I have been working for years with women coming out of human trafficking and prostitution. It is my job to hear their stories, their trauma, their self hatred, and to help lead them into healing and restoration with a new self worth and self love. Deep down, woman after woman finding her own truth and beauty, I realized I could teach it and believe it for everyone else, but for myself felt nearly impossible. Of course those women were worthy of love - but was I? I wasn’t sure. I felt like a hypocrite and hid the deep fear that I wasn’t lovable, or beautiful, or worthy. I ran from that fear and was too ashamed to speak about it.
Finally, after years, I got tired of it. There wasn’t a lightbulb moment or a divine encounter, but my heart was so tired of running, of pretending, and living what felt like a lie. I shared my own lack of self love with the close women around me, and they affirmed and loved on me. Having people speak into your heart and fears can be proudly healing and empowering, but at the end of the day it’s my journey, my mind, and my heart that has to look shame, fear, and self hatred in the face and say “I love you. I love you. I love you. I choose you. I choose you. I choose you”. Even when I don’t feel it, or fully believe it. I’ve found the more open I am on this journey, the more vulnerable others are in their journeys of self love. It creates intimacy. It creates bonds to be able to say, “I am a confident, powerful woman…who still sometimes winces at the mirror but still chooses to say to the face looking back, I love you.”
I’m not sure when I’ll "get there” 100%, but the journey is healing and beautiful and strengthening. Saying over and over to the face looking back at me, “Carly, you are so worth loving” is one of the most profound and healing sentences I’ve ever said out loud, and one that’s taken me so long to be able to say. There’s such power in our words. The message, “you are so worth loving”, is the message we’re all crying out to hear - especially from ourselves to ourselves.