretched it out.. and then a slow trip to pack up and leave (thanks to the showers again!) let’s organise a proper weekend soon. I miss your pretty face & the girls! (Oh and Brenden’s too I suppose!) 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 9 years out of the workforce, building a career would have been the easy life option haha
    Instead you’ve spent 9 years working the equivalent of 3 full time jobs AND WITH NO PAY!! Unbelievable how hard mums work unnoticed, hardest job choice in the world and look at how well you’ve done it.
    😁

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Loved reading this… I applaud your courage!! To open yourself up like you do for all to see, flaws and all, is a very difficult thing to do…

    I struggled for years in silence and kept the door closed. Once I opened that door I felt so new !!! So ready to tackle the world!!! I began writing feverishly, it’s my release..

    Excellent post .. thank you

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much! I am new to word press, so I’m still navigating my way around. I agree, writing is such a release! It’s great to have an outlet to get all these emotions out of our heads and in to words on a page/screen. A part of me feels vulnerable and exposed but for the most part, I feel this is the path I’ve always needed to take!
      I love your writing too! I’ve just learned how to “follow” and how to use the “reader” tool, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for your posts! 🙂
      Thanks again for the support!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Laying your cards out on the table is the safest hand you can pay. You don’t have to remember what it
    was you payed. We are who we are and trying to play other roles are for the characters on stage.
    Thanks for stopping by and giving me an opportunity to discovery you. Have a fine day.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. There’s a old saying ” self groth is the ultimate challenge ” but actually ” self acceptance ” is the ultimate challenge, your well on your way with both dear.

    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 1 person

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