This is an article I have been wanting to write for the past 6 months.
I think I am mostly writing it for myself! To help me mourn the years of my life that acne made challenging, and to celebrate the blossoming new me.
I hope you’ll get something out of it! Please enlighten me with your knowledge and experience in the comments below the article 🙂
Back in my bad acne days, and even when I was religiously doing Tracy’s Academy, I was utterly convinced that Tracy was wrong about one thing: there was no way that my emotions could affect my acne.
In other words, there was no tangible proof whatsoever that the shame (of having to let people see me like this) I constantly felt could somehow increase the number of cysts on my face.
You see, I knew that if I gave in to that yummy-looking chocolate fudge cake at the coffee shop, I would definitely break out a couple hours later.
I saw this very cause-to-effect relationship between cake eating and new breakouts on my face.
That’s it! I didn’t see any link between my anxiety and more pimples – and therefore, there was none.
And so acne strictly had to do with my physical body: what I ate, what I put on my face, how well and long I slept at night, etc.
I realize now that I just wanted to take simple, practical steps to heal my acne: take that specific supplement at that time of the day, stop buying this at the supermarket, get this from the organic shop, book a consultation with that naturopath, etc.
And self-love exercises didn’t seem practical at all!
So, I obviously didn’t get any results when I did do Tracy’s exercises for stress management and emotional health 🙂 Because I never thought they would be efficient, and I never did them wholeheartedly.
More than that, I didn’t think it was possible for me to love myself. Not then, not with acne.
Self-love and self-care would have to wait until I had healed my skin.
The root cause of my suffering was acne. Therefore, I needed to get rid of acne in order to be happy again.
Can you relate to this?
Acne = Rollercoaster for the Body and the Mind (yay!)
Yup, acne is a dang rollercoaster, both for the body and the mind.
Just for fun, I made a non-exhaustive list of the things that went through my mind and heart during my bad acne days.
At times, often, sometimes, all the bloody time, I:
- Felt that my body was failing me;
- Felt frustrated that I still wasn’t clear, even after all the work (and the money) I had already put in;
- Worried about going to the shop without makeup;
- Was terrified of going out of the house at all;
- Felt stuck in my own head;
- Hated all mirrors, all windows, all cameras, and generally speaking, all things where I could see my reflection on.
- Felt guilty that I had let my skin get so bad;
- Worried that I was spending way too much money on makeup, supplements, and acne healing programs;
- Stressed about post-acne breakouts;
- Felt constantly afraid of new breakouts, especially in the morning;
- Worried about my skin, that it wouldn’t heal before my boyfriend came to visit, before the holidays, before my wedding day… That in fact, it would never, ever heal.
And so on.
Often, I felt like a giant wave of devastating thoughts and emotions was flooding through me.
And there was nothing I could do about it.
Honestly, what could I have done?
Why was I so Afraid to Deal with my Emotions?
Yes! It was fear that kept me from dealing with the roller coaster that was my emotions and thoughts.
Friend, what makes having acne so stressful?
For me, it was the fact that I was trying hard to get away from what I saw in the mirror, and how I truly felt towards my body.
I recently gave Reiki to a lovely lady who often suffers from migraines. Together, we realized that she actually spends most of her time trying to ignore her migraines, and doing her best to go on with her day as if nothing is happening.
But oh! The sense of peace she felt when she located her migraine during the session. She accepted its presence, acknowledged that her body was trying to tell her something that she couldn’t yet understand… And let it go.
It’s the same with acne. We just want it to stop. Whatever it takes or costs, it needs to go away, right now.
My question is: what if we came to fully accept what we see, feel, and think? Just for now?
Would that make a difference, if we acknowledged the presence of our stress and self-hatred, and let it be?
Would it have changed anything for me?
Can it change anything for you?
Are we strong enough to do that?
Yes, we are!
Holistic acne healing often requires for us to dig deep into our subconscious to uncover what is keeping us unhealthy and unhappy.
For instance, I used to feel threatened by beautiful, radiant, self-confident women. I wanted to, but never felt like I could, become one of them.
It became worse when I developed cystic acne – it was sort of a manifestation of my ‘I’m not pretty, and never will be’ belief: I got to hide behind my acne and layers of makeup.
A true healing meant that I needed to change my beliefs (I radiate beauty and joy) and challenge myself to show my true self.
If you’re feeling stuck in your journey, what is the one thing that is keeping you from having clear, glowing skin?
So, what can we do to assist our emotional healing?
As a mentor in the Naturally Clear Skin Academy, I often advise fellow acne-warriors to see their beauty beyond their spots and scars.
Coz it’s there, baby!
OK. I want to try an experiment with you guys. A friend of mine told me recently that I should embrace “limitless infinity”. In other words, the beliefs I hold about my skin, my body, my self, strongly influence my reality.
Well, I don’t know if it does, but I’d like to find out!
I’ve started to observe my thoughts. Whenever I catch myself with a limiting thought, like: “When are those scars EVER going to fade away?!, I STOP.
And I start over again: “The scars are healing, my body is healing, I’m strong and healthy and beautiful and dang radiant and majestic, thank you very much!”
Becoming aware of our feelings is the very first step to emotional healing.
Will you try this with me?
I still don’t know how my emotions affect my general well-being. But I know that when I am fully present in my body, as it is now, I am calm.
I accept my body as it is now, and I expect better.
Friend, be consistent with your emotional work and stress management, just like you are with your diet, skincare and supplements. Don’t burden yourself with expectations.
Most of all, be who you truly are: radiant, glowing, and joyful.
How do you keep from freaking out over that huge pimple?
Celine Harleaux is the founder of My Dawning Light, a website dedicated to empower self-conscious women with Usui Reiki.
She is passionate about helping her clients regain their strength, confidence, and awesomeness. And also passionate about those Reiki nudges that guide us in the right direction, and fill our lives with grace and ease.
She offers both in-person and distant Reiki classes and treatments through her website.