Self love is a process

For years I hated my body. I've been shamed, betrayed, and defiled because of it. I'd look in a mirror or camera lense and be disgusted. I've abused it in everyway possible. People who love me and even stranger's would tell me I was beautiful and all I'd hear is....

"You're fat."

"You're too pale."

"You're crippled." (I have cerebral palsy)

And the occasional "you're too sexy" (It's more destructive than a compliment in my case.)

But most of all I'd hear "You're Nothing."

On March 8th 2018 I found out I was pregnant with my son. From that day until the day he was born the abuse and shame were gone and in my own eyes I was finally able to see what so many people had tried to tell me for years: I was beautiful!

After having the most beautiful part of me ripped out and put in my arms with all the happiness and joy there was also sadness and fear. Not because I didn't think I could take care of my baby that was the easy part. We weren't one body anymore. It was taking care of myself that scared me because I thought it was impossible. And I was right it felt impossible. I was right back to abusing and feeling disgusted with myself once again worse than ever. Postpartum depression was brutal.

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I'm not a super religious person but I do believe in this verse among many more. I'm now 3 months postpartum. The depression, abuse, and shame have left again and now my heart is filled with love. I've always knew how to love other people like my husband, son, family and friends. But loving myself was something I had to learn and I've learned that God is a version of self love but not the only version. So women and men of all religions, nonreligions, ethnicities, and sexualities alike I advise to journey to find self love because without it you won't be able to love anyone else not because you didn't know how but because you won't be around to love. Self love is a process. It doesn't come naturally. Take a deep breath and love who you are. All you need is faith and a wonderful husband to be your photographer and cheerleader helps too!