A Lesson in Self-Love, Self-Respect, and Self-Worth

This summer I have been focusing a lot on self-love, self-respect, and self-worth. It's not been an easy summer, that much I can tell you for sure. Work like this can throw up some pretty nasty and unattractive realisations.

And it can bring about some major changes... which, unbeknown to me when I first started out on this journey, have seriously rocked my world.

But before I talk about the changes that are around the corner, let me go back to when this all began and what triggered my journey to discover self-love, self-respect, and self-worth.

Back in September 2016 the world around me was slowly but surely starting to crumble and I was making no attempt to stop it.

I was beginning to fall ill. I have a dis-ease called Crohn's / Colitis (the docs can't decide which one to label me with) which I contracted in early 2006. Basically it means you have sensitive intestines (my chosen label), your body fights its own immune system and, not to put too fine a point on it, when you need to go to the toilet, you have seconds to get there. Anyway, after much trial and error, the specialists finally found a combination of drugs that kept my illness under control most of the time.

And I stayed on those drugs until the summer of 2014 when I stopped one of them and then in summer of 2015 when I stopped another.

But a couple of weeks after stopping the second drug, I kind of suspected that I was no longer 100%. However, being someone who hates to pump drugs into my body, I kept my suspicions to myself.

Roll forward to October 2016. I could still be active, go outside, go grocery shopping... everything that we take for granted in everyday life. But by late November everyday life as I knew it, was quickly grinding to a halt.

Before long I struggled to leave the house. I found it emotionally and mentally difficult to go out walks with my husband - indeed the last walk we had together was on my birthday at the beginning of November.

When we went grocery shopping I'd sit in the car and calmly listen to music if we were visiting a supermarket that had no customer toilet. If I went into such a supermarket I'd have a panic and feel I'd need the toilet... Crohn's / Colitis is a very psychological disease.

By Christmas of that year I was confined to the house. I was in a ton of pain. My colon was constantly cramping. I couldn't sit like a normal person because of external pain so had to lie on my side on the sofa. I was exhausted and in terrible pain from constantly running to the toilet - we're talking 20 - 30 times a day.

We had to cancel our Christmas visit to my in-laws as I physically could not do it.

But did I do anything about this?


I was so consumed with the idea of staying drug-free that I shut off the cries of help from my body.

By March 2017 enough was enough and my husband persuaded me to make an appointment with a consultant. Shortly after that appointment, the consultant arranged for me to have a ton of blood work done, two MRI scans, an endoscopy and a colonoscopy.

What he discovered wasn't good and I was admitted into hospital for a week. Basically I was malnourished, my blood inflammation readings were off the chart, my blood pressure was plummeting but my pulse soaring, and I was low in potassium, Vit D, Vit B12... you name it. My body was literally fighting to survive and getting close to giving up.

Jump forward to today. My consultant has been amazing. He's got me on the long road to recovery and, although I still have panics and still can't go into supermarkets with no toilets, I am starting to enjoy life again.

So why tell you this?

Is it a cry for support and sympathy?

Not at all.

I'm telling you this because, when I look back, this experience was necessary in my life. The reason I went through this was to have my eyes opened and to realise just how little self-love, self-respect, and self-worth I truly had for myself.

I mean who in their right mind let's their body begin to decay and give up when they have access to medical experts who can help? What kind of person has so little respect for themselves and their body that they allow this to happen? There's no way to sugarcoat it..... me - I had so little self-love, self-respect and self-worth that I thought it was acceptable to behave like this and treat my body in this way.

Roll on to the present day.

This summer I was re-introduced to a course I had bought last October, but which I did not have the energy, focus or enthusiasm to follow at that time. And I now know that that was good thing because at that time I wouldn't have benefited from the course like I have this summer.

The course is one of personal development where you investigate the stories you made up as a result of experiences in your life. It's about clearing blocks that you have and self-sabotaging habits you've created. It is deep and revealing work which is often difficult to swallow. But when you do break through one small thing at a time, the insights and revelations you gain are amazing.

For me, one of those revelations has been the lack of love, respect, and worth I have created in every aspect of my self.

When you waken up to revelations like this you know that things need to change. You know you need to begin to love and respect yourself, and see yourself as worthy to be a part of this world and make your mark. So I am now consciously making significant and important changes in my life.

No longer am I beating myself up for having to take drugs to help my illness. No longer am I angry that I have this illness (I have no right to be - it's taught me so many valuable lessons, not just in the last 12 months). No longer am I ashamed of myself for not being an un-flawed human being. Rather, I am now learning the art of self-appreciation which I believe will lead onto self-love. I am getting better and better each day, at showing myself self-respect. And I am putting in place steps to create self-worth.

Being a business owner, my business is synonymous with me. So, naturally if I have been coming from a place which lacked love, respect and worth for myself, so too have I shown a lack of love, respect and worth towards my business.

And deep down, I've known this for a few years.

When I started Simply Skin I felt lost because I had no role models who ran their business and whom I could look up to and seek advice from. I had also just invested a lot of money into a new skill and was very much doubting my abilities. My prices reflected that.

After a couple of years of experience, surrounding myself with fellow-female entrepreneurs, and working to create beautiful products I could be proud of, I raised my prices. But, still, my self-confidence was pretty close to the ground. So I couldn't bring myself to raise my prices to the level they should have been.

So I looked to other High Street brands and created prices similar to theirs. But those other businesses were large established brands with products made in factories. Yes, a number of them were using natural ingredients but few of them were using high quality organic ingredients. So, again, I was dis-respecting myself, my business, and my products.

After a summer of internal work and self-appreciation and learning, I have come to a crossroads. Do I show my business and products the same self-love, self-respect, and self-worth I know I need to show myself? The easy thing to do would be to ignore this and keep everything as is; not rock the boat. But this is the dishonest thing to do. And I pride myself in being an honest person.

So I have unapologetically decided to adjust my prices to reflect my products' true worth.

My new prices will reflect the love I put into each batch of products I create, they will reflect the high quality of ingredients I source, and they will reflect the luxury you get from receiving a product that is uniquely handcrafted.