a girl blowing on a dandelion done with a vintage retro instagra

Maybe years ago you let everyone walk all over you. Like you weren’t even there. Like you were a rug fit for stomping on.

Maybe you weighed yourself all the time.

Maybe you said yes to everything—except to acknowledging and appreciating yourself.

Maybe you compared yourself to everyone, including your friends, and were convinced you were inferior—the one who rarely looked good, who rarely said anything smart or funny, who rarely did anything worthwhile.

Maybe you skipped dessert or pasta or bread or any foods you actually enjoy because you worried about your weight. Maybe you only let yourself eat a few food groups.

Maybe you worshipped women’s magazines and bashed every part of your body.

Maybe you drank. A lot.

Maybe you felt lonely. A lot.

Maybe you picked partners who weren’t emotionally available or caring or kind.

Maybe you listened to everyone else and rarely to yourself.

Maybe you stuffed your feelings so far down you became numb.

Maybe you saw yourself as the epitome of weak. Pathetic. Unworthy. Unlovable.

Maybe you see yourself like this today. Maybe you do something like the above today.

But just because you were a certain way before, just because you had certain habits before, just because you’re struggling today, doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to repeat the same cycle. Over and over. Because you can change. You can take a small step toward feeling better about yourself, toward empowering yourself, toward accepting yourself, toward feeling your feelings, toward surrounding yourself with wonderful people, toward carving out a meaningful life (whatever this looks like for you).

Please remember that: Just because you were one way 5 years ago, a year ago, a week ago doesn’t mean that you will or must stay that way. Here, I’m not talking about your core traits or your essence (whatever you want to call the interesting, great, complex things that make you you). Rather, I’m talking about the habits that might break us. I’m talking about the lack of boundaries. I’m talking about the limitations we set for ourselves. I’m talking about the disrespectful, destructive ways we see ourselves and the disrespectful, destructive actions we take.

We often think our habits and ways of viewing ourselves and our world are indeed us. We think they define us. We think they’re attached to us permanently, just like another limb. They’ve been part of our lives or our psyche for so long.

But they’re not permanent. Again, they can be changed, revised, replaced, relinquished. You can do that.

Give yourself the space and resources to help yourself evolve in a self-compassionate, nourishing way. To take the steps that truly support and serve you. Because you can. Think about all the things you’ve learned and all the skills you’ve sharpened throughout the years that you didn’t even know existed. At one point you had no idea how to walk or talk or write or read or hold something in your hand. You had no idea how to express yourself. At one point you didn’t know how to drive or boil water or do your job. At one point you had some challenge that you didn’t think you could overcome or work through. But you did.

And today you do. Because you are constantly growing and gaining insight. That is what we humans do. And you can do that with anything. Let yourself try. Seek out the resources to support you along the way.

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