Learning to #LoveUrself Unconditionally

Share on social media why you #LoveUrself

Lorraine C. Ladish, May 2014,  supporting #LoveUrself movement

As a kid I had a really hard time loving myself. As a teen, I loathed who I was and despised what I looked like. An eating disorder ensued. Self-mutilation in private was a common occurrence. I had an abusive relationship with clinical depression and I flirted with thoughts of suicide. Fortunately, I never had the guts to go ahead with it.

My twenties were spent trying to peel off layer upon layer of self-hatred. At 29 I managed to write and publish my first book, Me siento gorda (I Feel Fat) about my battle with bulimia and depression. And I felt like a fake. There I was being interviewed on TV, telling others how to recognize and overcome a distorted self-image and where to find help for their eating disorder, and yet I had not conquered mine.

It wasn’t until I turned 35, was married and pining for a baby, that I started to really take care of my body and soul as they deserved. That marked the beginning of my path to self-love. A few more authored books later, I also started feeling more respect towards myself intellectually. And when, at 37, I held my first-born in my arms, I experienced unconditional love for her and a sense of spiritual and emotional fulfillment that has only expanded since.

At 40, when many women are dealing with teenage kids or even grandkids, I gave birth to my second baby. By then I utterly and completely respected myself as woman.

So I spent my 40’s not only nurturing myself as I’d never done before, but also modeling self-respect and self-love for my daughters. I didn’t want them to grow up hating themselves as I had done. Every year during their physical check-up their doctor would ask each of them: “Do you like yourself?” and they would look all googly-eyed and answer a resounding, “Well, yeah!” as if it were the only choice. Thank goodness they didn’t know it could have been different for them.

Also Read: You Don’t Look Your Age and Other Myths

Now at 50 I look at pictures of myself as a kid, as a teen, a young adult, and I wish I had known back then how much I really deserved to be loved by me. The upside is that, had I not battled with self-esteem issues then, I possibly would not be as empathetic and grounded today. I might not have turned out to be such a good role model for my girls, now 13 and 10. I have no idea what’ll happen as they get older. But right now, today, they are confident, outgoing and fun-loving, the way it should be.

Share online why you #LoveUrself

At 50 I can wear a T-shirt that says #LoveUrself and own it! It took a lifetime for this to happen, but the results are worth every single step of my long and winding journey to self-acceptance.

If your self-esteem is not where it should be, no matter your age, get help, find a support group, see a therapist. I’m not kidding. It’s no small deal. When you’re finally able to completely and fully love who you are, you become a better person, a better woman, mother, friend and lover. If more of us loved ourselves unconditionally, the world would be a much nicer place.

So take up the challenge if you dare. Update your status on Facebook, post a picture on Instagram, write a blog post, send a tweet, and tell us why you #LoveUrself. Fake it till you make it if you have to! And don’t forget to use that hashtag. Affirmations are powerful.

Please know that we will all cheer you on!

Read more about the #LoveUrself  movement and Randi Klein

Lorraine C. Ladish

Bilingual and bicultural Latina editor, writer, speaker, online influencer, yogini and mom. Founder of Viva Fifty! Published author of 18 books. Her most recent book Your Best Age was released by HarperCollins in September of 2017.

Comments

  1. Gosh, Lorraine, thanks for sharing. I could go in about how much I love you and how amazing you are. Today, I just say: thank you for sharing you with the rest of us.

    1. Viva Fifty Viva Fifty says:

      Melanie, you are a doll. THANK YOU for reading! – Lorraine