Meet Michelle. A high school student and an active member in her community, Michelle is our next generation. Discussing the difficulties of showing love and kindness to ourselves the same way we do to others, she reminds us that it’s OKAY to have problems, anxieties, fears and to make mistakes. Universally, each of us will face our own unique struggles, become our worst critic. But no matter who you are, you still deserve the same love and kindness. You are enough. Read on to hear Michelle’s truth:
UR Enough: Please introduce yourself to the UR Enough community.
Michelle: Hi, my name is Michelle! I’m currently a high school student going on to university soon. My favourite things are anime, manga, and memes, and more memes.
UR Enough: What is love to you and how do you show love?
Michelle: Love to me is a feeling of comaderie, warmth, and a very great appreciation for something. I show love through my words and actions such as hugs, kisses, actually saying “I love you”, smiles, paying/giving attention and listening to that person.
UR Enough: When we are young, we grow up to treat everyone with the same love and kindness. What do you think makes it so hard to love ourselves just the same way?
Michelle: I think one of the reasons why we find it hard to love ourselves is because we aren’t taught to love ourselves; we’re taught to treat others how we want to be treated but we’re never taught to treat ourselves in that same way. We’re taught to be critical of ourselves in order to do our best but in doing so, we start to over-criticize everything about ourselves, from the way we look, the way we act, to how well we can do anything and everything. We treat ourselves as the exception to everything, but in the most negative way possible.
UR Enough: We are finding that many craft their social media accounts to parade only the most flattering, impressive aspects of their lives. Exacerbated by this online illusion, by comparison we create the belief that we don’t measure up; we associate ‘likes’ on social media apps, such as instragram, as a way that we see love. From your own experience, how have these platforms impacted your own mental wellness?
Michelle: Social media for myself has been a great way for me to connect with others. However, it’s ironic how the sites where I have some anonymity are the sites where I’m not afraid to show my real, weird, (constantly screaming while meme-ing) self, but the sites where I do have to show others who I am in the real world, I tend to hide behind some superficiality where I only present my best, flattering, filtered self: the self that has no mental health problems or issues, and is always happy. And not being able to show that to people, my friends, has just spiraled me down further into misery of not being able to open up to others, and the ever more need to suppress and hide that misery and those problems of mine when I meet others in real life.
UR Enough: Social media is also reshaping our definition of community. What draws you to the UR Enough platform and its community?
Michelle: What draws me to UR Enough and its community is its message: “You’re Enough”. I’ve never been told that before and I think that speaks volumes to how little we value loving ourselves. I love that the UR Enough community gathers people of all spectrums who all have unique experiences and perspectives together to show that it’s OKAY to have problems, anxieties, fears, and to make mistakes because we are all human and that is what being human is about. Even as I was writing this I was constantly questioning myself, if it sounded good enough, if I should even be qualified to write this, but thinking of UR Enough and the message it stands for, as well as the community behind it, was a constant reminder to myself that yes, it is good enough and yes, I am good enough, and gave me the courage to continue writing this and keep it the way it is when I was so scared of letting people who knew me in real life see this and what I wrote.
UR Enough: How do you give back to your own community?
Michelle: I give back to the community (in my own way) by volunteering at events whenever I have some time. I hope when I get a job that I am able to do more to help those in need.
UR Enough: In five words, what does the messaging and community of UR Enough mean to you?
Michelle: To me, UR Enough, its message, and its community, means to Be Who You Are; You’re Enough.
Watch and listen to Michelle speak her truth in The #UREnough Campaign, and become inspired to cultivate your own self-love and speak your truth, too.