Welcome to another episode from my Encouragement Series of The Eczema Podcast!
Today I have a solo episode that I recorded for you and I wanted to share something that I can relate to a lot on a very deep and personal level.
I know many people with eczema have also dealt with this – and it is not uncommon to us all.
Today’s topic is on the topic of humiliation and self love, and how to deal with humiliation when it hits you.
When I look back at my eczema journey, I feel like I have gone through a lot of humiliation and I’ve gone through the pain and embarrassment of being judged by others for going through this.
IN TODAY’S PODCAST, WE TALK ABOUT:
- Stories of humiliation that have happened to me
- How others have experienced humiliation from eczema
- Why one woman and her son were kicked off a plane for their skin condition
- Solutions & strategies to deal with humiliation from eczema
- How meditations, therapy and self-love can help the eczema healing process
Some of the stories in this episode were pretty emotional to share because a lot of those humiliating moments have been emotionally painful. On the up side, it has also taught me to to develop self love along the way.
I hope this episode can help you through anything that you’re going through at this moment.
P.S. At the beginning of the podcast, I also started by sharing about 2 brands that reached out to offer me a paid partnership. I turned it down because their ingredients weren’t as “clean” as I’d hoped for, and it didn’t align with my values.
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In this podcast, I also shared about the concept of “mirror work” (created by Louise Hay, founder of Hay House Publishing), which helped me heal.
It involves sitting in front of the mirror, looking into your face and eyes in the mirror and saying loving thoughts to yourself out loud.
This exercise is a lot harder than you might think! (But it’s very emotionally healing if you do it consistently).
I burst out crying the first time I did it.
I know that a lot of us who struggle with eczema find it difficult to look in the mirror, so this exercise really helps with that and to help find self love.
Here is a good summary of how you can begin doing it in the comfort of your home.
HOW TO BEGIN
Be sure you are sitting comfortably.
Look into the mirror. Look into your eyes. Inhale deeply.
Say to yourself these three words: Life loves you.
And then exhale.
It’s good to keep breathing. Repeat this ten times. Notice your response each time. Pay attention to the sensation (body messages), feelings (heart thoughts), and thoughts (mental commentary).
Louise Hay’s website says:
”I recommend that you write down your responses in a journal to track your progress. Sensations may include tension around the heart, tightness in the face, softening around the eyes, lightness of being. Feelings may include sadness and grief; hope and happiness. Thoughts may include commentary like “I can’t do this”, and “This isn’t working”. Please don’t judge your responses. There are no right answers. And don’t try to be positive; be honest.
Notice that the phrase ‘Life loves you’ is only three words long. There are no other words. It’s not ‘Life loves you because..’ (For example, ‘because I am a good person,’ or ‘because I work hard.)
Similarly, it’s not ‘Life will love you if…’ (For example, ‘if I lose 10 pounds,’ or ‘if I find a girlfriend.’ Life loves you is about unconditional love.
Complete 10 rounds of the affirmation ‘Life loves you,’ or ‘You are loved,’ or ‘You are beautiful’, then look in the mirror and say this affirmation to yourself: I am willing to let life love me today.
Once again, notice your responses. And remember to breathe.
Repeat this affirmation until you feel comfortable.
You may cry, and if you do, it’s okay to let it out. I cried and let out all the pain when I did this.
Here are the links mentioned in the podcast:
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
(Scroll down to read the full transcript using the scroll button on the right)
Hey guys, it’s Abby here again. I really love doing these podcasts where I get to encourage so many of you because I’ve been getting so much great feedback, especially from the encouragement series that I started, and I really just love sharing words of encouragement and anything that can help you guys. Someone who is going through topical steroid withdrawal recently asked me when I was going to keep doing these episodes because they were encouraging her a lot and they helped her to feel less alone. So I really hope to do these as often as possible. And also, I really like to use my Instagram and Facebook and my social media channels as a place where I can continue to encourage you guys and help you keep going on this journey. And I think that’s where my passion is. So if I’m able to help you guys, please let me know so that I can just keep encouraging you guys and keep creating content that will help you keep fighting this journey because I know that sometimes it’s not easy.
