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Sep 16, 2018

Struggling, enduring, and overcoming setbacks in life can be the key to growth. Hi, this is Jacquie Fazekas and welcome to Episode one-one of You are an Overcomer Podcast: Self-Love is the key

My struggles started early in my life.  I was born with asthma and was often hospitalized. As a child, I was not as active as the other kids and battled being overweight. I was curious and was constantly discontent and restless in school. Fitting in with my peers was a struggle. It was painful many days.  I would cry to my mother and ask why I didn’t fit in. She would simply say that my time would come, but it would be a while. 

With these struggles, my self-esteem suffered and I did not love myself. 

I tried to compensate for it by overachieving in everything I did. I was a model child and got the best grades. I would do all sorts of things that would make me stand out. 

I got sick in 7th grade which caused me to lose a lot of weight. My mother took me to “finishing school” and from there I started to model. In 8th grade I entered a beauty pageant, and I won! But these achievements were only bandages to cover the pain and suffering I felt daily. None of these things shifted my self-esteem or my love for myself. 

It was in 8th grade, I started praying to God for guidance on what he wanted from me and I constantly asked Him why I did not fit in. Funny, like with my mother, I never got a clear answer from Him, so I continued through life judging myself and judging others. 

Throughout my high school and college years, I would succeed academically. I portrayed to others that I was successful, but did not really feel it. 

For years, I endured the pain of feeling different. I would spend many nights praying to God to help me understand myself and to learn to love myself and what purpose He had for me. 

I thought, “He must have a purpose for me…” 

My life journey continued in the typical expected way – I graduated college, got a good job, got married, and had kids. All the success and love I felt from others and my accomplishments simply served to mask the self-sabotaging thoughts I was having.

 I still really did not love myself, but I had convinced myself that being successful would make me feel better. Unfortunately if not somewhat predictably, it did not. After 8 years of marriage and lots of fun, I was plateauing. 

Having career success, a good marriage, and 2 great boys did not stop my addiction to work. I call it “my addiction” because like a typical addict, I needed my fix of work and success in order to keep me from falling into depression.

 You see, through my addiction to work I was simply avoiding dealing with myself.

Can you start to see that when you do not truly love yourself, you will continuously encounter struggle? 

Losing sight of balance in life I quickly found myself spiraling out of control. 

As a workaholic, work consumed me and there was little time for my spouse, my kids, or myself. In an effort to continue to chase success, my marriage ended, and I blamed myself.   

Well, of course I blamed myself…my self-sabotaging thoughts were running wild in my head. 

So, in my early 30’s I found myself a single mother of 2 boys with a vibrant and successful career. However, I was lonely and had no support of family. I needed to learn how to be a mother and juggle my career at the same time.  Learning how to juggle and multi-task would be my next big challenges.  

This was one of the most painful parts of my life. 

No matter what success I had achieved at work or how well I was doing juggling being a single-mom, I still had not learned to love myself. No compliments or pleasure were helping me to love and grow myself. 

Have you been there? Do you dismiss compliments from others? Do you tell yourself you are not as good as people say you are? 

As I committed to really putting my boys front and center before my career, things shifted in my life. God gifted me with people in my life perhaps for a moment, maybe a few years, or even a lifetime to help me endure through the struggles of raising my boys alone.   

I remember saying to myself, "God gives you what you can handle." So, I persevered on.   

There were days I said, "What is God thinking! I need a break!" Despite the pain and struggle, I continued to trust in God every step, in order to endure and grow as a mother and a business executive. 

I learned to seek out God's support, guidance, and love, when I could not do it on my own. 

It was at one of the lowest and most painful parts of my life that I found the only one to turn to was God.   

It was during this stage He asked me to forgive and learn to love myself. 

Enduring the pain and learning to forgive and love myself was a process. 

I had to start getting real with myself, face my truth, endure the pain of my past, and think differently about myself and others.

 This was the start of my transformation.

 During this time, I learned 3 things:

  • That learning to love myself in all its brokenness was critical for me moving forward in my life.
  • That forgiveness of myself and others was necessary in order for personal growth.
  • To be patient with myself, that this was going to be a process and not an overnight change.  

 Remember: Self-love is the foundation for everything!