I attended Earth Events’ Radical Self Love Party a few weeks ago and was beyond inspired. Four women sat before us telling a room full of women about their journey to self-love. You can actually buy the audio of the night if you are interested: http://earthevents.com.au/radical-self-love-audio/
They were so brave and courageous and ever since I heard them speak, I wanted to write a post about my own journey. I feel it is important to share these things about me so that you know where I am coming from when you read all my positive and happy posts!
I was a pretty typical teenager I suppose, I had little self-confidence, hated my body and always wished I could change everything about me. This self-hate was increased by two things. Firstly, I am a twin. My twin and I were every competitive in all aspects of our lives and as we began to face body image problems, we not only compared ourselves to society but to each other. We were doing hours of competitive dancing every day and pressured to be small and skinny and tiny. We both developed anorexia athletica and had a terrible relationship with food, exercise and each other. But we stopped dancing as we entered our last two years of high school so that we could focus on our studies. Immediately we joined a gym and began to love exercise again, building muscles, our strength and self-esteem.
At the end of high school we went separate ways – she moved to Brisbane to study with her boyfriend and I went off traveling. The distance was what we both needed so that we could discover who we were as individuals, rather than as “The Twins”. I traveled around Europe with my older sister and then went and volunteered in Fiji as a school teacher with her. The traveling and new experiences helped me become more self-assured and confident.
However in Fiji I fell in love. I had been in relationships previously but none ever lasted more than a few months. Most guys I dated ended up being jerks so I would just end things with them. But the Fijian guy was different. We fell madly in love very quickly and were engaged before I even knew it. As the relationship progressed I began to lose sight of who I was and lose an unhealthy amount of weight in the process. I was not a religious person and was forced into religion over there, forced to be baptised and made to attend church a few times a week. I also could not wear what I wanted and at all times had to wear long skirts and t-shirts out of modesty. Wedding plans began immediately and everyone was very excited that this man would be the first one from the village to marry a white person.
However one day I woke up and as I lay in bed next to him I tried to picture our lives together. What would my future look like? What would I look like? What would we look like together? But as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t see it. I knew this was a terrible thing. I am a big believer in signs and this feeling was probably the strongest sign I had ever received. As soon as I felt it, even though the wedding was organised and only two weeks away, I knew I had to get out of there. In the space of two days I got out of my engagement, out of Fiji and out of the definite future of being a Fijian housewife.
But once I got back to Australia, that’s when it hit me hardest, I was overcome by guilt and regret and fell into a state of mild depression for a few months. I became very unhealthy, gained weight and cried all the time. I was living at home and moved up to the Gold Coast to begin university at the start of 2012. This move helped however I was still consumed by self-hate. As the semester began I tried to busy my mind with my studies, guys and alcohol to remain ignorant to the fact that I had no idea who I was, what I wanted or how much I really hated myself. The semester went by very quickly as I made one bad decision after another. In the mid-year break my family and I went on a holiday to Fiji (much to my hesitance), and I spent two weeks in paradise crying and scared that I would walk around a corner and see him. But I didn’t see him, I survived it, and the trip provided some much needed closure. After it I was able to accept what happened and forgive myself for all of the hurt I caused so many people.
It was at this point (half way through 2012) that my life dramatically turned around. I began to focus back on my health, distance myself from unworthy guys and become a whole lot more positive! My relationship with my body, twin and self changed and I surrounded myself with amazing friends, studied hard and began to find my passion.
As 2013 started I began a volunteer placement with my university, helping new students, and began to feel valued and happy.
I created my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FunIsWhatYouMakeIt) in May, with the encouragement of some friends, and have discovered my passion for spreading joy and positivity. This year I made some really great friends who have helped me through rough patches and made me realise who is and who isn’t worth my time!
Some people ask me “how can you be so happy all the time?” and I have a simple answer: I have been through hard times and know life can be pretty tough, but now I have found out who I am and discovered a great way to look at life, and I haven’t turned back since!
We all face hard situations and I’m sure many people are still somewhere along their path to self-love. But keep going and one day you will find a happy place that makes you grateful for all of the things you have been through!
Each and every day people thank me for inspiring them and helping them. People often say I am the most positive person they have ever met and I have made a really big impact on their lives. To know that I have helped people become more positive makes me so proud of myself.
I can say that I do love myself. I am nowhere near perfect but that’s okay. I am a good person and confident with who I am. I am thrilled to be in this place because I know how amazing it feels and now I want to dedicate the rest of my life to helping other people reach this place of happiness. Everyone should love themselves and love their life, and if I can help any people achieve those two things, then I am well on my way to accomplishing my life purpose!
Lots of love,