2 Brand Ingredients
Today’s podcast will be a bit different because I wanted to share some things that are happening in the news related to eczema. And I also wanted to also give you a quick update that, recently two brands approached me and they wanted me to partner with them and help them promote their product, and in exchange they were going to pay me a decent amount.
They told me what the partnership would entail, and I asked them for the ingredients first so that I can always make sure that it’s in line with what my values are and what I believe in. So they sent me their ingredients for both of them and I looked at it, and I wasn’t very pleased with their ingredients. It made me stop and feel like, “I don’t think I can actually promote them”.
At first, I did feel like, if I’m getting paid, I can support my family. But because of the ingredients, it just didn’t seem fair and it didn’t seem right to promote their products when some of their ingredients just didn’t sit well with me and it didn’t feel in line with what I believe in. One of the products is actually very, very mainstream. It’s one of the biggest brand names of laundry detergents. They asked me to help them promote it and they were going to pay me a good amount of money as well. But when I saw their ingredient list, one of the main ingredients was sodium lauryl sulfate and this actually creates the foaminess that you see in a lot of products.
It’s used in toothpastes and shampoos, but it actually has some side effects that come with this product. If you go to EWG, which is the Environmental Working Group, they always have a rating for different products and it tells you how clean products are. And unfortunately, sodium lauryl sulfate is not always the cleanest product. Some people may argue and say that it’s okay, but for me, I really believe that we should be using the cleanest ingredients out there.
The cleaner the ingredients are, the better it will be for our bodies and the less of a burden it we’ll put on our immune system. So I really believe and I really feel that we should be using really, really clean ingredients.
Another product that I was offered was a product to help with wounds, healing and hydration as well. I looked at the ingredients and they also had several ingredients that I was not too happy with. They had ingredients like BHT and propylene glycol, which also is an endocrine disruptor and it’s been shown to cause cancer as well. So I just felt like, “how can I create photos for these products when it has these side effects?”
I just couldn’t do it. I want to stand for what I believe in and continue to be someone who creates safe, clean products for you guys to promote. And I want to share products that are clean, especially if you’ve used my Conqueror soothing dry skin balm or my bath treatment that I’ve created, you’ll know that I chose the cleanest, cleanest ingredients out there.
I’ve been asked before if there are steroids in it or if there are any medications in it, and there definitely isn’t. I’ve avoided steroids and medication through my biggest flare-ups and I haven’t used it in the last 10 years for my skin. So I’ve been avoiding steroids for a very long time and I’ve managed to heal a lot without it. I definitely believe that steroids shouldn’t be used especially in the product that I’m promoting.
Another thing is that, when I was first creating my conqueror soothing dry skin balm and my bath treatment, my manufacturer wanted to add some harsher preservatives in it. Usually you want to look for ingredients that are easy to pronounce and clean. The shorter the number of ingredients, the better. So she added some ingredients in it, but they had harsher preservatives in it.
So I mentioned to her that, is there a way we can add cleaner ingredients with all natural preservatives? She came back and she helped me add only very clean ingredients to my balm, which only has 15 really, really clean ingredients in it. If you look at the ingredients list, they’re all easy to pronounce. They’re all very natural ingredients, including aloe vera, evening primrose oil, coconut oil, lavender, and tea tree oil.
My manufacturer ended up using natural products to use as preservative, like the aloe vera, the neem oil, the tea tree oil, which even the Neem oil has very natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties that helps sooth and restore the skin. Plus, it’s high in Vitamin E and Omega 6 & 9.
Even the tea tree oil is very antibacterial as well and helps with speed up wound healing. So I ended up choosing products that were very, very clean and I feel like that’s more in line with my brand.
What I want to promote is just clean products with no chemicals, no harsh preservatives, because that’s really what I believe in. So I just wanted to share that with you so you know that I will continue to promote very clean products. And if you ever see any of the products that I promote and the ingredients have changed or have become more harsh, please let me know so that I can always change my recommendations as well. Because I want to continue to share clean products with all of you guys and yeah, just share things that are working that could you on your journey as well.
