My Appreciation of the Woman I am

I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and was so blown away by what I saw. The words were out there in the room before I could stop them – ‘OMG I am so hot I don’t know why this mirror isn’t bursting into flames’. I suspect that this is the result of the growing appreciation of myself as the woman I am and the refusal to allow self-critical or self-bashing thoughts to invade my days. This has not always been the case.

Self-loathing and self-criticism

I have a history of an abusive childhood and in the past used to look into any mirror with dismay, anger and criticism, searching for faults and nodding my head when I saw them, seeking confirmation that I wasn’t what I should be.

What did I think I should be? Everything that wasn’t who I am.

I wanted: A different build, height, hair colour, less weight with no wrinkles, no saggy bits and no drooping bits.

Faking it

When I felt less as a woman and not up to scratch, I often made myself feel more than who I am. I’d go around in a false elevated fog thinking I was better than anyone else, holding myself above everyone else, with a superior attitude. This never worked as a long term strategy though. I always took myself to pieces once I got home, or even in the car going home. Or something would happen to prove me wrong, like someone else clearly looking better, slimmer, younger and lovelier than me. It seemed like I was in comparison to others all the time.

Time to change

Over the past ten years since I met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have changed how I feel about myself as a woman.

By learning to connect to my innermost myself, I began to feel what it is to be the woman I was born as. I learned what it was to make self-loving choices, and kept on making them.

For a time it seemed like I was taking two steps forward and four steps back, but I developed a pretty dogged commitment to myself to treat myself with tenderness.

The self-loathing stopped being such an attractive choice.

Without Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I would still be treating myself with criticism and self-loathing and fooling myself that anger and hardness were the way to live.

I’m not perfect with my choices by any means and I am consistently working on deepening what I feel. However, I am so very different with regards to the tender preciousness I hold myself in now.

I bear little resemblance to the woman I was ten years ago.

Ariana Triptych 2
Ariana Loving who she is today

I have healed many of the hurts that prompted me to self-loathe and be so hard and critical about myself. Now I hold myself in a deep regard and respect that allows me to grow as a woman, giving myself the grace to learn as I go through life.

Appreciating Me: Looking in the mirror 

When I look into a mirror now, what I see is the love and tender gorgeousness with which I treat myself and through which I connect to myself. And that is what everyone gets to see and feel – this incredible package that is me. I decline to see what is not me; instead I build and will keep on building a true loving me.

Appreciating the woman I am

My appreciation of the woman I am has played an important choice in my transformation from self-loathing to loving adoration. It is something that I have had to learn to do. I started small and worked up to the big stuff. My appreciation of small things included how I opened doors gently, how beautifully I turn down my bed at night and how gentle I am with myself in the shower each morning. With big things, a key point came for me when I had a bad hair cut and I realised that I was far more than my hair cut, far more than what I wore, my make up or the shoes I ‘strutted my stuff’ in.

Far more than any outer thing is this gorgeous love that walks with me wherever I go.

This was one ‘tipping point’ of realisation for me: when I looked at myself in the mirror and knew that no hair cut could change this extraordinary yet very ordinary love that I am.

Looking in the mirror this morning was another ‘tipping point’. I am coming up to 62 years of age and have never been sexier, tender or more loving.

Ariana Ray at 62
Ariana in all her Gorgeousness today.

I know that I am a living miracle: I love that I am choosing an even deeper love for myself for tomorrow, by my choices to deepen my appreciation of the woman I am, today.

Postscript

In deep appreciation for Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine practitioners, Simone Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon, Miranda Benhayon, Curtis Benhayon and Michael Benhayon for all their support on my way back to being my lighter self. 

