19 November 2021

A Piece of my Heart

Oscar Wilde wrote, “To love oneself, is the beginning of a life-long romance.” It can be very hard to like oneself and have a positive relationship with yourself, believe me, I would know. I’ve spent most of my life struggling to accept who I am.

My time in high school was not fun. Sure, there were times when I laughed and I do have some fond memories, but more often than not, I look back and think of all the things I didn’t do and that makes me sad. I let my weight and the opinions of others influence the things I felt I could and could not do.

Working at Sacred Heart gives me the opportunity to physically be back in high school without actually being back in high school and it gives me the chance to teach and guide students on how to be kind, how to empower ourselves and one another, and how to be decent human beings.

We are our own worst critics and we need to recognize that the things we say to ourselves and others have meaning. Words are powerful and I believe that we as a society have come a long way. Fat shaming and pressures to be thin were incredibly prevalent during my teen years. Now, body acceptance, positivity, and neutrality are terms we hear quite often. 

Today, going online makes me feel sad as I’m bombarded with so many images that make me feel like I am not enough. Instagram reminds me of waiting in line at the grocery store where beautiful models from the covers of Seventeen, Glamour, and Vogue would stare back at me. 

Social media provides us with a glimpse into the lives of others, but the problem is that we only see what the person posting wants us to see. Photos posted of our best lives, the food we’ve taken the time to prepare, and the outfits and makeup we’ve carefully chosen litter our feeds.  

I feel fortunate that I didn’t grow up with social media and didn’t have to get approval or validation by posting pics of myself online. Instead, my own worst enemy was the reflection staring back at me.

Everyday I wake up and I think, how can I build someone up and let them know that they matter, and are enough just the way they are? Warren Perry, the Aquatics Director and Head Coach at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City, writes that we have to help students understand that their identity is not solely based on the body and we have to help girls feel comfortable in their own skin.

We know that adolescents look at others when judging themselves and that they often compare. We need to encourage our students to be kind to both themselves and others and to be less critical. 

If we can say these messages over and over again until they sink in and resonate, just maybe our students can have a chance at being less critical and judgemental of both themselves and others. 

My objectives are to help female students understand that we need to challenge the way we think about ourselves and others. We need to stop comparing and judging because it isn’t healthy and it causes more harm than good. Instead of being negative, we need to create positivity and be more accepting and open minded. 

We can all be better together!

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Erika signature

Director of Student Services
[email protected]