Too fat. Too pasty. Too little.
And that's just your little finger you're looking at. You don't even think of paying yourself one single compliment. Are you your own worst enemy?
Enter the bully - she can pick you in a moment. She knows she can take a shot at you and you'll fall down in a heap, and you know why? Because she's actually on your side, she's picking you to pieces in the same way that you treat yourself.
There's really only one lasting solution to the bullying nightmare. You've gotta learn to ILY yourself and understand that it's not your problem.
ILY is short for I LOVE YOU, and this self-help book for teen girls teaches the importance of loving yourself and others so you can be happy in the teenage years.
14 year-old Australian teenager Julia Weber knows only too well what it's like to be bullied, both in person and via cyberspace.
She has become an anti-bullying campaigner and now fills the pages of ILY with heart-warming, witty and practical advice for teen girls about everything from bullying and low self esteem to gratitude and forgiveness.
Julia uses affirmations from the world's most famous self help author Louise L Hay, writing teen translations of her words which are fresh and relevant.
She speaks at conferences, participates in research and is part of a youth advisory panel which advises on counselling services for young people.
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Read an Excerpt
ILY (I LOVE YOU)One Teen Girl's Guide To A Bully-Proof Adolescence
By JULIA WEBER
Balboa PressCopyright © 2011 Julia Weber and Lisa Sweeney
All right reserved.
Chapter OneI LOVE ME, WHO DO YOU LOVE?........self belief
How often have you beaten yourself up over something that's gone wrong? Most of us go through each day, finding fault with the way we look or act at every available turn. These kinds of words often fly around in our heads:
I look so chat, nobody really wants to be friends with me I'm so hopeless, I'm always forgetting everything I'm so lame, everyone else is going to pass this test but me I'm so fat, I must look like an elephant standing here next to that skinny girl I wish I was taller/shorter, browner/fairer, blue-eyed/brown-eyed etc, etc I'm so dissed, why did my brother get my Mum's beautiful eyelashes instead of me? I suck at math. I never get anything.
Call an ambulance!
Checking ourselves out in the mirror can sometimes feel like we've accidentally woken up in the middle of one of our worst nightmares. Things are changing so fast.
One day we look quite regular and everything seems to be coming along just fine. The next day we go into the bathroom for a bit of random tooth brushing, look at our reflection and say: What? When did I get acne? What is that gross thing on my face? Oh wait, it's my nose. Did I get run over by a bus while I was asleep?
The freckles we just accepted as the quality of a cutie pie last year now look really festy as well, and ever since that chick in our class told us that skinny jeans are "socially unacceptable" we are left standing in front of our closets, unable to decide whether we own anything not totally hideous anymore.
You look hot
There's nothing quite as awesome as the feeling we get when someone tells us we look gorgeous. But for every one of those there seems to be ten others saying things that shoot our self esteem down in flames. And after we've suffered one of those setbacks, it doesn't matter how many sick selfies we take, we can't find one decent photo of ourselves to use as our facebook profile pic.
Other times we replay an embarrassing moment or a failure over and over in our heads, putting ourselves through the embarrassment and humiliation again and again. Every time we pull the memory back into our heads it makes us feel worse, and we convince ourselves that it is actually more horrendous than it really was in the first place. Soon the emotion we are feeling comes pretty close to self-hatred, and we're saying things like:
I'm so stupid, I'm never going to amount to anything Everyone must hate me now, who'd want to hang around with me after such a pathetic performance
We can keep wallowing in these thoughts or we can rise above them with the help of our own minds and hearts.
Love the one you're with
This is where ILY comes in to save the day. If you've just crawled out from under a rock, we should tell you that ILY is short for I Love You and can be used in every possible situation - to sign off on the net, as we say goodbye to friends or family on the phone, or just to express unbridled passion for something or someone. ILY Glee! ILY cookies and cream ice cream. ILY chillaxin' with my besties. Good night, Mum - ILY.
Sometimes our hearts are filled with so much love we feel like we're going to explode. But before you go wasting all that good lovin' vibe on your latest crush or your favourite band, think about offering it to someone much more significant to you.
Who's the most important person in your Universe?
There is only one answer that we're accepting right at this moment, and it's YOU. You're the only dude who's gonna hang around from the moment you come out of your Mummy's..... (ah, never mind, you know where you come from) until you take your last breath as a decrepit old person (no, I agree, I'm never gonna get old either). So you had better start liking YOU a whole lot more otherwise you're gonna get bored and snappy with yourself and there's no getting away from YOU, not even for a quick time-out.
Don't worry about people thinking you're up yourself if you ILY yourself. Don't concern yourself with anything that anyone has to say about this, because in the beginning you probably won't tell anyone anyway. The word is not yet out there on the street that you're in love with yourself. But I'm here to tell you right now – loving yourself is the ONLY way to be truly happy. ILY!
