When I entered my teenage years, my face broke out in acne. At first everyone told me that this was normal, that it happens to all teenagers. It was just my hormones, and in time it would pass.
As I approached my 40th birthday, I was still suffering from regular acne break outs.
I tried all the lotions and potions out there and they would help for a while but then the acne would re-emerge, rearing its ugly head again. I went on the pill, I took parmacutecal medication, I tried natural medication and once again they all worked for a while, and then it would re-emerge.
To say I was frustrated was an understatement.
I felt trapped in this never ending cycle and it began to feel as if nothing would ever fix this problem. I even tried various affirmations through the years, but those never seemed to create the lasting change that I was looking for.
In my search to uncover what was causing the acne to continually re-emerge, I began considering what role self-talk had in it all. We are our own worst critics. We are the harshest we will ever be on ourselves. What purpose does self-judgment and criticism serve? Does it help us in moving forward, in bettering ourselves, or does it hold us back?
Self-judgement and criticism was holding me back, it was keeping me trapped.
I realised that I had been ceaselessly judging and criticising myself. I was my own worst enemy. I said things to myself that I would never allow any other being to say to me. The energy of this judgment and criticism was toxic to me. It was so toxic that my skin was screaming out to me – please stop, you are destroying me! Yet instead of listening, I continued beating myself up. I was caught in this never ending cycle of criticism.
Then, in 2013 I finally found my healing journey.
I discovered Mirror work through Louise Hay, and with this my transformation began. The acne that had been plaguing me for over 20 years began to disappear. My skin healed and for the first time in my life I looked at my skin and saw beauty.
The premise for Mirror work is self-love. When I first heard about this work, I remember thinking – of course I love myself, yet when I began working with the simple exercise it became clear to me that I did not.
Self-love was the start of my healing journey.
I had no idea that loving myself would feel so difficult and awkward. I had no idea that I would find loving me so challenging. I had reached a place in my life though, where I felt that I had exhausted every other option, and so was willing to stick with it, no matter how difficult it felt to do. Each morning I would wake up. Before brushing my hair or washing my face, I would look at myself in the mirror. I would stare deeply into my eyes, into my soul and I would say to myself, without looking away:
I love you Lynda, I really, really love you.
At first I could feel myself squirming, trying desperately to escape. I couldn’t even hold my own gaze. I wanted to look away, I wanted to give up. I felt as if I was lying to myself. I didn’t feel authentic at all. I stuck with it anyway. After all, out of all the relationships I would ever have in this life time, the relationship with myself was the most important, and longest relationship I would have. So, surely it was worth working towards building an amazing self-love relationship. Ultimately my aim would be to best friends with myself, to get to a place where I could absolutely love my own company and find my way to a place where I could love all of who I am.
While extremely difficult at first, I continued to look deep into my eyes and each time I passed a mirror, I would say to myself: “I love you Lynda, I really, really love you”.
It felt really awkward, a bit fake and somehow wrong at first, but as I continued with the practice, the words I was telling myself began to feel more and more real, more and more true, instead of looking in the mirror and seeing all my imperfections and faults, I began to see an amazing and wonderful person looking back at me. It lifted my spirits, it brought a smile to my face and overall I felt more love and joy in my days, it was as if this simple process was releasing 1000’s of endorphins into my system, making me feel happy, loved and motivated.
I began going through the most amazing transformation, and the best by product of all of this was that my acne disappeared.
My skin began healing and started to look amazing. It was as if one day, I looked into the mirror and all my acne was gone. About 2 weeks later my partner was sitting next to me on the couch when he took my face in his hands and lovingly looked all over my face and said to me: “Have you noticed how beautiful and clear your skin is, it looks amazing”. I just beamed from ear to ear. It really made my heart smile.
I had noticed and for the first time in my life, I knew to the depths of my core that this time my acne was gone for good.
I had finally managed to break through something that had been holding me back for 20 years, and all it took was for me to love myself. I had totally underestimated the power of self-love, but now that I know it’s delicious secrets I am sure to continue loving me for me, and being the best friend I can be to myself. Watching with loving admiration as I grow and flourish, spreading love to all around me as I go.
To this day, each time I pass a mirror I look deeply at myself and say things like: “Lynda, I love you, I really, really love you. Lynda you are an amazing, wonderful and beautiful woman. I truly love and appreciate all of who you are. You are so funny, you make me laugh every day, and we are the best of friends.”
I totally underestimated the power of self-love to transform my life.
I will be forever grateful to Louise Hay and for the mirror, that helped me to truly see me.
I see you…