My Conqueror skin balm and my bath treatment were things that I used after giving birth, especially during my biggest flare-ups, I used it all the time to help with my infections. I didn’t use antibiotics, so I just used those. I ate really, really clean. I took really, really helpful supplements, which I hope to share about one day as well.
I mixed my bath treatment also with Epsom salts and it also already contained baking soda. So that also helps as well to reduce inflammation, and it has pharmaceutical grade baking soda in the bath treatments, so it’s a lot stronger than food grade. And I also added apple cider vinegar in my baths as well to help kill the bacteria. So if you guys ever need bath ideas, that’s a bath idea. I’ve also written a blog post on six types of baths you can do to help with your skin.
Mom & son get kicked off plane from skin condition
But today, the main purpose of today’s podcast is really just share other news as well that I recently read in the news. And it just breaks my heart when I read this news. I recently read that a mother and her son were on a plane, and it’s just so sad to read up on it, her son and her were kicked off of the plane. And it was such a humiliating experience for them because they were kicked off because of their skin condition and it was a rare dry skin condition that they have. She just said that she felt so humiliated and yeah, she just felt like she was so upset and she couldn’t imagine that this would happen to them.
It just made me so sad to see that. And I saw the photo as well, of them and how they looked and I feel like I looked the exact same way right after I gave birth, when my skin flared up a lot and I feel like I can relate to her so much. The person on the flight thought that it was contagious so she wouldn’t let them on the plane. They got kicked off and she said it was the most judged and humiliated that they’ve ever been. I’m going to attach a news clip so you can just hear about it as well:
“Here tonight, a mother says she and her baby were kicked off an American Airlines flight because of their skin. Jordan Flake and her one-year-old son have a genetic skin condition. She says after boarding the plane, an employee asked her if she had a doctor’s note. Well, they later told her she would not be able to fly. She and her son were heading from El Paso to Dallas to visit her husband before he deployed. Her Facebook post has been viewed and shared thousands of times. American Airlines responded saying, “We sincerely apologize to Ms. Flake and her son for the experience they had Thursday, and our team has begun an investigation into the matter. Our customer relations team has already spoken to her directly and upgraded them on their American flights. We will now also be refunding the cost of her trip as well.”
I just wanted you share this because I think a lot of us deal with humiliation and judgment and embarrassment.
How we can relate to humiliation
And I know I’ve been stared at a lot when I’ve had really bad skin. I’ve been, I think when I was younger, I just remembered someone, my friend’s sister saying to me, I met her for the first time and she just looked at me and she was like, what happened to your arm? She just called me disease kid. And that stuck in my mind for a very long time. It hurts when people say things like that. It really does. I don’t know if anyone has ever called you names or maybe looked at you judge mentally or said things about your you and your skin. But I just want to let you know that you are wonderful, you’re beautiful. Just remember that you are amazing and you’re not defined by your skin. I just want to remind you of that.
No matter how much someone judges you or discriminates you, it doesn’t define us. It doesn’t define who you are. Even though it’s such a big part of us and it affects our life in so many ways, but you are so much more than your skin. You are your soul, your spirit, your emotions, your mindset. And I think a lot of it is working through our mindset and our emotions to just make ourselves stronger and believe that we are not our skin condition.
Stories of humiliation from eczema
I remember when I first flared up after giving birth, I was on antibiotics for an infection and it flared up my skin so badly, which it does when I’m on antibiotics. And I just remember going to church one day and my whole face was so red and I just wanted to hide from the world and cry because I felt like I was an embarrassment and I didn’t want to be seen.
A seven year old came up to me and she said, “What happened to your face? She said, it looks so bad. It looks really, really, really bad.” And then she pointed at my son because I was nursing him when I was on antibiotics. And the antibiotics flared him up too and it created eczema on his forehead, which I was worried about at the time. But it took about two months for it to go away. And the seven year old said, “Your son has that too, the same rash on his face, and yours looks really, really, bad.”
Now I can laugh about it, but it hurts at the time. There was another person standing there as well, and I just felt so humiliated and so embarrassed. I think we all have moments like this that we can relate to when a lot of us feel embarrassed and humiliated. And especially at family events.
A lot of my family lives in Hong Kong and also another part of Canada. So I don’t really see them very much. But when I do, I remember seeing them after I gave birth and because I had flared up a lot and I lost a lot of weight too because I was eating so clean. When I saw them, they said to me, “you lost so much weight and your skin is so dry and so red and so flared up and it looks like it’s peeling so much.”
And I think my dad just felt so emotional and he felt so bad for me and he just told them, “You don’t have to point that out. She knows that.” Even though we go through this, I know that a lot of us might go through this sometimes and we might want to hide from the world.
But I just want to remind you of something that my husband has said to me before, which is that you are beautiful, you are beautiful, and you don’t have to worry about what other people say and what other people do. You just have to know and strengthen yourself and your belief that you can overcome this. Visualize yourself healed, and visualize yourself as beautiful and not defined by this condition. Don’t let this condition limit you because it is a condition and your mindset is way limitless compared to this. You can overcome anything and you have to remember that. You have to remember that you are your mindset and you are as strong as your mindset is.
Whenever someone comments on you, if you define yourself by your skin, then you’ll let that person bring you down. But if you know who you are and you know that it’s not your skin that defines you, then when people comment on you or when people talk about you or maybe you see them gossip about you, then it won’t bring you down because you know who you are and you’re standing strong on your ground. So I just want to remind you of that.
Sometimes we might have to do a lot of work to strengthen ourselves more than other people. But I can tell you that you are going to be stronger than so many people you’ve ever met who have ever walked into your life. Or if it’s your kid, sometimes we want to protect our kids from every little thing. But sometimes I think that, “why couldn’t my parents have protected me from this?” But it wouldn’t have made me who I am.
A lot of times we want to protect our child from things, but sometimes going through hard times like this (even though we don’t want them to go through it), it makes them a stronger person. It makes them compassionate. It gives some character and traits that they would have never had and developed because of it. And so just remember that great things can come out of our difficult times and sometimes hard times can really shine a light on the cracks in our life and allow light to come through. So just remember that you are strong, you can overcome this. I’m really proud of you for being where you are, for making it through such hard times. It’s really not easy.
Mirror Work for Eczema
I also wanted to share something that Louise Hay, who was the founder of Hay House publications. I wanted to share something about what she taught. She taught a really strong exercise on mirror work. So basically, it only takes a few minutes to do. You can do it every day or when you feel like it, but it’s amazing if you ended up doing it every day. It’s basically sitting comfortably and finding a comfortable place to sit, looking into the mirror, looking into your eyes, inhale, say to yourself these words, life loves you. Or you can say things like, you are loved and you are beautiful, and I love you, and your skin is beautiful, your heart is beautiful, you are strong. And pay attention to how you feel.
I remember that the moment I looked at myself the first time and I just burst out crying. I burst out crying because all my emotions feeling like I wasn’t good enough, beating myself up over how other people have felt about me, and remembering how many social activities I’ve missed, and even how many precious moments I’ve missed with my husband and my son. And it’s so powerful because it reminds you that you have been through a lot, but you are also amazing and life loves you. Life loves you because of who you are and because you are born to be beautiful, you are born to be amazing and you can do this.
Louise Hay says that mirror work can be very confronting at first because it reveals your most basic fear and your self judgements. But if you keep looking in the mirror, you’ll begin to see those judgments and see who you really are. Your attitude to mirror work is the key to success. And I took her course called loving yourself, and it’s really on how to increase your self esteem and self love by doing the mirror work and really journaling about how you feel. Maybe it’s feelings of sadness and grief that comes up, and it’s just such a good way to heal your body and heal your mind of the emotions that might have been stuck there for a long time.
Meditations and eczema
Another thing that I’ve been doing lately is also meditation. I was doing meditation and one time I went to a church sermon and they said meditation is something that we all do every day. It’s basically thinking about a certain thought and a meditation is anything that we think about and anything that we think about repeatedly throughout the day. So even ‘worry’ is a meditation. So that’s why it’s so important to focus your thoughts on the right things. Basically, I started listening to this meditation and I use an app called Insight Timer, and I’ve been doing it for the last seven days.