There's already millions of people hiding in bathrooms and bedrooms around the world every day. They're not just plucking unsightly nose hairs or trying to decide where to put their toenail clippings. They are (quietly) telling themselves how good they are and it's making them feel a whole lot better. Many of these ILY people are working with the help of the Guru of Affirmations, the awesome Louise L Hay. She has changed my life and I've never even met her. She could change your life too if you follow her simple rule of saying affirmations every day.
It's simple – look deeply into your own eyes
Stand in front of the mirror and say to yourself: "I love you (insert your own name here) with all my heart. Say it to yourself (while nobody's around) every day and you'll trick your brain soon enough into believing it. Then watch your ability to make things happen for yourself go through the roof!
When we keep dissing ourselves all the time we start to believe that everything is wrong. But the great thing is, it's just as easy to turn that around and talk ourselves into believing in ourselves. Once you do that, I can guarantee you that you'll be happy, leaving aside hormones and the occasional teenage mood swing. And that's OK too.
So let's get started
Take this book into your room with you and start using the affirmations listed at the end of each chapter to get what you want out of life. My bedroom wall is completely plastered with affirmations and I get great support and pleasure from them every day.
I am extremely grateful to Louise L Hay for teaching me so early in life that I can turn things around for myself easily and quickly just by changing my thoughts. (Oh, and I guess I should thank my Mum here, because she's the one who gave me the affirmation cards in the first place). I use the affirmations, but I also write original versions of them that are more personal and individual to me, and I'm sharing them with you in these pages.
Let's start a revolution and see if we can make ourselves and all our friends happy. It's possible, all we need to do is talk to ourselves. In a quiet, non-loony sort of way, of course!
I am the most important person in my life
I am number one in my Universe and I roll out my own red carpet
It is my time to be the "star" of my life
I see my name rolling through the credits of the movie of my life and I know I will give an Oscar winning performance
I am safe. I handle change easily
One minute I am jumping out of a plane, the next I am swimming in the depths of the ocean. Nothing can harm me and no challenge is too big for me
I am a beautiful blossom opening. I delight in my world and my world delights in me
I am blooming in this fantastic period of my life. I am a teenager and I am at the ideal age right now
I am on my perfect path. As I surrender to Spirit, I am guided, supported, and happier than I ever dreamed I could be!
I feel the presence of my guardian angels and I love travelling with them. Their wings uplift me
I deserve to have a good job and a good life
I am successful in everything I choose to do and I know this success has always been meant for me
Loving myself gives me the extra energy to work through any problem more quickly. My life is a labour of love
I love and respect myself so much I need only to look to myself for solutions to life's challenges
I am a shining example of love and light. I sparkle and shine in a quiet and peaceful way
I am so special I could light up the night's sky, if only my mother would let me go out. I sparkle like a diamond and shine like my grandma's polished kitchen floor
I am beautiful and everybody loves me
I am a hottie and everyone wants to be my bestie. I am the person that everyone wants to be connected to
Chapter TwoIF THEY JUMPED OFF A CLIFF ........... belonging
Did you know Mark Zuckerberg founded facebook while he was still a teenager? I reckon he absolutely nailed it because he knew from deep down in his teenage bones that he was inventing something that would help us feel like we belong, the number one item on any teenager's wish list. Plus he made a bit of money, no worries 'bout that.
i am an individual ... lol jk i wear abercrombie and i have an iphone
Thank you Mark Zuckerberg! We now have a place we can go without even leaving our bedrooms. We can keep in contact with friends, connect with new people and share information about ourselves. It's perfect for teenagers because we, above all others, need to get ourselves some "alone" time away from the parentals. Not only that, facebook is basically a social encyclopedia, where all you have to do is type in a name and you can see who a person is, what they look like and what they've been up to, as long as the privacy settings are set to a low standard.
We can 'join' countless groups on facebook and 'like' thousands of pages with names as silly as
i'm so good at sleep i can do it with my eyes closed or it's a flood! don't worry, i have a sham wow! and I can't hear you, so i'll just laugh and hope it wasn't a question
Yes Mum, I've done my homework
Those of us who are regular facebook users may be dropping behind in our school grades by an average 20 per cent, but our social networking lives are sick. If only schools would change the way they teach us. Imagine how well we'd be doing if our textbooks looked like fb pages. But in all seriousness, facebook is the best way for teens to keep in touch, and some would say it relieves social pressure as well, although that is a matter of opinion.
We need to get out more
Going home to the family should be a soft place to land and it is, most of the time. But we were born in that group, and there's a whole world of belonging to be done outside that front door.
Sometimes the old groups we belonged to, like the soccer team or the swimming squad we've been part of since we were little, feel right and nice. Other times it feels all wrong, like a t-shirt we've outgrown or a pair of shorts chosen by some old aunty. We can't help but wonder if a better social life lays somewhere outside this group.
