Falling in Love

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”
— Mark Anthony
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Everyone struggles with insecurity. It’s a fact. There’s no getting around it. For most of my life, I was incredibly insecure about my body. I was so insecure that I shut myself out from the world. I was so scared of what people saw when they looked at me. I thought no one would ever see past my exterior. Looking back I realize that I wasn’t just insecure about my body. I thought that I was too damaged for love-not just from guys but from anyone really. I thought that I was defined by everything I’ve been through. I used to wish that none of the “hard stuff” ever happened. I wished I never had health issues or had to go through my parents’ divorce at seventeen years old. The list of things goes on and on.

But then it hit me:

every single thing that I’ve been through has shaped me into the person that I am.

Not because it made me weak or less than compared to someone else but because it showed me that there is beauty in the struggle. You are not defined by what you have been through. Instead, you’re defined by how you use the past to become a better person. But there comes a time in everyone’s life when you finally realize that you’re awesome. And by awesome I mean totally freaking good enough for the world. For me, this was two weeks ago. There was not a specific thing that triggered this. I think it was the collection of a lot of little things. After spending so much time feeling worthless, I decided to change my mindset. There’s a sort of power that overcomes your body when you decide to stop caring about what other people think of you.

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People tend to think that my life is “perfect” based on social media. What I cannot stress enough is

instagram is not real life.

Instagram is where people post the best parts of themselves to the world. We all do it. I truly believe that having my photo taken so often was a huge contributor to the way I viewed myself. I used to analyze every centimeter of the photo and judge myself so harshly to the point of self-hatred. I hated myself. Like I said earlier, it’s easy to think that your worth comes from what you look like. It absolutely does not. Beauty is not about what you look like. It’s about how you treat people and how you make them feel about themselves.

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Something Brene Brown says is “I am worthy of love and belonging.”

I’ve struggled with serious depression and anxiety since I was in sixth grade. Because of this, my brain actually tells me that I’m not good enough. It’s taken me eighteen years to get to the point where I know that I am good enough. It’s not something that happens overnight. You have to constantly work at it and be willing to learn more about yourself to get better. The more you know about yourself, the more you can grow. There’s an exercise that my counselor told me to try when I was in seventh grade. She wanted me to write down all the things I love about myself on notecards and put it on a board. This was my affirmation board. At first, I thought that it was cheesy and not going to help anything but alas I tried it anyway. Every morning for five years I looked at that board until I started to believe the words that I had written about myself. When you really start to think about the things that you love about yourself, it opens up your eyes to the awesomeness that is you.

moral of the story

There is so much life left to be lived. When you allow yourself to be defined by the opinion of others, there is no chance of finding happiness.

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