By Ariana Ray, England

You may also enjoy:
Hanging the Washing and Appreciating the Woman I am by Kelly Zarb
Loving Daily Choices and Healing Hurts by Nicole Serafin
Appreciation In Relationships by Alison Carter

966 thoughts on “My Appreciation of the Woman I am

  1. The more I develop a appreciation for myself the more I feel connected to the all, I can feel how this development of oneself opens us up to the multidimensionality of one’s life

  2. I love myself! And I love my body, I love my hair, my face and the way I move. This is a massive statement for me and one I would never have dared utter until I started to appreciate myself.

  3. I so love reading these blogs on appreciation, there is nothing like anywhere else. Take a look at the world wide media for women it is all promoting self judgement, self critic, jealousy and compassion. No wonder there are so many unhappy women out there, much of what we find in womens magazines are pure poison.

  4. We can see our reflection in the mirror and feel and appreciate who we are or we can look to find fault with our outer appearance.

  5. I’ve read your article before Ariana and today it was hard to get past the photos of you, such vibrancy joy and love emanating from them. You must have had a lot of fun with that photo session. Appreciation of ourselves is great medicine.

  6. You are a beautiful inspiration for all women to truly appreciate themselves and the choices and love we can allow ourselves to be who we truly are and shine brightly in the world .

  7. And it is gorgeous and lovely to hang out with a woman or man who adore themselves and treat themselves with the love and respect they deserve. I feel inspired as there is always more love to deepen for self and others and it is always super gorgeous when we as women support one another knowing and seeing the potential for us to deepen the holding and purpose as the glorious woman that we are.

  8. Sexiness is not about age or looks it is about the quality you hold with your body. I love this sharing because it shows how we can ignite our sexiness at any stage of our lives – it is simply a case of us embracing ourselves.

  9. What I am finding is the unlimited depth to having appreciation for ourselves and how one day is not the same is the next, how the more I surrender to the Woman I am and allow myself to be communicated through my body in this way I am blown away to the exquisiteness that is available to connect to. I Love being a Woman.

  10. Just awesome to feel you loving you, not for anything that you do, not because of what you’re wearing or how you’ve done your hair, but because you’ve said no to self abusive thoughts. The most simple shifts in our day to day can be profoundly transformational, when we really commit and go for it.

  11. Appreciation is the loving medicine that supports us on our journey back to claiming ourselves as the gorgeous women we are and supports us to build up immunity to the germs of self critical thoughts that try and colonise us.

  12. Ariana you show to us all how appreciation and a growing love for yourself as a woman is key to shining the way you do. Your photos radiate your love and appreciation for who you are.

  13. Forgot all the scientific research and money that goes into developing anti ageing cream. Self Appreciation is by far the best beauty product.

  14. OMG I know Self-loathing and self-criticism really really well it became a friend – now I am challenging that relationship and instead re-imprinting with the knowing that I am gorgeous, beautiful and divine.

    1. Thank you Willem, without the inspiration of Serge Benhayon and Natalie Benhayon the situation would be very different, I’d be back in the misery I was living when I met them. I thank God for both Natalie and Serge Benhayon every single day.

  15. Thank you Ariana, this is a “stop you in your tracks and sit up and take notice” story! It’s such a state of normal for men, women and children to be hard with themselves, to not feel enough, and to have no idea who they are in terms of their many qualities – let alone appreciate themselves. Your story is very inspiring because of how practical it is, self love is not a mental concept, it’s in the various ways we can care for ourselves each day and build a loving relationship with who we are.

    1. Great comment Melinda – but what a game we play, that being hard on ourselves. It’s a great one to put a stop to for it’s a fairly big hole we dig for ourselves to be in, in the process of not loving our selves or taking our body for granted. Building the loving relationship is returning to who we naturally are.

    2. Love this point about the small things.. the moment to moment choices and movements that make up the quality of our days and our lives.

  16. We can choose to forever deepen our love, appreciation is an important part of this process, ‘I know that I am a living miracle: I love that I am choosing an even deeper love for myself for tomorrow, by my choices to deepen my appreciation of the woman I am, today.’

