Tag Archives: Self-Discovery

How Can I Love Myself?

Dear JoyDiva

I am 23 years old, I have been in  a relationship with a man for 7 years and we broke up a over a year ago, 8 months ago I found this amazing man that I am with now; he makes me laugh and  I know we are going to go far but there is one thing that is hurting me.

When I was a teen I developed back acne and as I got older,  the scars remained…when my ex saw my back for the first time the  first thing he said was “Is it contagious?” and “What did you do to yourself?” as if it was my fault! He was the closest person to me and he made me feel like I had a disease. Ever since I have not been comfortable with my skin and I never show my back. I would like to be able to wear tank tops and dresses without having to wear a jacket on top, it’s hot! But the most thing I want is to be able to be happy naked around my current boyfriend.

Just a side note, I am chubby and that adds to my insecurities but he is a big man also so it is not the biggest issue but I still push his arms away from my tummy. He says he loves everything about me and he shows me a lot of love he always tries to make me love myself, he kisses my “thunder” thighs and my belly but I push him away. We have slept together and every time I refuse to take off my shirt, and if I do take it off the room must be pitch black because I don’t want him to see my skin.

I just want to be happy and not worry, I want to be able to sleep next to him and not panic over what he’s going to wake up to…my scarred back. I love him very very much and we have talked about engagement but I don’t know how I will manage to keep my body hidden for the rest of my life from the man I truly adore and just want to be free with.

How can I love myself JoyDiva, I have been crying every night and hiding those tears because I’m afraid if I do tell him he will ask to see my back…I just can’t do it.

Sincerely

Broken

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Dear Broken,

Hi, Honey. You’re not broken. You are a whole and complete person who is just experiencing herself as broken. The great news is that, over time, you CAN transform how you experience yourself.

So, you dated a guy (who was really just a grown-up boy) who blurted out his thoughts about your skin in ignorance because he didn’t get it, and likely was not mature enough to communicate in another way—not his most shining moment, I’m sure. :/

Here’s what I want you to notice, though: He said some things, and then because you’re human, you added meaning to it. And it’s the meaning you added that is causing your pain. You added meaning like “It’s my fault”…which I’m guessing led to “There’s something wrong with me,” “I’m ugly/unattractive/not sexy,” and “I’m unlovable.” And at some point you chose to believe those thoughts, which is what hurts so much—you can be certain that anytime you are having thoughts that hurt when you think them it is because they aren’t true.

Here’s the good news: Because it’s not what happened that hurts so much and rather it’s the meaning that YOU brought to it, you can actually do something about that. You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to letting those thoughts run the show or not.

You ask me how you can love yourself. Here’s how: By courageously taking action as someone who loves herself, step-by-step, choice-by-choice. You’re going to have to take deep breaths and face your fears. That looks like catching yourself when you push his arms away from your tummy and letting him caress you there while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you, letting him kiss your belly and thighs without pushing him away while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you. That looks like taking off your shirt WITH the lights on while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you. That looks like wearing tank tops when it’s hot out, and wearing whatever damn-well feels good whenever and however you want to, all the while breathing and being present to the fear…and any other emotions that arise in your body.

Loving oneself is not a magical, wave-the-fairy-wand, overnight process. Everyday, I discover more parts of myself that I’ve rejected and have the opportunity to embrace. Girl, I don’t love myself! And I’m becoming someone who does. Loving yourself means facing the fears that you won’t be safe, you won’t be in control and you will lose approval. It means practicing, every day, doing the opposite of what the bully inside of you is telling you to do.

I get that it is scary. You probably didn’t want me to say, “Go do all of the things you’re afraid to do.” AND you asked me how you can love yourself. How blessed are you?! I’m showing you the path.

Your homeplay: Pull out a journal or pieces of paper and a pen/pencil. I want you to answer this question and explore it in all areas of your life: What would I be doing/what actions would I be taking if I were a person who loves herself? (Explore how you would be acting regarding relationship stuff and body stuff, yes, and also look at career, free-time, friendships, family, money, etc.) And then, start practicing. Take those actions, one at a time. And remember to breathe, Love. You’ve got this.

It is through that continual process that you become someone who loves herself.

Other posts that I’ve written that will also be supportive for you:

“How can I love myself past all of my fat rolls?”

“I’m afraid to be naked in front of my boyfriend. What should I do”?

If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

Hugs to you and that sweet man in your life.

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2015 Melissa Simonson

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How Can I Love Myself Past All of My Fat Rolls?

Hello JoyDiva

   I am currently in a relationship and have been for 15 months. He has been away but soon he will be coming home and we will finally be able to become intimate with one another. I really cant wait until this happens but at the same time I am nervous because I am a bigger girl and the biggest girl he has ever been with and not only that but I have a problem with my bladder that causes it to leak. Maybe from my three children that I have but I have consulted a doctor and we are currently working on something for this but in the meantime I dont want him to come home and go down on me and just when I thought that I had freshened up really good he may still smell urine on me and say something. He does know about this problem but Im just not sure how to handle this. How can I love myself past all my fat rolls? Please help me.

