By Brittney Charisse of peaceofmyheartandmind

About three months ago I realized that I was one of the best writers that I knew.  Although I had been writing for most of my life it took be about 20 years to realize what some knew at first read or listen.

Two months ago, I looked in the mirror and saw the beautiful black eyes that my aunt complimented me on.  I saw the dark complexion of skin that my father bragged about.  I saw the smile that was often the first feature picked out of a list of compliments that people freely gave me.  I saw the brightness in the smile that had often faded away, as a result of life’s circumstances…well just life.  I even saw the huge arms that I shamed myself for months prior and recognized that they weren’t that bad.  I paid attention specifically to my stomach that day, and instead of reciting my daily words of self-hate and asking myself how we got “this far gone,” I decided that it wasn’t so bad after all.  I looked at my blemished skin and remembered that most pictures of chocolate models on social media are airbrushed, and I loved my skin just that way that it was.  I held up my size twenty pants that used to be an eighteen, that used to be a sixteen, that used to be a thirteen and realized that I was here now.  I realized that I had to love it, even if it was my goal to change it.

And even last week, I looked at myself from the inside out and loved the way that I advocated for others.  I recognized that it was not ridiculous or irrational to love everyone, but it was the way that I WANTED to live.  I looked at the compassion I had for those who are misunderstood and realized that I was their gift to be at the least, PARTIALLY understood.  I looked at all of me…and loved me.  I realized that is the ONLY way to even partially recognize and receive love in return.  Regardless of how we feel about our “now,” you cannot be happy with the new unless you’ve embraced the old.  You’ll constantly look back and beat yourself up for being that person…when there should be a progression and transference of love for yourself from start to finish.  Want to be a “better” you…go for it! A skinnier you..I’m rooting for you! However, embrace yourself NOW…no matter what your goals are.  Growth and accomplishments will come, but you live with YOU and have to hear whatever your thoughts are towards yourself daily.  Make them positive ones.

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