Hello, my name is Emily and I am one of many who share the skin condition ‘Congenital Melanocytic Nevus’.

It’s been a couple of years since I started my self-love journey after struggling with self-doubt and personal insecurity. What I can tell you is that it has been the most valuable journey yet.

I was raised to love myself. It’s all I’ve ever known and to this day, I truly think I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the love from my family and friends who remind me, I am just like anyone else. Though I’ve always been a confident person in the skin I’m in, there have been times where my insecurities and self-esteem have been challenged.

Growing up, I have always been consciously aware of my skin and in my eyes, it’s something that never goes unnoticed. I’ve realised that it stemmed from subconsciously, chasing after a standard of beauty. A standard I didn’t think I could achieve because my skin convinced me otherwise. I struggled to find satisfaction and gratitude for who I was and what I looked like. This mentality came with self-doubt and comparison, convincing myself that I wasn’t enough for me. Since that realisation, time has taught me this… The social comparison and judgement we put ourselves through doesn’t make this life any easier. Our value doesn’t lie in how we look.

After years of experiences and personal growth, I’ve come to feel like me in my skin. I actually saw it and felt it, more than just the actionable love for myself. I’ve been showing up in it. I’ve been showing up for me and it’s made me realise how thankful I am for my life with this condition.

I have met so many people who have been intrigued with my story, my journey and my treatments, wanting me to share how I feel today after going through life with this condition. These real conversations have become transformative moments for me, ones which shine a light on my ability to not only comfort these individuals but share the positive experiences I’ve had with my condition.

My advice has always been this, regardless of what you may be going through… Please do not teach yourself to fit into the expectations of others just to gain social acceptance. In time, you’ll realise that it never mattered what you looked like, but instead how you felt about yourself. Your appearance shouldn’t define who you are, nor should your worth be determined by what others think of you. The most important opinion you have is the one you have of yourself. Find contentment and fulfilment in this life you are creating for yourself by being intentional in the way you live. You are not defined by your circumstances.

Creating a better relationship with myself has allowed me to establish better relationships with others. It is because of these people that I want to act further. I want to connect with others and support them on their own self – love journey, whatever it may look like. I feel that I have been given a heart of compassion for anyone who suffers with self-doubt and insecurity. I get it, I’m here with you. Everyday hasn’t been easy for me, just like it isn’t easy for each of us, but this life is what you make of it.

I hope I can remind someone out there that you can be whoever you want to be regardless of what you look like.

– Emily