Need Confidence

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Dear, Need Confidence,

Hi, Sweetheart. It takes tremendous courage to open yourself to love, to let yourself be seen…both on the inside and the outside. Being willing to put yourself and your heart all the way out their is a wonderful, beautiful thing. I want to honor you for your willingness to be vulnerable, even though your mind is terrified of the risk involved in sharing yourself so fully with another. As scary as it feels, sharing yourself so authentically is the path to true connection and intimacy.

Take a few deep breaths, right now, Love, and pull out a piece of paper or a journal, if you have one. I want you to read over what you wrote me and then I invite you to answer this question: What would a person who loves herself do? Really listen for the answer—imagine another woman who loves herself so utterly and has the same fat rolls and bladder leaks. What would she communicate to her partner? What would she say to herself? How would she operate in the bedroom? How would she operate in her everyday life? How would she operate in her relationship? How would she respond if her partner mentioned that she smelled like urine or that she was too fat to be sexy? Explore all of these questions fully. Write down your responses.

The only way to become someone who loves herself is to take the actions of someone who loves herself. This means facing some big fears head on. A big one here is that you are afraid of losing your boyfriend’s love and approval. Your ego has you convinced that you need it in order to be worth something, which is why you’re so focused on how to “handle” this situation, trying to be perfect and “get it right” to get the love. And deep down, if you listen to your soul’s wisdom, you’ll recognize that line of thinking is bullshit. As scary as it is to face, you do not need anyone’s love and approval. Your fear that he will reject you somehow is only a mirror for you to see how you are already rejecting yourself. You cannot control whether or not your boyfriend embraces you for all that you are. You CAN practice, bit by bit, embracing yourself for all that you are.

So, imagine your worst fear comes true: Your boyfriend rejects you. Now, again, answer this question: What would a person who loves herself do? How would you respond if you KNEW that you did not need his love and approval?

I get that your body isn’t functioning in all of the ways that you would like it to, AND I want to stress that there is nothing wrong with you, Beloved. Imagine speaking to yourself as someone who is deeply and unconditionally in love with you—what is it that you most need to hear, right now? Write it down. Speak it to yourself.

With every moment that you ask the question, “What would a person who loves herself do?” and listen and ACT on what you discover…you become a person who loves herself. This will not happen over night, and I promise, with actively committing to asking and acting on this question, choice by choice, it will happen.

Thank you for honoring me with your story. Notice how even now as you read this and  accept my invitations to look deeper, you are becoming a person who loves herself.

Always in your corner,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

P.S. If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

©2015 Melissa Simonson

Criticizing My Boyfriend and Feeling Confused…What Should I Do?

Hi JoyDiva,

My new boyfriend is so kind and sweet but I feel myself picking on him constantly and criticizing him constantly. I don’t like who I become. I have so much fear that it will end sometimes and then other times I fear that I will end up with him and he is the wrong man who will bore me and disappoint me. He is so devoted, tall, fairly handsome, successful, sensual, laid back, open minded.  I feel very confused.

Open Hearted in Canada

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Dear Open Hearted in Canada,

My advice to you is not going to be much different than what I offer the other lovely souls who have reached out to me through the years: It’s time to put your focus on that which excites you outside of your relationship.

Boredom, disappointment, anxiety, judgement, criticism—all of that can find a happy home within us when we are looking outside of ourselves to generate our happiness and feeling disconnected from our own purpose. What do YOU want to do with your life? How do YOU want to spend your time? What lights YOU up/fulfills you/gives you a sense of accomplishment? What is the gift that you want to offer to those around you?

No man can make you bored or disappointed, nor enlivened and fulfilled. If you’re worried about being bored and disappointed, it’s time to take a look at all of the actions you are avoiding taking on your own path. It can be all too easy to distract ourselves by over-focusing on our romantic relationships rather than facing what there is to face within ourselves and our own lives.

When we take the risk to pursue all that we love, we are pursued by all that we love. When you dive into your own self-care, when you cultivate personal goals and move toward them, when you take care of yourself body, mind and spirit and align with causes/activities that matter to you, you become irresistibly radiant with a joy you are generating from within, and opportunities, love resources, etc. flow to you with ease. When we are happy within our own skin and with the lives we are creating, our relationships become clear, and we don’t have energy to waste on nit-picking or over-analysis—about ourselves OR others.

Pursue that which nourishes you and makes you come alive and you will KNOW the place this relationship is meant to have in your life—and chances are good that you’ll either simply find yourself appreciating him a whole lot more or knowing with clarity that he’s not a right match. Either way, the solution you seek lies in pursuing YOURSELF and your own life, rather than focusing on your relationship for your answers.

