Most of us are running around on empty cylinders with so much self-hatred while professing love for others. If your cup is not full and running over with love, how can you realistically share with others? How can you expect others to give you love when you don’t have it yourself? Self-loathing is such a destructive force.

Sad to say, but I fostered so much negativity, unworthiness, insecurities, and lack of self-esteem due to self-hatred. I felt that if I lost weight to get the attention of men who claimed to love me, it would turn into love for me. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit my past self-hatred.

When I decided to start this website, I wanted my blog postings to be open and transparent; a place where people can read my past experiences and learn from them.

The first steps in this journey were to examine my life, accept myself as I am and embrace the thought that I am enough. I recognized that I had to give up the imposter that was depriving me of self-love and replace her with the person I was truly meant to be someday. I am no longer afraid to be judged or vulnerable.

I was tired of faking it until I made it. I was tired of pretending how awesome I would be as a girlfriend or wife. In return, I would be blessed with a husband, perfect body, and incredible life. I was chasing a hopeless reality.

The moment I started loving myself the same way I loved other people, a lightbulb went off in my head. I am no longer looking for love in the wrong places, like being in toxic relationships or dealing with people who can’t even love their own being.

I had to be careful who I allowed to have access to my emotional welfare. I needed to review some of the negative affirmations in my head and replace them with self-acceptance. This acceptance came years of mistreating myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Instead of internal self-love, my search for self-love came in the shape of beauty and perfection, which later turned into an obsession with my image. I blamed this obsession on Social Media, where everyone seemed perfect and happy.

I wanted that perfection and happiness for me, but I didn’t have access to expensive cosmetic professionals like celebrities used for augmentations; my perfection would come from the black market in basements. I was willing to put my life at risk in my quest for self-love.

The desire to achieve perfection and self-love began with teeth bleaching in a basement. Within no time, I was spending thousands of dollars on Cool Sculpting, a non-surgical fat-reduction treatment.

I tried to reshape almost my entire body, like my upper and lower stomach, buttocks, flanks, lower back, inner and outer thighs, knees, and arms. These treatments were not performed by a certified professional, so I ended up with massive bruises and pain after each visit. Some areas like my stomach and flanks had me sitting up at night to sleep since I wasn’t able to lie down in bed.

I also had Micro-needling performed, a procedure to generate new collagen for smoother, firmer skin. If that wasn’t enough, I received collagen shots in my face, again by someone who was not a certified professional. Due to the uneven distribution of the collagen, my left cheek was bigger than my right cheek.

I then went on to have BB Glow, a semi-permanent skin treatment. The facial involves micro-needling with pigmented vitamin foundation into your skin. Each treatment increases the density of the skin’s pigment giving you a glowing, even skin tone.

“…my perfection would come from the black market in basements. I was willing to put my life at risk in my quest for self-love.”

The quest for self-love and perfection led to some dark basement experiments but the painful reality was that I was so busy loving everyone else that I forgot to love myself. Trying to chase beauty can be painful, but self-hatred is more painful.

I eventually had to go deep within myself and reconnect to the source of who I am. I had to be grateful and show empathy to myself; loving me doesn’t have to be selfish or arrogant. Self-love is realizing your worth and standing up for it.

In the end, none of the treatments worked. I was able to sculpt my body through diet and exercise. I am finally who I have been looking for through this process, imperfect and happy. Self-love starts and ends with you.