Recently, I was traveling home after spending the weekend and enjoying time with my cousins. I was cruising along the highway with the radio blasting. One of my favorite artist, Mary J Blige, new song came on. I began to focus on the lyrics. “All the times that I hated myself. All the times that I wanted to be someone else. All the times that I should have been gentle with with me. All the times that I should’ve been careful with me. Why did I hate myself so intensely? Lord help me…I wake up every morning and tell myself good morning gorgeous.”
This song is a song full of great affirmations. Even before affirmations were cool and became an “it” thing, my Aunt Yogie had my cousins and I doing it. We loved the summer because we would be able to spend the night at her house. She allowed us to freely express ourselves. We would vocalize things that we liked or disliked about ourselves. She would have us take a look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we were beautiful. She continued and said, “Even though we might not like certain things about ourselves, we were made in God’s image. We were beautifully and wonderfully made.”
Back to the trip driving home….I began to think about how I used to hate a certain thing about my body and how it was/is my insecurity. I’ve never been insecure about my size. Even at my largest size, I still felt fly. I have a family history of diabetes, breast cancer, high blood pressure, and I suffer from hypothyroidism. The reason that I am staying focused on weight loss now is to prevent the potential future health complications in my body.
My thing, my insecurity, my weakness, my kryptonite is facial hair. Even though I have come a long way in self care and self love, every now and then, things/feelings sneak up on you. Sometimes, these old feelings makes me doubt myself and makes me feel insecure all over again. As I listened to the song, I said this needs to be my daily affirmation, and I should say this to myself each morning.
Insecurities can develop over time and for different reasons. Mine developed because my mustache became a running joke in junior high. Kids, in school, can be cruel. I’ve always been more of a hairier person and had facial hair. I remember being picked on at school. Other classmates would say in front of other classmates. “You have a mustache”. Other classmates would laugh at the “joke.” I would retaliate back with an insult to deflect the laughs. Deep inside, all I wanted to do was yell or cry. I never cried in front of anyone, but, occasionally, I would when I got home.
As I became an adult, it didn’t get any easier. Instead of classmates, it came from young children. The child might ask his/her why does she have a mustache. Most times, the parent would reprimand the child. I’d say it’s ok because I know children are innocent and inquisitive. They didn’t know. Even though I said it’s ok, I was hurting inside.
I didn’t do any type of self care growing up or as a young adult. It wasn’t until after my divorce that I began to do things for myself. I began to get massages, manicures, pedicures, and even laser treatments. The esthetician informed me that it can be hereditary. My fraternal grandmother had facial hair. It was definitely hereditary for me. As an African American, it will take more laser sessions in order to completely remove. https://www.glamour.com/story/laser-hair-removal-for-dark-skin/amp.
Doing laser treatments is a catch 22. You have to grow hair in order for the esthetician to be able to have enough to remove and treat. Laser treatment on the face is a painful procedure. Yes. I have tattoos, but laser treatment is a different type of pain. The face/lip have more sensitive nerve sensation. It is not fun having to do multiple sessions. I started using Nair or doing derma-facials to rid the facial hair in order to avoid the pain.
I realize that everything is a process. If I want it completely gone, I have to trust and endure the process. Thank You Lord for the reminder that I am made in Your image. Just as the song says, I am beautiful (even with my facial hair). Therefore the greatest Christmas gift of all is loving yourself. My goals is to always love Carman (mind, heart, body, and soul) because girl. You are gorgeous. 💛💛💛
The YouTube link above if you want to see me read it.