Ok, where do I begin. I just had a pretty rough conversation with an old colleague of mine, and through that conversation I found that I had said to her, “No one can make you like yourself.” Now I know I preach Self Love and Self Acceptance every day, but I would be lying if I didn’t take the time to admit what a struggle it is for me.
Let’s rewind back to yesterday for a second shall we?
Yesterday I started a short mentorship program. Learning from an incredibly talented and successful photographer. Our first assignment was to write a list of 5 things we like about ourselves. You know I didn’t…no couldn’t…do the assignment? It got to be my turn to talk and 2 things in I broke into a nasty, sweaty, ugly cry. Why couldn’t I name 5 things I like about myself? Not even 5. This is the real deal. This self love thing is not something you wake up with. It is work. It is hard fucking work. It is work I often fail at because of all of my self doubt. It is the work I live for.
“If you want to know what a person is afraid of losing, look at what they photograph.”
There is a saying that “If you want to know what a person is afraid of losing, look at what they photograph.” Well look at what I photograph… Women, powerful, beautiful, sexy women who are accepting themselves. I would say that statement is true. I struggle alot. I am not perfect. Far from it.
There is this believe system in some religions that true Nirvana is complete and utter self-awareness. If we reserve Nirvana for the God’s, how in the world can we expect ourselves to be fully enlightened, fully self-aware. I know I am not. I have alot of growing to do a lot of learning to do, a lot of accepting the parts of myself that I try so hard not to face when I look in the mirror.
I am not the know-it-all of self love. Screw that noise. Ladies, I am on this journey with you. With every shoot I do, I learn a little bit more about myself, about what I want to change about myself, about how I want to see myself when I look in the mirror or at pictures of myself. This isn’t me leading you on your journey to self-love, this is all of you leading me on mine.
Now let’s rewind a little further back to my trip to Florida. I forced my best friend, my soul-sister, the woman whom I named my daughter after, to assist me on my beach shoots. I knew she needed it. I knew she was in a “place” herself and that we needed each other. We needed the sunset, we needed the ocean, we needed the sunrise, we needed to be understood. We needed permission to cry, permission to laugh. We needed each other.
Sometimes you need to be given permission to accept yourself. I know right now, I really do, and I knew right then that Liz needed it. She needed permission to love herself. She needed to let me be her mirror, if only for 30 minutes at sunrise, to reflect back to her the woman I saw.
I tell her this all the time, but my best friend is the most amazing woman I have ever met. She is my strength, my pillar, the other half of my soul. AND SHE IS BEAUTIFUL.