I hope my daughter always loves herself as much as she does right now

I know I’m not alone when I confess that I struggle with self love. It doesn’t matter how many #positive Instagram images I come across, or how many self improvement books I read or how many inspirational speakers I watch – when I’m left alone with my thoughts I bring the hammer down on myself. Hard.

I am, and have always been, my own toughest critic. There really isn’t any insult that anyone can fling at me that I haven’t already thrown at myself. Of course, I would never dare treat someone else the way I treat myself. Could I imagine saying those things to anyone else? Hell no. That would be horrible. But when it comes to myself… I deserve it. At least I feel as though I do.

For me conquering self love is a big leap. It isn’t going to happen after reading a few hundred inspirational quotes. I think the first step is self acceptance – just learning to be comfortable, or at the very least, OK with yourself.

“This is me and I have many faults – both physically and emotionally – but I am OK with that.” I’m not saying I’m happy with it or that I’m grateful for it, I am just OK with the fact that this who I am as a person. And there are things that I cannot change, no matter how many diets I go on.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point and it will no doubt also take sometime before I reach a point of acceptance. That’s fine. That’s life. What’s interesting is that I feel as though this journey to self love is almost one of regression. I used to like myself, a lot. I think all of us are born loving and accepting who we are – we just don’t know any different, really.

But somewhere along the way we turn on ourselves. Rarely can we pinpoint the exact moment it happens. Usually it’s a slow hate that festers within us. It grows from subtle insults and is nurtured by jealousy and comparing ourselves to others. It’s insidious.

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HI GURL!

And that brings me to G.

Ever since she was born, G has loved looking at herself in the mirror. She poses, she pouts and then she smiles at herself. It’s that pure, self love that exists only in children. There isn’t a hint of ego in it either. It’s so simple: “I like what I see. I like this person”.

I want that for G. I want that for her forever.

Only I know there will come a time when she will turn against herself. She will become her own worst enemy and biggest critic. I know that. But I think it’s because I know that, because I’m not naive enough to think otherwise, that perhaps the self-loathing won’t hit G as hard as it has me.  I hope that as she travels down her own path, whatever that may be, I can help put the breaks on for her when I spot those self-loathing signs.

I can teach her what I’ve learned and what I’m still learning and, most importantly, to help her see herself the way those who love her do – in all her perfect, happy, joyous and kind glory.