You know, insecurity and self-deprecation are hereditary mentalities. While I don’t think they are passed along through any kind of fancy DNA molecules or anything, growing up in a home with a parent (or parents) who haven’t completely learned to love and accept themselves for who they are, is something that sticks with you for the rest of your life.
My mom struggled with issues of self-esteem and acceptance for as long as I can remember. It was a trait passed down to her from her mother, who probably picked it up from one of her parents, and so on and so forth. I remember watching my mom battle depression and lose a sense of herself somewhere in the middle of it. She was always a fantastic mother…always there for the class parties and the PTA meetings, encouraging my sister and I to excel both in the classroom and outside of it, standing up for us and believing in us no matter what anyone else said.
I always knew that I could count on my mom (and my dad, too) to be there for me if I needed something.
But, watching her struggle, watching her doubt herself and her abilities and her talents…that stuck with me. And I think that part of my struggle with self-acceptance over the years came from seeing her battle her own insecurities day in and day out.
As I’ve gotten older, more so as I’ve found myself in the last year or so, I’ve realized how important it is to learn to love who I am and who I was created to be without questioning my abilities and talents and comparing myself to others. My lovely friend Courtney has been awe-inspiring with her Revolution Series (which is hosted on Sundays, by the way) and her journey toward loving and accepting who she is. She made a beautiful, beautiful point in one of the earlier posts in her series about what kind of image would she pass on to her daughter if she didn’t learn to love herself as well?
I don’t have a daughter yet, but I want my son to grow up with a mommy who isn’t afraid to be who she is. Who doesn’t let fear of failure and un-acceptance or insecurity (both physically and emotionally) stand in the way of chasing down and pursuing something she loves. By giving him that image, that kind of female role model and example, I feel like I’ll not only be showing him that he can accomplish anything he wants and be anyone he wants to be; I’ll also be generating a stigma and an idea of what kind of woman he might want to fall in love with someday.
I’ve really learned to love myself in these last six months or so. Accepting things that I really can’t change (like the fact that I’ll never be one of those 5’7” women with legs that go on for days) and focusing on improving the areas that I can (like cutting out junk food and stepping up my workout plan).
There is always room for improvement in life. Always some place that we can be better…get stronger…improve and move forward.
I like to think that I’m constantly evolving…that today, I am a little bit better version of myself. Today, I am better than I was yesterday. Putting my best foot forward, progressing and advancing and becoming a happier and healthier version of myself, might just help me knock out that insecurity gene that has plagued my side of the family for so long.
I don’t want that for my son. Or for any future children.
I don’t want that for myself.
It stops here.
It’s time to Just. Be. Enough.