[…] growing up for me was a not-too-good experience. I lived in the middle of “who I was” and “who the world wants me to be”. I practically lived in pretense, and strangely, it felt a little bit fun.
I was living the way society portrayed to me – pretend to be who you’re not, fake a lot of things including your personality, compete with people who don’t even know you exist.
All of those were fun because people saw me and admired me, they held me in high regard thinking I had everything they didn’t.
However, I knew I wasn’t doing what I wanted. It was all a fake life – I was existing but not living. This made me upset, ashamed, and a bit disappointed in myself
Forgiving people is one thing, but forgiving yourself is another – it’s the hardest. I struggled and battled with self-forgiveness for a while. And it made me realize that the sins do not hurt, it Is the regret that kills. I regret lying and pretending to be who I was not.
Of course, I didn’t know any better…
“I Was Insecure About My Body…”
For me, the real issue was that I wasn’t comfortable in my body. I didn’t like what I looked like, everything about me irritated me.
I couldn’t bring myself to love myself. I wanted badly to become someone else.
I hated myself for 13years because I felt like something was wrong with me – that I was unlucky.
I mean, people who had the kind of body and life that I wanted to get it on a platter of gold, at least that’s what I thought.
The neighborhood I grew up in didn’t help matters either. I was constantly talked down on, body-shamed, and insulted in every way.
I was insecure about my body and felt no one liked me, because if I couldn’t like myself, who would?
What I craved was to be loved and admired, and I guess the only way to get that was to pretend to be who the society wants – to dress, talk, and act how they wanted … even though it was killing me slowly.
How I Stopped Being Insecure About My Body
My “resurrection” began when I came across “Why You Act The Way You Do”, a book written by Tim and Beverly Lahaye.
The book is centered on temperaments and traits. It taught me to deal with my fears and insecurities, by firstly embracing who I was and accepting the things I can’t change whilst working on the things that I can change.
In the book “Every Woman” Derek Jones said something I prefer to write in my own words “you are the definition of you, people can’t hurt you without your permission, therefore they cannot make you feel inferior without your consent“.
The statement may be true (in most cases), but people can actually make you feel inferior without your permission if you do not tackle your “inferiority complex”
I was tired of having to seek human validations, tired of being constantly talked down.
I couldn’t deal with having to lie just so people would like me.
I couldn’t continue allowing myself to be defined by circumstances.
I discovered that what makes me a real human isn’t just the physical appearance, it was the deposits of “God” inside of me, but I prefer to refer to it as the “ME” in ” ME” (it is difficult to capture this in a few words, but keep reading, you’d get it)
I was never going to be underneath, I wouldn’t allow myself to lose my self-confidence and self-worth any longer. If Joyce Meyer could become so better and could influence her world, then I can do better.
I told myself that my voice will be loud enough to beckon to others (who were facing similar challenges).
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“The Only Price To Pay Is The Price Of Growth…”
So, I resolved in my heart to pay whatever price just so I become the woman I was created to be.
In my journey to becoming the woman I was created to be, a woman who will fearlessly exploit all the deposits of God inside of her and who will be a voice in her generation, I discovered that the only price to pay is the price of Growth!
And growth takes time.
This means it’s ok to make mistakes since we are still growing – and don’t know better. I made some too, you know… at a point, I confused leadership with dictatorship, and at another time I thought submission was the same thing as being subdued, etcetera…
…all these and many more were the mistakes I made. But it didn’t make me hate myself – because I knew I was still growing
Soon the result of my growth began to unfold: I noticed I (for the first time in a long time) really loved myself, My confidence got boosted, my self-esteem got so high I began to see myself in a way I hadn’t seen myself before – instead of obsessing about my weaknesses, I saw and appreciated my strengths. I took in constructive criticism and worked on my deficiencies without feeling inferior.
Growth is definitely a good thing!
Finally, I’m grateful I paid and am still paying the price for growth.
I am no longer the girl who begged people for love and attention, I’m no longer the girl who makes what society says her standard, and I no longer feel inferior to anyone or wish to be someone else.
I carry myself with dignity bearing in mind that I’m a solution to problems – that’s the deposit of God in Me
I also do all these without comparing my journey with anyone’s.
Yes, I have quite a few women I admire, but I never want to become like them. I want to still be who I am even as I walk the path of becoming all that I’m created to become…the Me in Me – beyond my body or what society thinks
Folarinde Josephine is a Writer, Self-love Advocate, amidst many other things. She prefers to write and teach using her life as an example for all to see and learn from.