Like it or not, consciously or subconsciously we tend to seek someone's approval. Maybe it's our families, partner or peers but it's there and that's nothing to be ashamed of. It's stemmed from lack of self-love. It just means we want to be loved and "valid" in someone else's eyes. Is that too much to ask for? Absolutely not! 

For us, burn survivors or anybody that sees themselves with physical imperfections, that feeling is even more enhanced. Heck, that means everybody, right?  While all of you have valid points, and you do deserve to be loved and accepted as you are. One thing we are failing at is asking ourselves if we accept ourselves. 

When you look yourself in the mirror, does your inner "voice" say "Darn, you are gorgeous. You've done well for yourself" or "Ugh, I hate my body. I hate how my face looks"? Whatever the answer may be, that is your clear answer on your perception of yourself. If it is negative, do something about it! You are in control. Until you resolve that issue with yourself, you can't walk around demanding from others what you don't give to yourself. 

As you probably suspect, my inner "voice" use to be " I wish I didn't have my scars", "who will want me like this". Until one day, I literally yelled in the mirror "STFU, you fearful b***. You don't own me. I own you!!!" and the determined decision came right then and there to imprison and silence dark Indy. She was ruling my life; relationships, friendships, career - everything. In my early twenties I was questioning  and running away from a lot. Had hard time facing the consequences. Settling for whatever but wanting more. 

One way to accept yourself is to earn respect for yourself and give respect to others. Respect is very powerful and it's no surprise why often goes with love. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, respect can be defined as admiration for someone because of their qualities or achievements. It's harder to respect others if you don't respect yourself. How can you respect someone's hard work if you haven't experienced hardship of achieving something yourself. This does not mean that you'll need to follow someone else's footsteps instead challenge your own comfort zone.

Here's what I am saying: 

Find what you value the most in life, about people and what kind of values would you like to possess in the next 5-10 years? I believe respecting yourself and others should definitely be one of them. And then work on achieving that. Here's what can help you get there:

  • get in touch with who you really are
  • be honest with yourself and others
  • don't settle for less than you deserve 
  • forgive yourself for all mistakes; take at least one valuable lesson from your mistakes
  • forgive others that have hurt you and move on
  • surround yourself with positive people 
  • take good care of your body and work on your confidence 
  • exercise and inspire your mind 
  • speak positively about yourself and don't compare yourself to others 

If you already do everything above then take it to the next level and challenge yourself. Challenge yourself by getting out of your comfort zone; travel, create, feed your mind. My most recent challenge was revealing my body and my scars at the crowded swimming pool. I will share my experience in the next post. :)

Yours Truly, 

Burn Survivor