For much of my life, fear of not being good enough and looking for validation outside of myself was an ongoing experience. It took time and practice to learn positive self-talk, self-care and ultimately learn self-acceptance.
I grew up in a fortunate upper middle class family with supportive parents and your typical American life. Because my parents struggled financially when they were growing up, they tried to give my sister and I a better life than they had, full of opportunities and enrichment. As a little girl, I was drawn toward theater and performance. Being in the spotlight in different areas had me “performing” to be validated. Although I loved these activities, I often found myself looking in the mirror and comparing myself to others. I desired perfection, which manifested itself with food control and severe body image issues. By the time I was a teenager, I struggled with eating disorders and depression.
I continually looked outside of myself and tried to gain the approval of others to be considered “good enough.” Although I had many friends and boyfriends, my deep feelings of inadequacy affected my relationships with family, friends and with men. I got married at a typical age of 29 and a few years later, we had our son. Essentially, I thought our marriage was normal, being unconscious to what my low self-esteem was manifesting and willing to accept.
I was shocked when I learned that my husband of 12 years was leaving to start a brand new life without me. As far as I knew, we had a normal relationship, I was the mother of his child and I was a practicing therapist helping others through their issues. I was shocked, bewildered and completely blindsided. That’s when my life turned upside down. I cannot begin to express the pain I experienced when I learned that my husband was leaving me and the family we created for another woman and her children. He was unhappy with our relationship and wanted a new life. I was utterly devastated, suicidal and completely broken.
As a therapist, I encourage people to live and breathe through their pain, instead of being engulfed by it. I had to take my own advice.
I turned to my faith in God and reached out for support through my network of friends, family and community.
And then I had to get real with myself.
I had to look in the mirror and learn to love that reflection. And then I had to get to know the person inside and love the heck out of her. Through this process, I was transformed to a happier, bolder and better version of myself.
Because I experienced this firsthand, I decided to shift my private practice focus and dedicate my time and experience to coaching other women who have suffered great loss or who may be struggling with their own self-worth.
To these wonderful ladies…
I have complete confidence that you will make it through hard times. If you are willing to take a hard look at yourself and put your faith in God, you will become a happier, more confident version of YOU. I know this for a fact, because it happened to me.
Connect with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I dance as often as I can. Hip-hop, jazz, yoga, and salsa. Moving my body is an integral way I practice self-care.