By Jess Fraser
Over the years I have learned how self love affects my relationships with not just myself but others too. Through social media, earlier this year, I introduced you to a very important relationship in my life, my daughter Athena. When you come from a place of loving yourself you have more to share with others.
Let me share a true story through the eyes of a 5-year-old staring at herself in the mirror where she then turns to her mommy and asks, "Does this make me look fat?" This moment that I shared with my daughter a long time ago, but remember it like it was yesterday. I was baffled, she was this little string bean that took pride in dressing like a box of smarties and seemed to love everything about herself and life. Yet she was questioning her body image, at the age five! This had me reflect long after the awe-struck response of, "what, no, of course not. Why would you think that?"
She shrugged off the question and was on to another important task that only a 5-year-old's mind butterflies to. However, this left me raw, wondering where this stemmed from.
Now for those of you that do not know I came from my own body issues and mental health history of anorexia back when I was in high school. So, there was even a level of fear that went through me when I heard these words from such a beautiful vibrant little girl. In all honesty this was when I started to realize that the things I do or don't do, say and don't say can have an impact on those around me. I started to become more aware of what I wanted Athena to be influenced by, the good things. I wanted her to love all the things about herself, but I needed to practice this for myself first.
I acknowledge that self work is not an easy thing but do promise you that starting, no matter how imperfect, is the greatest gift you can give yourself. And with full disclosure, it is something you will have to continuously maintain. To this day 11 years later from this mirror moment I am still a work in progress with my own self love. But I can say by starting and hacking at it a little at a time I have the greatest level of self love I have ever had. Which I hope my daughter will take from me and also you too.
How do you practice self love?