Struggling to connect with what lights you up…or feeling stopped in taking action? I’m in your corner—don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a one-on-one Soul-Purpose Astrology Session. I would be honored to support you in bringing the focus lovingly back to you and that which will create fulfillment for you.

All my love!

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2014 Melissa Simonson

Who Am I and What Are Some Tools & Resources to Help Me on My Path of Discovery?

Dear JoyDiva,

I often find myself slightly uncomfortable when people ask me, “so, who are you?” or “what is it that drives you?”. I struggle to answer such questions, particularly when put on the spot. I can think of traits that describe me and what I value, and come up with things I enjoy doing, yet I haven’t learned how to answer the question of “who am I?”. First of all, what exactly does that even mean? How deep do I have to dig to discover who I really am and is that the same thing as my true self? Second, I am aware that we all change and grow during the span of our lives. When we grow and change, does that also change who we are or does it only alter the surface of our identity, such as how we view ourselves, others, and the world we occupy? Perhaps neither.

I am on a journey of finding out who I really am. I’ve felt stuck in that process for a long time and am looking for tools, input, guidance, etc. on how to find what I am seeking. I have a strong feeling that the answers are already inside of me, and that I just need help finding them.

Seeking self-discovery

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Dear Seeking self-discovery,

There is a lot of juicy stuff in what you are saying! First of all–YES! The answers are most certainly already inside of you, and you are far from alone in needing help to unveil them. There are a lot of us who go about our lives struggling to find who we are, and all we need is to ask someone to help us by holding up the mirror, so to speak. Our own minds can get us quite muddled, and sometimes we need the support of someone objective and intuitive to help us see what is true for us.

Without getting too salesy on you, :), everything you are sharing here leads me to believe that you are in a beautiful place to receive some coaching–we coaches are trained to ask you powerful questions to help you tap into your own truth, guide you on your path of self-discovery, and help you “un-stick” yourself while lovingly holding you accountable. I personally take that a step further in my work by looking at your birth chart, which is a unique “fingerprint” telling me about your hidden strengths, ways that you can get yourself stuck and the unique gifts that you are here to share with the world. I partner that with a powerful visualization/discovery process that gets us in touch with your essence–and what you need in order to feel fully alive and fulfilled. Feel free to email me or respond to this post for more info–I’d be happy to schedule a phone consult to explore that with you in more detail. You can also view the astrology coaching page and watch a short video on my website to learn more.

Some of your questions really require an actual dialogue between us because the answers are going to be quite personal for you. One thing that I can say clearly here is that the moment you were born, you started living out your purpose in this world–there is nothing that you need to do or be in order to live out that purpose other than who you already are, right now. Is there an aspect of us that endures no matter what is occurring in our lives and the world around us? I believe that there is–call it our consciousness, soul, spirit, source, essence. It is the part of us that knows what is true in each moment.

When it comes to fully knowing yourself and experiencing the joy that comes from tapping into your unique essence, one great place to start is to tune into your inner, “yes’s” and “no’s.” What is it that makes your heart sing? Makes you feel free and excited? Grateful to be alive? Conversely, what is it that makes you feel stuck, limited, and drained? The more that you feed those “yes’s,” those life-affirming experiences, you will find that you are living a fully expressed, and authentic life. “Who you are” is not a logical awareness, it is a matter of tuning into your feelings, your heart and that which makes you come alive.

Another way to tap into your essence is through meditation–this could be a stillness practice, walks in nature, dancing, singing, yoga–anything that quiets your mind and drops you into your body and sense of beingness. It is in the spaces between doing, when we create time to observe life and ourselves that we discover our connection to all that is and that which always endures. Creating a regular journaling practice is also a wonderful way to slow down and tune into your “truths” and discover all kinds of yummy things about yourself. (Daily journaling has been HUGELY supportive, enlightening and transformative for me on my path, and regularly helps me clarify the “yes” choices that I can make for myself along the way.)

When it comes to having the “right” answer for people when they ask who you are or what drives you–what is your heart telling you in those moments? It’s fully ok to be on a path of discovery and to not fully know those answers, and it’s fully ok to express that. The REAL you lives where your honesty lives. The more honest that you are about your thoughts and feelings, even your uncertainties, the more YOU you will feel, and the more love you will feel for yourself and be able to receive from others. Just remember that you are truly magnificent, whether you are fully feeling that at the moment or not. We all are.

Here are some books and teachers that I’ve enjoyed on my own path of self-discovery:

The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark, By Sera Beak

Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

Prosperity Pie by SARK

Loving What is by Byron Katie

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The teachings of Adyashanti

I wish you much love and many blessings on your journey! Feel free to use my contact form above to schedule a free consult or ask any more questions.

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson