Choosing to Love Myself | Rosemary Card
Tell us a little about yourself! Was there a time when you struggled with loving yourself? Why are you so passionate about this topic?
My name is Rosemary Card and I’ve been consciously working at loving myself since fourth grade. Sometimes it has been a nice little hobby that I think of a couple times week while other times it feels like one of those full-time jobs that is threatening, with a hot curling iron in hand, to take over my life.
There have been many times that I have struggled to love myself. As high school student: when I got my braces off and was sure I’d have more friends (boyfriends) with my new pearly whites. When I didn’t make the cheer squad or dance team. As a model: when I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t magically more confident now that I was in magazines and walking down runways. As a college student: when everyone around me seemed to be more talented and more sought after than I thought humanly possible.
I’m so passionate about this topic because, though it takes a lot of dedication and time, I think the ever elusive answer for how to love ourselves is inspiringly plain and simple.
What motivated you to change/how did you begin the journey to loving yourself?
I think the breaking point is a natural point all women reach in their lives, and I think it is a gift from God. For me, I simply had spent enough time and enough effort thinking about how I wanted to change myself, how I wished I was more this or more that, or how I thought I would be more happy if something was different, and I eventually just got really sick of it. It simply got old. I was bored of thinking of myself and that little bit, that tiny moment, way the key that turned and changed my entire life. I realized that I was unhappy because I was thinking about myself and only myself.
So my journey towards loving myself started with research. I read everything I could find from the gospel and the world about the problem with focusing on yourself. Both offered important plans of attack. The Gospel of Jesus Christ taught me to “be outward.” During the hardest times of Christ’s life, his immediate reaction was to turn outward and focus on others. The world taught me to focus on other parts of me than the way I looked. I needed to develop skills, talents, and abilities in an effort to find things that I could accomplish that would actually satisfy that need to feel important in a way that x-amount of Instagram ‘likes’ never would.
We all know that God’s love is what matters most. How do you take the love he has for you, truly accept it, and let His light shine through your countenance?
It may be cliche, but I’m a full believer in love languages and I think God is too. God gets me. And because he gets me, he loves me and communicates with me on my level. God knows the little thoughts and desires of my heart so I choose to see things like having my dream dog that adores me as a sign of God’s love. On a large scale, the people I love the most are the people I trust. And in turn, I feel God’s love in the greatest amount when I sense that he trusts me.
When God gives me a prompting, large or small, I see that as a sign that he trusts me that I’ll act on it.
For eighteen months I served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Arizona. My days were spent trying to help people build their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On my mission I became familiar with this quote from President Monson,
“The sweetest experience I know in life is to feel a prompting and act upon it and later find out that it was the fulfillment of someone’s prayer or someone’s need. And I always want the Lord to know that if He needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for Him.”
I’ve spiritually tattooed “on the Lord’s errand” on my heart. I always want God to know that he can count on his girl, Rosie to come through.
How do you filter out all the noise of media telling you to be a certain way?
I’ve taken a very strict and active approach to filter out the noise and it may sound extreme, but I think this is extremely important and it has worked for me. I don’t listen to the noise by simply not turning it on. I don’t look at fashion or celebrity magazines. I haven’t cracked a Vogue or People in almost ten years. I also subscribe to media outlets, Facebook groups, and Instagram accounts that point out the double standard or damaging messages that often go undetected, but do very real damage to us subconsciously. These resources have helped train my brain to notice and combat Satan’s otherwise sneaky and subtle attacks. I don’t read blogs or follow Instagram accounts that, at no fault of their own, make me feel ungrateful for myself or my life.
Are there things you do every day to promote a positive body image or love yourself more?
I read my scriptures first thing in the morning. Reading my scriptures first thing in the morning helps me to focus my mind on what really matters. As I’m doing my hair and makeup I listen to talks, both churchy talks and motivational talks. Sometimes I listen to podcasts on topics that I’m trying to learn more about. Nothing says ‘’good morning’ like a podcast on optimizing email marketing! This helps me to focus on things that matter more during the times when I feel most vulnerable to Satan’s punches to the gut. It also helps me feel like I’m truly bettering my spirit during the time the would normally just be about bettering my hair.
What has been the most powerful thing you’ve done to change your perspective to love yourself more?
When I catch my thoughts centering around myself, for better or for worse, I literally stop mid thought and (1) think of a concrete reason why I’m important and (2) I think of something I can do right that moment for someone else. For example, let’s say I’m getting ready to go out on a Friday night and I think “Dang I look good. I’m for sure gunna get that cute guy to notice me.” BOOM This is when I stop. I call out that thought for what it is—a potentially dangerous thought. Even though this is a “positive” thought, it is dangerous because it is telling my spirit that I am important because of the way I look and because other people, mainly a boy, will notice me. Clearly that is a lie. So I stop that lie in its tracks and tell my spirit a truth like “Rosie, you are important because you are a really hard worker” or “Rosie you are important because are going to try to make sure everyone at the party tonight feels included.” Then comes phase two. In this scenario I try to make a plan for how I’m going to help someone in some small way feel loved or accepted tonight.
How do you make sure you’re living a healthy lifestyle without beating yourself down in the process?
I think living a healthy lifestyle is all about perspective. Exercising, style, beauty care are all important things and can improve our quality of life… when done for the right reasons. Working out to get “bikini ready” literally makes me want to die. Working out to have a strong body so I can do hand things or accomplish goals makes me feel tough and good at stuff.
How do you teach your children/other men and women to love themselves?
Helping other people love themselves is so hard because they are all on their own road and traveling at their own paces. I’ve learned that showing someone a picture of the destination and telling them how great it is doesn’t magically transport them there. However, giving them a taste of its sweetness may motivate them to move in the right direction a little faster. I try to focus my compliments of and conversations with other women on things that matter in hopes that they’ll like what they felt and want to cultivate more of that feeling in their lives.
For example, I could tell my sister her outfit is really cute OR I could text her about how proud I am of how hard she has been working on a recent project and how it inspires me to work harder on my own projects. My hope is that simple comments or texts will motivate the women around me to focus their efforts on what matters more. It’s common to look down on or get frustrated with a young girl or woman who seems too focused on how she looks. Maybe she posts just too many selfies for your liking, but maybe that's the only way she know how to feel acceptance and accomplishment. We all need to feel those things, but not all of us know the best way to satisfy those needs. A woman that has been taught all her life that she is important because she is beautiful will continue to seek validation for her beauty. Lets help each other learn about other reasons why we are valuable and worthy. Let’s make sure the women around us know we love them because they’re funny, clever, smart, hard working, strong, driven, charitable, talented, and a million other things that are cooler and more worthwhile than perfect selfies.
We all have days when self confidence is low, what do you do to keep those emotions at bay?
In writing this I’m recognizing that I may talk to myself more than most people, but I’m okay with that because it’s what works for me. When I reach a low, I do my best to stop and say “Ok, This is a low. This is real. What I’m feeling are the very real effects of Satan’s attacks.” Then I force myself to turn outward. I think of Christ in the lowest points of His life. Points when I think we all would agree He would be totally justified in feeling bad for himself. What did he do? He turned outward. When he found out his cousin and dear friend had been beheaded (rough day) he sent angels to comfort John’s followers. When he had just suffered all the pains and heartache of this world, he healed the soldier's ear, a mere scratch in comparison to what he felt. He knows how to heal all wounds, including his, so why not follow His example?
How did you decide to make God’s love mean more to you than the love or approval of media and others?
Trial and error. I’ve never gotten so many Instagram likes that I’ve thought “Ahhh. Now I feel completely loved and at peace,” but I have felt that while serving at the temple, a place where I can go and help others in a way that they can’t help themselves. For two years I lived what the world said was the greatest thing a woman could accomplish. I worked full-time as a high-fashion international runway and print model. I traveled the traveled the world, wore the fanciest clothes, and brushed shoulders with celebs. I scout’s honor promise you that being in a magazine doesn't make you feel one bit better about yourself. Imagine my surprise when I thought being a model would solve all my self-love drama. If anything it made it worse! My entire world, how I would pay my rent and who I spent time with, was determined by how I looked.
I decided God’s love meant more than the world’s love because I felt it. God’s love filled my love cup, while the world’s love just seemed to make the hole needing to be filled deeper.
How do you make sure you aren’t comparing yourself to others?
I think there are lots of things we can to stop playing the comparison game.
1 | Recognize and actively remind yourself that someone’s success doesn’t demean your own.
2 | Recognize and actively remind yourself that someone’s “failure” doesn’t validate your accomplishment.
3 | Focus on remembering that everyone is working hard to do their best. Celebrate their victories and console them in their failures. Be happy for others when you see them win.
Is there a verse of scripture, book, or article that helps you to know your worth and live it?
The story of Esther is my fight song. Esther saved an entire people when the world said she was just a pretty face. Esther remained calm and collected and fasted and prayed for God’s will when the people around her were falling apart and freaking out. Esther thought hard and created a well thought out plan for how she would be a tool in God’s hands. Esther took HUGE risks because she had the faith that God was behind her. Esther is a boss.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Self love is an on-going process. I believe the journey towards self love can be a positive experience that helps us become who God want us to become and learn what God wants us to learn in this life. I believe we need to take one day at a time. Be willing to laugh at yourself and be willing to trust yourself. You are tough and good at stuff. This life is a time to prove it.
Rosemary Card is the founder of QNOOR.COM and a pioneer in the stay-at-home YSA (young single adult) lifestyle. She believes that young women are tough and good at stuff and wants to help them believe that too. Find Rosemary Card on Instagram @rosiecard and @qnoor_templedress.