I recently found this photo

Tara Buckel
January 22, 2024

I recently found this very grainy, ragged photo of me when I was 18 tucked away in a storage box.

 I know I'm not the only one to look back at old photos of myself and say things like

"Back then, I thought I was ugly...or fat...or old"

..but jeez, I was lovely!" If only we could talk to our younger self and say the same we say to our friends and our children

"Hey you! Get a grip, you are awesome"

Tara On the catwalk

I now look at this girl from a distance and see her very differently.  I looked confident (and very aloof! lol), slim, quite lovely.  My own reality back then was very different.  That aloof aura I have in the photo was actually me feeling overwhelmed with nerves and was my pretty standard look, even when alone walking down the street.  I had no idea, but that look of aloofness put me at a distance from people. They thought I was self confident and self contained. I felt invisible and overlooked. I believed all my friends were more beautiful, more interesting and more talented than me. I also thought I was alone in feeling so negatively about myself.  

I suppose what I am trying to say is that very few of us, if any, are truly filled with self confidence. Most people are faking it or winging it.  We get frustrated by our lack of perfection, but we all know perfection does not exist. It doesn't matter if our significant other, our friends and our connections on social media tell us how great we are.  Approval from others makes us feel good for a short while, but it doesn't increase our confidence because, if we don't believe it for ourselves, it means nothing.  

We make our own reality in life.  If WE believe we are happy or confident or worthy, then quite simply, we ARE happy, confident or worthy. And to feel good about ourselves we need to be  taking care of us as well as we take care of our loved ones.  Keeping healthy is not just about good food and exercise, it's also making the time and find the space to do the things that make you feel good about yourself.

Tara Buckel
Therapist since 1999. Specialising in TraumaTherapy and Pain Management
Main photograph credit:
Tara Buckel

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