...currently writing: on the way to Paris
The hardest decision I’ve ever made was the decision to love myself: to consciously and intentionally climb out of the rabbit hole that is self-loathing, and into a place of genuine admiration.
For me, this meant more than choosing to highlight what I considered my most flattering physical and emotional traits, but rather to acknowledge that:
All of me is worthy of LOVE – not just menial acceptance.
To say I have mastered this way of thinking would be a lie. Everyday is a struggle to engage my body and mind with positive self-perception. But like anything worth having, it’s a beautiful struggle that continues to make me more resilient.
Do you remember when you first realized that they were watching? Do you remember when you learned to un-love yourself? As a young female, I allowed physical validation to control my perception of my self-worth and determine my value as a woman.
I can distinctly remember when I realized the power that my body held. That the pout of my lips, the subtle revealing of my breast, or the seduction of a lingering stare could bring me a sense of validation & false control from others that I'd never felt before.
And while we oftentimes perceive these actions as positive and affirming, I found them to be detrimental to my growth and the relationships I was surrounding myself with. I put so much stock in physical touch and sexual encounters, (because they made me feel worthy,) that I lost the ability to create a genuine connection with those that I desired to have intentional and lasting experiences with.
I struggled to understand how a man could lust for my soul, crave my words, and submerge himself into my spirit.
This struggle was much deeper than I wanted to acknowledge - it transformed into an inability to separate a positive body image from a man's desire for me. It dwarfed my potential to give myself fully into a loving relationship and instead, lead me into dangerous encounters & recurring heartbreak.
After spending the better part of my formative young adult life living in this saddening state, I decided that if something didn't change, I was never going to be able to live in truth, or love another person with all of my being. So, I decided to set myself free. I decided to stop seeking unwanted comments about my body and start accepting compliments about my character with grace.
- Lauren Swedenborg
I decided that I didn't need anyone to tell me that I'm beautiful or not, because I'm much more than this vessel.
I decided that I am enough.
It took my a while just to get here - to undress my insecurities and begin the tedious & emotionally draining process to self - actualization.
Working with the phenomenally creative photographer, Laura Whitfield and talented Hair & Makeup Stylist, Dominique Calvillo, the photos in this blog were curated to help me begin healing.
"Many people ask if it's possible to hate AND love someone at the same time. And I can only respond that I do it to myself everyday."
- Rupi Kaur