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EDITOR’S BLOG|You are enough!

You are enough just as you are! You are wonderful. You are gifted. You are so phenomenal! Beauty and light radiate from inside of you. Know this. Embrace this. You are complete. 

Never forget this. Never ever stop loving yourself. Let go of all those reasons for not loving yourself that you allow to float around in your subconscious, they are useless. We all have one of these insecurities, or two, possibly even a thousand, for some! I am too fat, or too thin. I am not good-looking, smart or strong enough. For some, those insecurities lead to deeper feelings of self-loathing. We end up feeling unworthy of being loved, or we convince ourselves that we don’t deserve the happiness we desire.

Why do we stop loving ourselves?

Things happen to us to us. Things are said to us.

Sometimes love is not expressed enough by people we expect it from. As a result of that, we begin to allow this to shape our self-perception.  Throughout my childhood, I always felt unwanted by everybody.  My parents divorced when I was very small and circumstances meant that I was passed between the care of a few different people. I often felt unsettled – especially during the first few years of my life, when I wasn’t living with either my mum or dad.  I must have been about four years old when I first started to believe that I was unloved. I eventually ended up living with my mother, at around the age of seven; and then briefly with my father at age fourteen. But those feelings of self hate were quite firmly set in and due to remain within me, reaping havoc in my relationships, right up until I reached my twenties.

 

Now, let me make this clear, those years of living with my mother, were not the worst experience that one could endure. Although my mum was single and had to work many hours to provide for us, I never suffered financial neglect, or a lack of food- we just didn’t click well.  Years apart from her, had left me with no trust for this woman who had stepped into my life to take over the role that had been left to my aunt. Furthermore, I had been lead to believe that my aunt was my mum until I was seven- before this new woman (my real mum) came and took me away, to live in the UK.

 

From day one, my mother’s personality was that of a strict disciplinarian.  My personality was quiet but mischievous and I constantly over- stepped every boundary, broke every rule she created, and constantly gave her reasons to punish me. Looking back, I think I must have been the cause of a great deal of stress in the life of my young mum.  Why? Well, the adult me would say it was a cry for attention, or I was angry at the deception that made me believe I had been taken away from my real mother and siblings (the aunt and cousins that I lived with in Zambia), maybe my ‘naughtiness’ was a way of testing her love for me. I was very insecure too. I thought that eventually either she would leave me, or that I would be sent away, so I did everything in my power to push her to do it so that I would be the one in control of that occurrence, should it happen, rather than other people deciding for me.  Eventually, the decision was made for me to move to South Africa to live with my father. This man who I had only spent a tiny part of my life with and therefore didn’t know, had no idea how to handle a rebellious teenage girl. Furthermore, I found it difficult to cope with South Africa’s complex education system, which differed so greatly to the British one that I had become accustomed to- all of this led to me being sent back to the care of my mother a little more than a year later.

 

So my mother and I continued to battle with each other up until I was sixteen and once again I found myself living in a different home. This time, I was happily obsessed with a slightly older man that I was dating; so being “kicked out” by my mother and moving in with him, was like a dream come true at the time! Needless to say, the pressures of domesticity and commitment at such a young, vulnerable stage in my life didn’t help and eventually the relationship became abusive, he became unfaithful and the relationship dissolved; leading me onto a pit of even lower self -esteem and deeper uncertainty. Initially, I wasn’t sad at all about moving out and leaving my mother behind; in fact, I succeeded in my determination to never live with her again- lack of attachment made it easier because we never developed that bond which most children share with their mothers from birth. This was more apparent when I was ten years old and my mum met a man she fell in love with and had my little sister.  I’ll never forget those first few years when my sister was a baby and her dad and my mum were so happy, so in love with each other and with the baby.  I began to tell myself that there was no space for a naughty, problematic child like me. I practiced the art of invisibility and began to distance myself more and more from the rest of the household.  Being miserable and lonely was what triggered my self-destructive search for the love that I thought I was lacking inside of myself…

To Be Continued….Look out for part 2!

Click here to Read Part Two of ‘You are Enough.’