Self-Love Reflection: The Deeper Issues

Posted: July 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Too often we deny ourselves of the love and respect we deserve. We do so by shying away when others give it or through keeping a cruel commentary of our worth running through our own minds. For me, a lack of self-love manifests itself in telling myself “I am not good enough” in a variety of ways. 

  • “I’m not a good enough mom”.
  • “I’m not patient enough”.
  • “I’m not caring enough”.
  • “I’m not going to be able to achieve my goals".
  • yada yada yada….

 deeper issues quote [source]

Most of the time, those sayings and feelings arise when I face other difficult emotions and don’t know how to handle them. I used to cruelly nitpick at my appearance and call myself chubby, plain, unattractive, someone nobody would want, and so much more. I battled a lot more than just a diminished confidence in my appearance, though – feelings of hatred, hurt, fear, troubling relationships with many around me, stress from school. Even today, I have to watch myself when things get stressful. My “fat days” often coincide with the days I have trouble in the face of other issues.

 deeper issues quote 2 [source]

So many times, I discover that I do not in fact feel “fat”. Instead I feel overwhelmed and realize I need to give myself a break. Or I have something I need to share with someone who may have hurt my feelings a bit. Before I used food to shove down and hide the emotions I truly felt. Then, I began to use negative words to bury myself.

Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at pinpointing where a negative thought really comes from. Most of the time a source exists. Figuring out what instigates my frustrations helps me stop the negative thoughts before they consume me.That isn’t to say I have an “a-ha moment” and then everything turns fine and dandy afterwards. It simply helps me more appropriately face the issue at hand, without causing unnecessary damage to myself in the process.

 deeper issues quote 3 [source]

Do you think you use negative talk or harmful physical actions (such as binging, over-exercising, restricting, not sleeping, etc) as a way to cover up deeper feelings? Why do you think we do this? Any tips for recognizing the true source of our frustrations? I liked to simply ask “Why?” about everything. Whenever I feel myself getting emotional or negative I ask “why?”. I don’t deny my feelings, but when I realize the source often I realize its insignificance and move on naturally.

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22 Comments to “Self-Love Reflection: The Deeper Issues”
  1. Lee says:

    I don’t know if I do that, but I have a lot of issues thinking that I’m not a good designer, which is what I do for a living. It really takes a toll on me emotionally. I don’t know if I’m really not a good designer or I’m just hard on myself though.

  2. Triggers are interesting, and I’m not sure what exactly mine are yet.

    I grew up in a family full of beautiful, petite women who were constantly commenting on what they want to change about themselves and how they wished they had “so and so’s legs” or whatever. It’s almost like a habit that I have. I see someone else’s something, and I just think “If I had that, my body would be so much better.” I never feel like my body is quite good enough. And it’s odd because I’m otherwise a very confident, competent, hard-working woman.

  3. Sometimes when I start to feel extra stressed, I make myself stop and ask, WHAT are you stressing about? Usually it’s nothing that big, but I somehow mindlessly let it become something big. Just stopping for those few moments to assess the stress does so much for my health. (Good post!)

  4. Sarah says:

    I completely agree that the days I feel pretty crumby about myself are the days other things are going on. It’s something I’m working on to make sure I don’t beat myself up and lower my self esteem when things get tough. The tough times are when I need my self-esteem the most. So I have to learn to keep it up!

  5. Amy says:

    I agree that some days I feel worse than others. I have just recently recognized that my sleeping definitely is affected my how I am feeling emotionally.

    I also made the stark realization that some of my body issues are intertwined with the comments I receive from my Dad. It was just this fourth of July that my bf of 4 years pointed out the constant “commenting” on my eating etc. Makes me think a bit more about the comments (that I am all too used too) and how I deal with them.

  6. Priyanka says:

    I think as women we are wired to immediately deprecate ourselves when the situation around is worrisome or not according to our liking. Its like “X is not going right,Y is not going right and here, I am fat or unattractive” As you said,it is best to take a step back and concentrate on improving the situation rather then bad talking ourselves.

