Stop Surviving, Start LIVING!

Stop Surviving, Start LIVING!

I used to despise every inch of my existence. I bullied my own mind, and tortured my own body. I couldn’t smile at my reflection, let alone compliment my character. I hated the skin I was born in, and the soul I was trapped inside – I hated my very being. 

I was both too much, and not enough. 
I was insatiable. My craving for constant change was ravenous. 
I wanted to alter it all; my rounded face, the colour of my eyes, the thickness of my lips, the shape of my nose, the distance between my shoulders and my ears, the depth of the craters created by my collar bones, the size of my waist, the width of my hips, the hair on my arms, the bumps on my chest, the measurement of my butt, the circumference of my thighs and the distance between them. The size of my shoes, the smell of my wrists, the shine on my cheeks and the brand of the brush that powders them. It was all wrong. 
The way I spoke, the way I stood, the way I walked and the way I moved. The way I laughed, the way I ate, and even the way I breathed was too loud. 
Everything I did, and everything I was, was wrong. 

I spent the first six years of my life, trying to explain myself and my place in this world.
I spent the next six years trying to accept myself.

I spent the next six years hating myself.
And for the past five years, I’ve been learning to re-love myself. 

I had to realise that nothing I did or said was wrong. It just simply was. 
I had to understand that my existence wasn’t a mistake, it was nothing short of a miracle. 
I had to reshape my beliefs and thoughts about who I was; consciously alter the way I spoke to and of myself. 
I had to forgive myself. Over and over.
I had to give myself time to heal... for my wounds to dry.
I had to practise what I preach... and find strength I didn’t even know existed.
I had to push against myself at times, and soften and surrender at others.
I had to learn to stand up for myself. I had to learn to stand up TO myself. 
I had to ask for help, more than once. 
And I had to grit my teeth when I was well out of my comfort zone.
I had to learn to admit to being wrong... and learn that I was still ok despite this.
I had to learn to let go of control and accept life’s mysterious ways. 
I had to reassure myself that it was all going to be okay.
And I had to remember that if I could do this, then I could do anything.

And I did. Day by day, I slowly started being, seeing and feeling lighter and more free. I had begun to unlock the chains that once bound me, and opened up the doors that once hid me. 

It wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t instant. But I slowly began to become someone I was happy being... someone I was proud to be and proud to share with the world. I didn’t need to change, and I didn’t need to shrink. I was comfortable and confident in showing up and existing unapologetically. 

That’s the thing...
I have now spent so long working on myself, inside the closed doors of my own mind, that I don’t want to spend another second selfishly seeking self gratification and contentment. I want the opposite. I want to give and give and give. I’ve been filling up my own bucket for long enough, and I need to share it with someone else now. I want to settle and I want to breathe – look back on the work I’ve done and feel some pride about the effort I put in.
I’ve done the hard yards. I’ve done the time and the work and dedicated myself to bettering who I am.
Now, it’s time to stop just surviving, and start LIVING.

I am me, and I am free.