But I was really inspired by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He said that he had a back injury which required surgery, but he would spend about two to three hours each day in meditation and just picture himself and the bones in his back in his vertebrae healing itself.
And I was so inspired by it. His back ended up healing without surgery. And it was amazing. Another girl that I have been following, she has been in a wheelchair for a long time because of Lyme disease, but she has been meditating two to three hours a day. And for the first time she just got up and she just ran a few meters and she was so amazed by it. She said it’s because of the meditation. She’s picturing and visualizing herself running and healing.
And I know that I felt my best when I was visualizing me at my best and I would visualize myself healed, looking good and feeling energetic and dancing around. And that’s a place I want to get back at. I just want to encourage you to visualize where you want to be as well and be back at that place. And for the meditations that I was listening to, there were two of them. One of them is called self love. So basically, it’s a meditation where he takes you through self love. It lets you go through a body scan, it scans your body parts, it talks about loving your feet, then goes all the way to your legs, your arms, your head and it’s like a self love where you just scan every part of your body and you just show it love. And I remember people waking up or going to sleep and they would just do a prayer and bless and love their body parts and their organs. And they said it contributed to the healing as well.
So things that we focus on really, really help the healing. So I really want to encourage you for that too. And another meditation that I’ve been listening to is called loving yourself. That one relaxes me so much that sometimes I fall asleep. I don’t think I’ve listened to the whole thing before, but it’s just so relaxing and you just feel like you’re floating on clouds sometimes. Another one is deep healing. So I’ve been listening to the meditations for deep healing because I feel like a lot of us need to do a lot of emotional work and heal, heal the insights because a lot of trauma comes with having eczema, especially with the woman who was kicked off the plane. I feel like I’ve had so many moments where I just been so embarrassed. And let me know if you can relate to that too, because I know that a lot of us go through really, really tough times.
Therapy for eczema
I hope that today I was able to encourage you through this podcast episode. And one last thing before I go is that I have also been working with a therapist and a counsellor here in Canada. We got to the root of a lot of why the eczema was happening. I’ve talked to therapists before, like Dr. Nima in one of my other podcasts who said that, a lot of times, people have eczema or illnesses because they secretly or unconsciously don’t want to let it go. Sometimes it’s because it gives them the love and attention that they need, or it helps people care about them in ways that they never imagined.
So with the therapy, it helped me uncover so many things that I really hope to share in another episode. If you ever have the chance for therapy, I would really recommend it because I feel like, personally, when we rely on venting to our partners or our family, I feel like it can create a burden on them, especially because they live with us and they see how hard it is on us. Sometimes, I feel like it burdens them more if I constantly vent. So I find that therapy is very, very helpful.
Those are just a few tips that I wanted to talk about today. I hope you have a really good day and thank you for taking the time to listen. Remember that I’m praying for you all and praying that you’ll heal and I really believe that you can.
I’ve been seeing so much amazing progress in my 8 Week Conqueror Eczema Academy group coaching program with people who set their mindset and intentions to heal and change their diet and it’s amazing. I’ve seen other people who just read my website and they found healing too. So I know you can do it and I want to encourage you that I’m proud of you wherever you are. Whatever you’re going through, remember that the storm ends, and the storm passes.
Sometimes it might feel like you’re going through this for a lifetime. And I know I went through this for more than 10 years and sometimes I ask God, why couldn’t you just have let me go through this for a year or two, instead of having flares for over 10 years? I think there’s a reason for this and I wouldn’t have been as passionate to help people like you go through this if I didn’t go through it for myself for this long. I just want to let you know that you can heal and that this is an obstacle in the way, but it’s not the end of the world because you are stronger than this and you can overcome this.
If we ever need help if you’re in a really dark place, it’s important to reach out to someone to talk to about it. There are lots of groups online to help with this and My Facebook group is always available as well, if you need more support.
Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. It really means a lot. And just remember that you are loved and you are beautiful. Remember to look in the mirror. And when you look in the mirror, try to look at yourself, smile, love yourself and tell yourself how loved you are, because it’s going to change your outlook and it’s going to change your life.
Thank you so much for listening today.
Thank you for listening to the podcast – I hope you enjoyed it!
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.