I’ve often been asked what has been one of my toughest lessons in life. In my younger years I would have answered quite differently than I do now. As many of us have, I experienced a bit of trauma in my life. I don’t think we can really go through life without being hurt or wounded in some way. These experiences have definitely paved a path of who I have become today and for this I am grateful but it has not come without some heavy consequences to my self-esteem, sense of self and self-worth.
When I look back on my life there have been several themes carried out. It’s of no surprise that these caused me to have low self-esteem and a poor view of my body image. These views, which were imposed on me through my immediate environment (family and experiences) were only enforced by the influence of society and media in later years.
By the age of 16, through years of abuse both physical and sexual my sense of self and worth had reached an all-time low. As a means of gaining a sense of power and control back into my life I developed Anorexia Nervosa, a devastating disease that slowly ate away at my soul and willingness to live.
What control or power I thought I had in my life during this time was just an illusion. In reality, I had hit rock bottom, although I didn’t understand or know it at that time.
Anger surged my veins on a daily basis poisoning my system and my mind against those that were desperately trying to intervene in my life. By some small grace and a miracle I encountered a women counsellor who paved a pathway towards self-love and healing. At the end of our time together she gifted me a Hematite Crystal Necklace which symbolized strength and courage and a Poem by Hellen Steiner Rice. These have been my two most precious gifts I have ever received in my life.
The poem read….
If I can endure for this moment whatever is happening to me now,
No matter how heavy my heart is or how dark the moment might be.
If I can but keep on believing what I know in my heart to be true
That darkness will fade with the morning and that this will pass away to.
Then nothing can ever disturb me, or fill me with uncertain fear
For as sure as the night brings the dawning
My morning is bound to appear.
Each day I read this poem for years to come, memorizing every word and integrating them deep within my heart. They became a lifeline when I had no strength and I held onto the knowing that someone believed in my ability to heal my own life.
At the age of 21 I found the strength and courage to leave my family environment which was causing so much heaviness and pain in my life and ventured out on my own to search for a happiness I had never really found in life. To my dismay, a year after leaving home I was involved in a car accident that changed my life forever and left me crippled with Chronic Pain Syndrome and learning how to walk and function again. As devastating as this accident was, it stilled me, literally, and forced me to look at my life in a way I had never looked at it before.
This is where my healing journey really began. Over the years I was blessed to work alongside some amazing counsellors that helped me learn to heal my life but no one more amazing than the women who helped me overcome my Anorexia Nervosa. A lot of people do not understand this disease, and this is something I had to understand and learn myself, but what I can say about the disease is that it is debilitating, isolating and soul destroying. I often thought of Anorexia as an outside entity living within my body, destroying it one molecule at a time. It felt much larger and more powerful than I could ever be. Without going into much detail, as this was a major part of my life, my counsellor at the time (Kate) started me on a journey towards self-love and nurture. It was through my time spent with her that I started to love and respect my body for the first time in my life. It did not come with ease or grace, it has been one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn despite everything else I have been through but it has been a worthwhile journey.
As a result of all of the above, and more, I am passionate about Loving Myself Healthy. I experienced years of physical and emotional abuse from others but nothing was more painful and soul-destroying as the physical and emotional pain I placed upon myself.
I have learned in life that we are our own self-critics, we judge ourselves harshly, put others first before ourselves, feel selfish when we don’t, ignore our bodies and push way beyond the point of pain and keep going when really we just need to stop, pause and breathe…..
We all have our reasons why we do this whether it be conditioning, society or beliefs but if this is no longer serving you a purpose in your life, it’s time to stop, turn around, face yourself and start your journey towards Loving Yourself Healthy!
Yes, it can scary, believe me I understand this, but you don’t have to do this alone. Whatever your story is, whatever your experiences have been, you are not in this alone.
I have created Love Yourself Healthy because I believe that every Women is deserving of Self-Love. I believe that despite what you have experienced in life you can overcome your obstacles and live the life you want. I believe you can heal your life and nourish your body.
But the main reason I have created Love Yourself Healthy is because when you face times in your life where you don’t believe in yourself, where you find it too hard to start, or you simply want to give up, everyone deserves a light. Someone to hold hope and faith for you in the moments that you cannot. I was blessed to have these beacons of light within my life and since then I vowed to be that light for others.