This morning when I logged onto Facebook, a memory appeared at the top of my timeline.

You know the ones…when Facebook reminds you of something you shared x amount of years ago.

This particular photo was one of me my freshman year of college. I’m standing alongside a group of women who I so badly wanted to be my friends at the time.

The thing that struck me about the photo wasn’t the specific memory or the event I was participating in. It wasn’t the girls, or the organization I was part of.

I instead looked at the photo, and I see me – smiling at the camera – but underneath that smile was an incredibly uncomfortable girl. I can see the pain, the loneliness, the discomfort in my eyes, my face, and my posture. I can see someone so badly wanting to be part of a “group” and not understanding why I didn’t feel happy, when everyone else around me seemed to fit right in.

I can see a girl who was so uncomfortable in her body and herSELF, that she would do just about anything to lose weight, look different, appear thinner, BE different, be like everyone else.

I can remember those feelings like they were yesterday. The feeling of not wanting to be me. The feeling of wanting to be like the other girls in my school.

The feeling of never being good enough. For myself. Or for anyone else.

As I type these words, the feeling shows up in my body. Tightening in my chest. Welling in the pit of my stomach.

I want to hug the younger me.

Through years of working on myself, of journaling, talking to other women, digging deeper into my heart and my pain, I have learned that you can deeply, truly fall in love with yourself. And it’s a feeling that I want every woman to experience.

I would love to hear from you — have you seen a photo that has brought up such vivid memories of pain, loneliness, worthiness? Comment below or contact me here.