It’s easy to look at a photo on Instagram and think that someone has their whole life together with no insecurities, but who really knows what lies behind the capture of one single moment? In this photo, I openly admit that I feel beautiful, I feel confident, I feel a lot like an “Instagram model” as our society would so lavishly put it these days. But what you don’t see in this photo is the lead up to it, me questioning my Mum 9,345 times, “Does my tummy look big? Is my hair okay? Can you see my underwear lines? Is my makeup too much? Do I look classy or tacky? Have I any tan lines?” Majority of which are valid questions in my opinion, as part of getting ready for any event! Admit it, it’s always nice to have that second person’s eyes to ensure you do look as good as you feel. However, it’s where these questions are coming from that’s the problem. Asking these questions for me isn’t just a double or even a triple check, sometimes it’s a lot deeper than that. Sometimes it’s an affirmation I need to hear because I genuinely feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Insecurities, they really are nuisances…
Over the course of my healing journey to date, I’ve realised that when we find the root cause of an insecurity, we can work on them to not necessarily eradicate them, but to silence them when they do raise their ugly heads! Sorry girls, unfortunately I don’t have the magic cure to completely get rid of every insecurity forever. But what I do have is a knowledge of how I managed to deal with them and hope that from my experiences I can help shine a light for someone else. To be entirely honest, I still face insecurities about my body, and most likely always will, but now I am equipped to shut them down before they go too far. This photo was taken last year in my parents’ garden and reflecting on that time, I thought that then I was in a really good place; turns out when they say it gets better it really does, and easier too! As the days go by, I find myself getting stronger and more resilient to the lies that try to infiltrate my happy little mind. How, you ask? It’s simple, but also, I completely understand that it’s not that simple… A paradox if anything.
The biggest reason I continue to find myself in a better place year on year for example, is because I have been and continue to be surrounded by love and support. The most important thing about that is; I have chosen to accept that I can be loved, and I have chosen to receive it. A lot of us fail to receive love and support because we think we can do it all on our own, and while being little miss independent can teach you good life skills, it can also damage your interpersonal skills. Some of us even reject the thoughts of someone loving us because of how we may have been treated in the past. I’ve been in that place and it’s not a great place to be, but again from experience, it’s not the end of the world. If you’re willing to put in the work, the reward will be tremendous. We are all capable of loving and we are all worthy of love – we just need to accept that it’s true.
Another huge reason why it’s a lot easier for me to silence the lies now, is because I continue to invest in myself, one day at a time little by little. Healing wasn’t just a trend to follow or a phase in life I decided to venture into, it was a very clear and concise decision I made to better myself and my life. Healing takes time and after years of ignoring the gaping wounds, at the end of 2017 I decided that this time my approach needs to be more than just a party on a Saturday night to get me through the week or a session in the gym to sweep everything under the carpet. My approach needed to be more beneficial; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Sometimes we need to face the reality of our affliction in order to move forward, we need to find ways of turning the bad experiences we’ve faced into life lessons.
Sometimes we’ve got to take our pain and mold it into our gain!
On investigation I found that the root causes of most of my insecurities were developed in a very toxic relationship, one that I entered into with a normal teenage girl amount of insecurities. But when I left it, I was inundated with lies and had a serious lack of confidence. Other reasons for my insecurities were rooted in the fact that I was bullied both in primary school and secondary school. It never bothered me much in primary, I was so sure of myself as a child and I have my parents to thank for that, but on reflection I was also so reliant on God. Even though I may not have understood the whole spiritual side of life, I definitely had childlike faith and undeniably proclaimed my love and trust in God, no matter what the bullies had to say! In secondary school though, as we all naturally go through puberty, we all naturally start learning about new things and as a consequence, we all learn to develop new insecurities. I had a bit of a whirlwind in my final years of school, unfortunately with friends I loved dearly. Some of our friendships drifted apart, some turned into bullying, some are still alive today – more distant than we would have thought when we were in school, but I’m thankful for the little moments we still share every once in a while.
It was during that rough period of my life that I realised all of these insecurities feed into our fears, leading to panic attacks and chest pains, tummy issues and all that lovely stuff that we all enjoy so much about anxiety… Thankfully, and a lot to do with my spiritual journey, I have learned how to silence insecurities and shut them down where they begin. Not always is it as easy as it is said, there are times that I am weak and allow the insecurities to invade my mind. When this happens, instead of doing what I used to do and beat myself up for whatever the insecurity implies, I do my best to reach for a better feeling and focus on the things that I love about myself.
How many kinds of insecurities do you think there are? I used to think that it was just a body thing, that people were insecure about how they looked and that that was all there was to it. It wasn’t until I took a look at my life from an outsider’s perspective that I realised, there are so many types, all of which I experienced in those school years and into my early twenties. Although a lot of it could have been avoided and those insecurities would have never had an effect on me, one thing I can say for certain is that I don’t regret my past – I’ve learned not to. I’ve learned that reflection is the best way to move on from past traumas, regret keeps you in that period and doesn’t allow you to move on in life. Regret sounds like ‘’Why did it happen to me?’’ or ‘’Why did I allow myself to go through that?’’ whereas reflection allows you to say ‘’Yeah it was pretty shit that it happened to me, but hey, I survived’’ and that realisation is the beginning of your work. So, if you have regrets may I suggest that maybe you take a look at them first – they could be the main feeder to your insecurity and by dealing with those you will cut your work in half for the rest of your healing journey! Take it from someone who knows, reflection is a lot easier on the mental health than regret. If you can change your mind frame to see it that way, you will fly along in your healing journey.
I previously wrote a blog describing 3 steps I use to deal with insecurities and you can find it here -> Insecurities Blog . If you want to pursue your battle against insecurities, give it a read and let me know what you think. The purposes of this blog that you’re currently reading was to allow you guys to see that I have dealt with insecurities on a personal level. I’m not just a blogger that wants likes and popularity, those things are of little to no importance to me. My blogs purpose, Illuminare’s purpose is exactly as I have always said it was, to shine a light in dark places and to support and encourage all who come across it. I have been in really tough situations and I have, by the Grace of God for most, survived them all. I wanted to open up to my readers so that it becomes more relatable and you can see then, why, and how I cultivated the 3 steps I talk about in the previous post.
To wrap this up, I want to say to you that nothing is impossible. As Audrey Hepburn so wonderfully put it: ‘’The word itself says I’m possible!’’ Bearing that in mind, approach the week ahead with a new mentality! Approach it with faith in yourself that you are equipped to deal with the situation’s life throws at you, all you have to do is believe in and commit to yourself. No one else can start the journey for you, no one else can do the work for you. If you want to do a half-arsed job at healing, it’s just going to leave room for infection. This is about YOU! It’s about YOUR life, YOUR growth, YOUR healing… Don’t just overlook the bruises, don’t nullify the wounds by shrugging your shoulders and saying ‘’Shit happens’’, get up off your butt and do the work.
I promise you, You’re worth it…