As 2017 rounds the corner, I’ve penned a short list of ways I hope to grow this year. But this year, I’m attacking my goals a little differently.
You see, instead of changing in order to love myself, I’m going to love myself in order to change. I’ve spent the better part of my adulthood trying every method of changing besides loving myself. I’ve beaten myself up over not doing the things I should (walk daily, eat clean, pray more) with doing absolutely nothing at all (Netflix and Facebook) and rewarded myself for doing good (finally working out) with something bad (a rainbow sprinkle donut...mm!). I’ve spent hours thinking about how much I hate myself in order to drum up the courage to change. I’ve driven myself towards unhappiness thinking THAT will make me act. And yet I don’t. I just get sadder, eat more, loathe myself more and that’s the never-ending cycle, day after day, year after year. So, it feels a bit kooky and yet the experts say - a great part of healing and changing begins with the act of loving ourselves. When I walk by the mirror - I am often horrified about what I see. What I feel is nothing like love. And so, how I act towards myself is nothing like love. When you hate yourself, you don’t do good things for yourself, because you are the enemy. It becomes clear that we HAVE to love ourselves, but HOW?! We can’t hate ourselves to change, but we can’t lie ourselves to change either, so how do we do it?This has been the thought I have wrestled with since the beginning of #thecandidwomen. And it wasn’t until last week, when I delivered a gallery of images, that I realized how to begin changing the narrative. The message I got from my client was short:“I thought I would hate these photographs because I don’t always like myself, but instead I can’t stop looking at how beautiful I actually am.”And that’s when it hit me: we are a community of women together because we love photography and we struggle with self love. So what could be better than a self portrait project?
I’ve gathered resources, written like a mad woman, found fellow Candid Women who have walked this journey, and we have a full year of wonderful self portrait challenges ahead. We’re walking this road together and whether our stories are similar or if your story is different I know we can all use a little more self compassion.
Click the button below to join the movement. Our first challenge will be released to your email next week as well as instructions with how to connect with fellow self-portraiters and share your images. Questions and comments can be answered at email@example.com.
Let’s begin the New Year not willing ourselves to change, not hating ourselves to change, not lying ourselves to change, but loving ourselves towards being the best we can be.