Friday, May 1, 2015

You are Beautiful :: Self-Love

I'm going to go out on a limb here. 

Believe it or not, I used to hate photos. I hated taking them and I hated having them taken of me. This was mostly because I didn't like myself and wanted to metaphorically hide in the corner. Then my lovely friend Ketty introduced me to selfies and showed me the joy of capturing precious moments and beautiful souls. I was hooked. Since that day, I have always carried a camera (back in the days without an iPhone...heaven forbid). I fell in love with photography.

Most importantly, Ketty taught me to love myself. I learned to see myself for me. I stopped looking at all of my flaws and nit picking every detail but learned to love who I am, right now. Sometimes I still struggle with this and I think many women struggle with self-esteem at one point or another, but it is so important to see yourself as beautiful, to learn to love yourself for who you are.

Once I had a more positive outlook on myself, I was able to be a better friend, daughter, cousin, student, and more. You are able to give back more freely to your family, friends, and the community. If you struggle with self-love, I highly recommend either A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson and/or Remembering Wholeness by Carol Tuttle

Over the years, I have learned and re-learned this idea of self-love. My sweet sister, Lexi, is so good at pointing out anything negative we may say about ourselves to help us replace it with a positive thought. I now recognize almost immediately when someone says something mean about themselves and it is so sad. If only we loved ourselves a little more; the world could use a little more love.

“Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.” -Marianne Williamson

Looking back on this earlier time in my life when I started to learn this lesson, these are some of the first photos I took of myself, and I liked.



^ This is the first photo I took of myself as a junior in High School. Looking back, it is not the cutest picture of me but I remember looking at this photo and thinking "I can be kind of pretty..." It was a starting point...and we all have to start somewhere.



^ This is Ketty, one of my high school best friends, who taught me to love myself. 

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