This is 18-year-old me. Mary Jane at age 18 was scared, broken, hurting, and lonely. At least that’s all she saw. Looking back now, there are so many things I wish I could share with her. I want to tell her that she is strong, beautiful, and fiercely independent. I want to tell her that weight is just a number, and there is nothing to worry about. Because believe it or not, even now (40 pounds heavier), I don’t see myself any differently, and it’s time to just love the body you’re given no matter what. I want to tell her that she will face hard, terrible, and unforgivable things, but no matter how dark the world seems, she will get through it, she has always gotten through it, and she will continue to get through it.
I think if I had known those things sooner, I would be treating myself a little better now. But with time comes wisdom, understanding, and patience. It’s never too late to start loving yourself.
In Get a PhD in YOU, there were a couple of things that really stuck out to me in chapter 2. The first is this: “How can I love myself more today so I have more to give others?” I think something that a lot of people know but don’t really understand is that the love in your life isn’t an endless reservoir. You don’t have a bottomless supply. In order to give love, you need to get love. And the most important kind of love you can get is from yourself. Nobody knows you better than you; you can give yourself exactly what you need. Nobody else would know that when I’m feeling a little sad, some tea and some helpful anecdotes or compliments from my best friend makes me feel better. Only I am aware that when I need motivation to get myself to the gym, I need to blast music that really gets me pumped and feeling confident. Only you know what you need! Make sure you listen to yourself.
It’s kind of like being in an aircraft: If, in the event something happens, the oxygen bags drop, put oxygen on yourself first and then help others around you. How helpful would it be if you were trying to put oxygen on other people, but instead you were suffocating. Then not only are you going to suffer, but the people who needed help will suffer too. It only works if you take care of yourself first.
The second thing in the book that caught my attention was this: “The physical mirror becomes a pathway connecting my surface self to my true inner self.” I really like that. Granted, the book was talking about saying affirmations to yourself in the mirror everyday, and truly learning to love the person you see. But that particular sentence reminded me that you are not who you see in the mirror. Your mirror self is only the surface of who you are. There is so much more underneath the makeup, the skin, the hair…there is the beautiful soul of what you bring to this world. Don’t ever be fooled by the person in the mirror. All the mirror is showing you is something any stranger off the street can see.
I love you all, and keep loving yourselves.
Mary Jane xx
- Went to the gym (leg day!)
- Read Chapter 2 of Get a PhD in YOU
- Meditated using Calm app, Day 2 Self-Esteem
- Shared this project with friends and family