Most of the problem is that we get to a certain age and our priorities change. We might want to stop something we did as a kid and start doing something that "normal" teenagers do.
If we choose new things we love to do like dance class or hockey, we are bound to meet other people there who share our passions and there is no better way to find friendship and feel the love.
My style is individual ... just like yours
Friendship is all about finding people who will accept us and like us just the way we are. If only we knew exactly what we were ourselves! Maybe you're a cross-dressing pyromaniac, and I'm sure there's someone out there just like you who shares the same interests. Well most of your interests, anyway. If we were exactly the same as our friends it would be a drag, that's for sure.
The best thing we could possibly do for ourselves is to take the short cut, and find a place where we are comfortable with ourselves. That way, we can belong anywhere because there is nothing to do in order to be part of it. We are part of the Universe and we belong everywhere, as long as we don't judge others and make them different. Simple.
Spread the love
Knowing that everyone else is feeling something similar can be comforting. We are all trying to find our place in the world, and feeling a little bit inadequate and powerless as we go about it. So let's be brave and do something to make everyone feel better. If we tell our close friends how special they are, we'll make such a difference to their lives. And if they go and tell their friends they're awesome, and then they go and tell their friends.... before we know it, we will have CHANGED THE WORLD! There's nothing uncool about that at all.
Just the way you are
Another good way to find a place where we belong is to learn some tolerance and support. Focus on the things we do have in common with people or on their likeable traits, rather than getting bugged by their differences or irritating habits. If your best friend has an annoying laugh, just get over it, otherwise you'll never be able to enjoy a good joke together and there's no value in that for anyone.
Support is a major factor in a successful friendship. There is no need for us to withdraw support from our friends if they take up something new that we don't like doing, even if we think it's totally uncool. We can choose to say nothing, or if we are asked for an opinion we can simply find something nice to say instead of knocking the person down or hurting their feelings. Say: that's different and new for you, or: wow, I think you would enjoy that activity.
I dwell in a world of love and acceptance
I don't have to change anything about myself in order to belong, especially when the people I want to be accepted by look as if they've escaped from somewhere
I am not my parents, nor their patterns. I am my own true self and I am free
I don't need to be like my parents to have a good life. I am my own person and I respect the fact that they are different to me, even though sometimes I really don't like to be seen with them in public
My teachers and coaches are generous. I always feel appreciated at school and in my teams
Those who run my organised activities and my schooling make decisions based on what's best for me. I enjoy my time with that activity because I know they are doing their best to push me to my potential, even if that means doing seemingly pointless things like running around the field 50 times or writing a "practise essay"
I am in the perfect place at the perfect time. I am always safe
I am where I am for a reason and I belong here. The Universe has a plan for me and I trust that the path I've followed is the right one. I make sure no one changes my path, because I'm not really wearing the right shoes to go cross-country running
I am neither too little nor too much, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone
I am who I am, and I am accepted by the people with whom I belong, and the people who don't accept me aren't worthy of my time or my awesome jokes
I open my home and welcome guests with music and love. They are like a loving family to me
I am available for both new and old relationships. They provide a place of belonging for me in which I can just act as myself, dancing and singing as well as I do
I now contribute to a united, loving and peaceful family life
I know it's up to me to help to create a happy family atmosphere, and although it's hard at times, I try to resist snapping at my siblings or rolling my eyes at my parents
I am very good at giving encouragement and compliments to others
I point out the positives in every situation. This draws people towards me, giving me an even wider friendship group. For example when my friend drops her food on the floor, I yell out the ten second rule, and if she doesn't eat it, I'll eat it for her. Well, I do like my food
I have friends I can talk to. I feel safe with my friends. We share confidences
I can always talk to my old friends, even when my new friendships are troubled. I will always belong with them because they know my funny little ways the best
I don't have to earn love. I am lovable because I exist
Love is always around me and I don't have to prove myself worthy of love by doing what everyone else is doing. Like, even though most of the year group at school is wearing their hair in that unusual way, I won't do it because I choose to look like a girl, not a fluffy dog
Excerpted from ILY (I LOVE YOU) by JULIA WEBER Copyright © 2011 by Julia Weber and Lisa Sweeney . Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I LOVE ME, WHO DO YOU LOVE? ... self belief....................1
IF THEY JUMPED OFF A CLIFF ... belonging....................19
THERE'S ALWAYS ONE ... bullying....................37
THAT'S AWKWARD ... self-consciousness....................55
TWO, FOUR, SIX, EIGHT! WHO DO WE APPRECIATE? ... gratitude....................69
I'M GONNA MAKE YOU PAY ... forgiveness....................87
IT'S NOT THAT HARD ... happiness....................105