When I was 16 years old I was at the peak of my self-hatred. I hadn't figured out anything I was particularly good at, I got poor grades, and I thought I was a wildebeest. I don't know who gave me permission but, I became fluent in the language of self bashing. Every opportunity I got, I'd drop a little bomb on myself.
Why? Well, it was genuinely how I felt and thus it seeped out of me like maple sap. I'm sure in there somewhere was a tiny motive that someone would prove me wrong. I wasn't fishing for compliments really, just some freaking help. My insides were collapsing on themselves and the only way I could comfortably express it was by joking about it a lot with my friends.
However, one day, my friends stopped calling me. I would find out about get-togethers that I wasn't invited to, sleepovers that I was left out of, and strange sneaky behavior from those I considered my best friends. I had no idea why.
That is, until one day when my best friend ( still to this day) Aleece sat me down. Well, kinda. We were on swings. Is that considered a seat? Anyhow, she told me straight up that I had become so heavy to be around ( pun not... intended?) that everyone needed a break.
The way I was talking about myself became a problem for my friends. Now, to this day I'm still a little sad that nobody thought to tell me that it was hard to hear me talk like that ( double-yoo-tee-eff, guys) but I needed to know that how I felt about myself wasn't just affecting me anymore.
That little scenario did some damage to my heart but, the truth is that the way you feel about yourself doesn't effect you alone.
Not only can it be heavy and difficult for others, but it can lead them to unhealthy places as well. We never intend to do that. We mention to a friend that we're "fat" and think its a one-off kind of comment most would shrug off or jovially join the fun of "fat talk"( as I call it) without any harm...
But what we don't realize is, most women will instantly compare themselves to where we're at when we say that. I've had countless girls who have close to NO fat on their body tell me they need to lose weight and it makes me feel awful. It makes me want to hide inside the world's largest sweatsuit and never be seen again. "If they feel about themselves as they are, imagine if they looked like me? They would fall apart!"
At least, that's where my brain goes.
If you're a size 2 and you're telling a girl who's a size 14 that you're "gross", please stop to think how it might make her feel. There's a good chance that friend of yours is having a little fight inside of her heart after you say stuff like that.
Truthfully, that kind of talk in general is unhealthy no matter WHO the woman on the other end of the conversation is... It tempts her into thinking of herself in a critical way like that and before you know it, you're influencing the culture of your loved ones.
In this season, I'm finding that the company I keep is really important. There have been too many times where I am with a group of girls and the body-bashing talk starts in a way that everyone feels is harmless and I find myself buried in shame.
I don't think it will forever be like this but, in order to stay healthy when it comes to this issue, I can't handle much of that kind of fat-chat. I'm hoping I will be healthy enough to withstand it and not let it discourage me the way that it does now but, for now, I'm trying to be good to myself. That means, I need good company for this journey.
God has been good in providing it, for certain. But, I wonder what it would be like if that kind of talk was just NOT part of the culture of the average woman( especially in L.A.)?
There are a lot of facets to this topic- from false humility to the polarized sides of the coin when it comes to females and body talk- but for now, remember that how you express your feelings about yourself in casual conversation might fall on ears of a person it could damage.
On the whole, how you feel about yourself affects those around you. It just does. Loving yourself not only helps you to love others, it helps them love themselves too- and the opposite is just as true.
I wanna get real good at this.
I mean, real good.
Carly Calmes the First