It’s been a minute. I apologise for my inconsistency…Quick update I’ve finished my second year of uni, I’ve been travelling the world (well I went to Italy), just turned 21, started an amazing job the list goes on….but I’ll tell you about myself later.
To comoderate a new year in my life, I’m starting a series about lessons learnt in the past year. I’ve asked a few friends to pitch in on their lessons. This is the first piece by my beautiful friend Christina (Kiri) Gutsa. Enjoy 🙂
When I asked Tito when she’d like this post to be done by, she gave me a good amount of time, but as usual – I’m here, doing it on the date of the deadline *hides*
I’ll quickly introduce myself – my name is Christina Gutsa, and today I’m going to be talking about the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt this year – so far. It’s going to be quite cheesy, but I think it’s so important – I’ve spent so many years prior to this just ignoring the message or saying “good for him/her, but it’s different for me”, so yeah, I’m going to talk about how I came to loving and accepting myself. It’s going to get quite personal but I hope it helps at least one person out there.
I suffered with low self-esteem for the majority of my teenage years; anyone who knows me knows I never used to go out or spend much time outside my house – I’d play it out like I loved spending time alone (which I genuinely do, don’t get me wrong), but the main issue was: I didn’t feel confident, to me, I wasn’t pretty or slim enough to let loose and have fun.
My biggest insecurity, reinforced by 90% of people I know, is my forehead. There has never been a time when somebody fails to mention to me the ‘mountain on my head’ or makes comments like ‘shine bright like a diamond’. I used to join in and laugh too, and I would be lying if I said it directly hurt me – because it didn’t – but it sowed a seed within me, which quickly grew into a full-blown insecurity. I started thinking that my life would be so much better if I didn’t have this thing on my head, I would dream of all the different hairstyles I could have if only I didn’t have to worry about my forehead. Some girls can tie a simple bun and walk out the house without a care in the world – but for me, it’s a war, lol.
I’ve had many other insecurities – such as accepting my race (pffttt now I rock this chocolate skin!), the whole lightskin/darkskin thing also messed me about for a bit (it’s horrible, don’t join in), my weight (I dressed like a grandma for a very long time because of this), the size of my boobs (we’re being real right?! I’d love some double-D’s please), and my HAIR (4c natural hair – that’s all I’ve got to say). So now we’ve established I’ve got insecurities, and I am more than certain that you do too – I’m going to quickly sum up a few things which have helped me love and accept myself…
1) “I am beautiful” And even if I have to stand in front of my mirror and speak it over myself – I’d do it, it works. Our words carry so much power, and the more you say it, the more you believe it, and the more you believe it, the more you act it – and the more you act it, the more you BECOME it. I also figured out that if everyone else around me disagreed with a particular insecurity of mine, there’s a high possibility it’s all in my head.
2) “There is always going to be someone prettier” It’s a fact, and the quicker we learn it, the faster we can get over it. HOWEVER, there is only one YOU, so rock being you. I learnt to work with what I had and focused on my good assets – I love my curves. Also, don’t be bitter, learn to celebrate others too.
3) “Who am I so desperately trying to please?” Is it your crush/boyfriend? Your friends – are you trying to fit in? (Let’s not lie, it’s usually boys.) Search your heart – who are you trying to please? And when you figure it out, ask yourself if the hassle is really worth it.
4) “Beauty is not skin-deep!” This is so important. There is soooo much more to us than our looks. Am I a nice person? Am I fun to be around, trustworthy, loving, comforting, wise etc etc? Focus on enhancing your character. Your main asset should never be the curves on your body (or any other phenotype).
5) “This isn’t a competition” Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Work on being a better version of yourself than striving to be a better version of Hannah.
6) Embrace what you can’t change, and do something about what you can. I can’t reduce the size of my forehead but I can definitely work towards having a body like Beyoncé, lol, you get the idea.
7) “We’re all in this together” Believe me, every woman, no matter how stunning – has her own fair share of insecurities. The grass isn’t greener on her end, just learn to start watering your own.
8) “Pray!” For me this is really step 1, but I understand that not everyone reading this is a Christian. God cares. Talk to Him, let’s repent (be genuinely sorry and turn away) from all the negative things we’ve spoken over ourselves, uproot seeds, and ask Him to heal us of our wounds and restore us.
So to round it all up, I’m not saying I now wake up every day loving the skin I’m in, but I don’t allow the negativity to overtake me. God said we are fearfully and wonderfully made – and I think it’s time for us to finally embrace that, and start believing Him.