  7. Oh TIna, you know I can relate to what you are saying here. I wrote a post on this a few days ago, and always searching for the flaws in yourself seems to be a common theme among the blog world. I always feel worse about myself on the days that things are not going well… that I am “fat” when I am upset or troubled by something. I need to stop connecting those two unrelated feelings and try to directly deal with the issues or whatever is going on

  8. I actually just broke up with my long time boyfriend. I’ve been noticing that instead of coping with that I’ve been eating more (ugh) because I think it will make me feel better… It doesn’t. I end up feeling worse than I originally did!

  9. I love this post. It’s so easy to rip yourself apart and so much harder to put yourself back together.

  10. Oh, Tina, these are great quotes. I am having a really hard day and they made me tear up, especially the first one because I was just judging myself for having such a hard time about “little” things. It made me feel like any battle is valid.

    • Tina says:

      Believe me that any battle is valid. I’m right there with you feeling overwhelmed on little things today.

  11. When I get really overwhelmed or stressed I do tend to take it out on myself by criticizing things about me. Thankfully this doesn’t occur too too often. Then usually a good cry makes me feel better.

  12. Thank you so much for these amazing posts! It helps me know I’m not alone. When I get stressed out my negative thoughts increase; since I know this I always try to keep myself in check!

  13. The Chick says:

    I know this is a definite struggle and constant battle for me. One thing I ask myself is: is this true? I LOVE the verse Philippians 4.8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    I try to repeat that verse to myself or the one in Corinthians about taking my thoughts captive to be obedient to Christ.

    I am not perfect at it by any means, I have just recently come to some interesting conclusions: 1) over-eating is no different than committing suicide. It just takes longer. I know the side effects, I know what it can lead to and I have gone downhill over the last few years to where I have to tell my kids no when they ask to do certain activities-talk about depressing; 2) I think I use food as a way to feel closer to my mother. I grew up with my dad and step-mom who was an anal-retentive control freak when it came to food. The only time I ever ate well was when I was with my mother. Unfortunately, I don’t have the best relationship with her so I think I use it as a way to feel those feelings of comfort and security again

    It seems silly typing it all out, but it really helps me to figure these things out so I can begin to receive healing in those areas of my life. Only very recently have I started to have any real victory, and I can say it’s probably been 90% mental.

    And I NEVER want my daughter to feel about herself the way I feel about myself. That keeps me going.

    • Tina says:

      It isn’t silly at ALL! I love how you managed to share all that so openly and hopefully reflect a bit to get some extra peace in the process.

  14. Hmm! Such an interesting post, Tina. I do find that when I do not feel I’m accomplishing what I “should,” or when I question my abilities and future, I find solace in exercise…as in, “Well, maybe I’ll never be a nurse, but at least I can do 3 pull-ups from a dead hang.” I don’t know that it’s necessarily unhealthy — maybe if I took it to another level? Or became obsessed with/about it? But interesting nonetheless.

  15. Maren says:

    My binge eating and negative self image totally reflected other issues in my life. Until I realized that I didn’t get better. I think this post is awesome. Thanks Tina.

  16. Colleen says:

    Great post, Tina. I think “fat” is often used as a substitute for feelings. “I feel fat” usually means I feel sad, upset, stressed, etc. and fat is a filler word that is easier to say and hear. This took me a long time to realize, and it’s definitely harder to express my feelings, but so worth it.

  17. Tina,

    You are incredibly wise…and this post does make perfect sense. You are not alone. Sometimes I notice that it is easier to choose some physical attribute to critique rather than critiquing what is inside. I think we are more comfortable with outward critiques because they are traits that the whole world can see. The world cannot always see what is inside, and we hold those fears of self deep within.

  18. I struggle with self-love every single day…I’m constantly second guessing myself or putting myself down. It came from growing up with a controlling grandmother who was never satisfied, no matter if I was perfect or completely screwed up. It’s definitely a long road when trying to improve oneself with this kind of issue. I try to take it one day at a time. And like you, I feel blogging gives me a sense of belonging and makes me feel proud for my accomplishments.

    Brittany // @suburbchicblog

  19. Karolina says:

    The “not enough” messages are so damaging to us!! Great advice to look for what instigates the harmful messages or behaviors!

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