For the greater part of my life, I have wished to be someone else–someone who would fit this life better, someone who would not feel so lonely and so different from everyone else. Someone, who would feel more comfortable in her own skin. I have also wished to be someone who would be more interesting, more attractive, and wiser. I have always looked at others with admiration and maybe a little bit jealousy. I really wanted to be happy with who I was, but no matter how hard I tried, I was not able to. I always saw the accomplishments of others to be so much better than my own. I admired their looks and wisdom, continuously comparing myself to them and coming up short. It did not matter what I did—I always felt like I could have done it better. I did strive to be the best I could be and giving it “my all,” however it did not matter how hard I tried, I always felt like it wasn’t good enough, like I still wasn’t good enough…Throughout my life I have always prayed to at least once be able to look in the mirror and be happy with who I saw on the other side. I prayed to be able to—at least once—feel beautiful and attractive.
Throughout my life there definitely were better and worse times. At times I was able to feel strong, capable, happy and even beautiful. At other times feeling of self-doubt and fear would once again creep their way back into my heart.
Following that fateful night, my self-esteem was probably the lowest it has ever been in my life. The years of emotional abuse, physical abuse, and the trauma that surrounded all the events that led to that fatal night—as well as the night itself–left deep wounds in my heart. These events have completely destroyed the remaining shreds of my self-esteem, my confidence, self-trust and, finally, any feelings of self-worth.
A few weeks after the incident, I began seeing a therapist who quickly picked up on my low self-esteem issues. During one of the first sessions we had together, she had asked me to name a few things I liked about myself. I really dug deep trying to give her an answer, however after five minutes, I gave up admitting that I am unable to find anything. She started to dig deeper and after a considerable amount of time, I remembered that I had always enjoyed, and excelled at, learning foreign languages. But that was all I could come up with. The therapist pointed out few things that she, herself, had been able to observe about me however I dismissed those observations quickly and moved on.
Today, almost two years after that session, I want to thank God for helping me find more than just one positive quality within me. Admittedly, I still struggle daily with many things and still have a long journey ahead with a lot of work to do before I can truly feel satisfied with the person I am. Somewhere, deep down, I am still able to hear my late husband’s voice nagging me not to be so trusting, so friendly with others, to keep myself more reserved. I can still hear him whispering that I should not be this or that. Ironically, the things my late husband had always criticized in me–such as being able to swiftly let go of hurts, forgiving too quickly, and always trying to find the best in others—where the exact qualities that have helped me in my healing journey. I used to beat myself up for not being tougher but, it seems, God knew what He was doing and that one day those exact abilities would be crucial to my survival.
Even though there is still a long journey ahead of me, before I am able to truly and fully love and accept myself for who I am, I am so grateful for being able to finally notice my talents, my strengths, and my attributes. I am grateful that I am able to see so much more within myself
now: all the amazing gifts that God has given me, including my passions and my skills. I am so grateful for finally being able to look in the mirror and be content as well as thankful for the reflection I see in the mirror. I am finally at peace and able to see past that reflection and notice the true beauty within me. Most of all, I am so grateful for understanding that what I thought were my biggest weaknesses proved to be my greatest strengths after all.