  17. It’s great question to ask ourselves. When we look in the mirror, who do we think we should be – everything but ourselves? What I have noticed is that the very qualities that make us unique and will add most to the world, are the ones we feel most uncomfortable about and try to hide. There is such an ease available to us when. we accept everything we are and let go of who we have been told we are or should be.

  18. I had never realised I had so much delicacy within me, I used to drive and push so hard, i couldn’t feel anything deep inside my body. Fast forward a few years, understanding the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I now know we can feel love in every little movement we do when we observe them.

  19. To make self loving choices is one thing, but to keep on making them is another. If I make self loving choices, feel great, then go back to my old ways almost thinking ‘that’ll do’ or ‘that’s enough’, then I drop back down again. Learning how to look after ourselves is not a process that ever ends, but a moment to moment thing, always and forever. When I really embrace it, it can never be boring, because the more we take care of ourselves, the more we’re aware of, the more we can read and observe what’s going on around us, and the more open and expansive life – and we – start to feel.

    1. This is a great learning Bryony, you have cracked the understanding of why we self love, always taking it deeper. It is ‘a process that never ends’

  20. I love your inspirational sharing here Ariana and that it is possible to change these habits of a lifetime. There are no quick fixes as you say and it requires commitment and dedication to yourself but it is very possible to make enormous changes in how we live and view ourselves and therefore the world.

  21. Appreciating ourselves and our qualities, and keep making self loving choices does make a big difference, ‘I learned what it was to make self-loving choices, and kept on making them.’

  22. I had tears after reading this line, “Far more than any outer thing is this gorgeous love that walks with me wherever I go.”, because I too now know that, and it is a moment to appreciate how far I have come from the self-loathing and criticism I used to through at myself. When we are self-bashing ourselves no wonder people are repelled by that energy (I’m just realising this now, which then creates more self-bashing), yet when you know how amazing you are and walk that, everyone around you feels it and are either magnetically pulled to you or hold back through resistance but not repelled. Love knows love.

    1. This is very wise Aimee, self-bashing is so familiar for most people, so to walk another way of being with loving tenderness and understanding shines out a difference and makes a difference, and as you say – ‘love knows love.’

  23. “Far more than any outer thing is this gorgeous love that walks with me wherever I go.” Beautiful Ariana. When we love – and walk and move – ourselves we can be inspiring to others – as you have shown.

    1. I love what you say here Sue q ‘When we love – and walk and move – ourselves we can be inspiring to others’. So we each have a role to play that is very needed.

    1. It never ceases to amaze me that we all can reflect the light we live to everyone we meet. From the small and seemingly insignificant meetings to whet we consider to be the ‘big’ moments, they are all equally important moments of reflecting light.

  24. It is so great when we have these tipping points in life – crossroad moments when we suddenly realise that what we have been led to believe or lived by is not it and then there opens up this expanse of what is really possible.

    1. ‘There opens up this expanse of what is really possible.’ And indeed it does, the world becomes a more spacious place.

    2. Very true andrewmooney26 and when we do have a crossroad moment or ‘pull up’ it is not an excuse to bring ourselves down in any way, shape or form because of our lived way but a wonderful opportunity to deeply appreciate, for we have been graced with an offering to change our ways.

  25. The small details of life matter, they can transform or experiences of life and the quality of it when we begin to observe them, explore them and change those details.

    1. I so agree Samantha, it’s the small details that change our lives, and they certainly have changed mine.

      1. Something I love about this, is the humbleness that it shows itself in the details, who would have considered that you begin to be aware of how you place your feet, what you eat, move your arms or brush your teeth and whoosh you can begin to feel more confident, caring and present…the experience of grandness that comes from these seemingly small adaptions are a joy to behold. Simplicity is key here. We often feel overwhelmed by the task at hand and focus on the big gestures to make changes, but the true empowerment and blossoming of our potential comes in the simple, details of life and being willing to observe them and adapt as required, walking with what needs to heal while appreciating the steps we have already walked back to being in our potential. Thank you for sharing Ariana.

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