Speaker • Professor • Sociologist • Author • Podcaster • Activist

Episode 64: Embracing Our True Selves: The Courage to Unlearn and Reclaim Our Narratives

Journeying Through Unlearning: My Path to Self-Liberation

Hola, mis queridos oyentes. In today’s world where diet culture and toxic beliefs about our bodies are rampant, it takes immense courage to challenge the internalized narratives that hold us back. I am Hortencia Jimenez, your guide on this journey of reclaiming our worth outside societal norms. Let’s take a deep dive into how we can unlearn these harmful stories and author a new chapter in our lives rooted in love, acceptance, and truth.

Breaking Free From Toxic Conditioning

Our lives are pervaded by social conditioning that shapes how we see ourselves and our bodies. But these beliefs—the heavy sacks of negativity we carry—are not our own. They are imposed on us by society, family, media, and sometimes even the words of those we love. For years, I carried these burdens, which did nothing but shrink my sense of self-worth and potential. I invite you, como su amiga y guía, to ask yourselves: “Where did these beliefs come from? Who told me that I need to look or act a certain way to be lovable or worthy?” It’s time we lay down these heavy sacks and walk unburdened.

The Power of Reframing Our Thoughts

Reframing is a potent tool in our arsenal against oppressive narratives. Through therapy and guidance, I’ve learned to name these toxic thoughts aloud, to write them down, and to confront them with truth and positivity drawn from my own experiences. Yes, the process can seem daunting, skeptical as we might be about its effectiveness. But let me tell you, amigos, there’s a liberating power in transforming “I am unworthy because of my sexuality” into “I am worthy of love, respect, and joy, regardless of my sexuality.” Personal truths are transformative.

Navigating Self-Discovery and Queerness

One of the most profound personal challenges for me was regarding my queerness. I grew up in a homophobic environment, where religious and family beliefs made me feel unworthy and ashamed. But through self-reflection and therapy, I’ve begun to reframe these narratives and welcome my true self with open arms. Exploring my queerness, especially later in life, was tantamount to a rebirth. I am not “too old” or “less serious” because of my age or life stage—those notions are the actual toxic stories that need discarding. Instead, I embrace the queer woman that I am and have always been. Todos merecemos ese espacio para ser y amar libremente.

Creating Spaces of Healing and Acceptance

I urge you to surround yourself with voices and spaces that uplift you. Whether it’s therapy, trusted friends, or empowering podcasts, find your community. Your journey will surely have its challenges, but you’ll find that for every lost connection, several more flourish—filled with acceptance and understanding. You are not alone. Reach out, share your stories, and let’s continue in solidarity.

Remember, dismantling these harmful narratives is not only about personal growth but also social responsibility. We disrupt not just for ourselves but for future generations, ensuring they inherit healthier, kinder stories regarding body image and self-worth.

Invitation to Connect and Grow

I want to hear from you. Share with me the narratives you’ve bought into, and let’s unlearn them together. Embrace the discomfort that comes with change because it signifies growth and transformation. Dismantling diet culture, and reframing harmful narratives about food, bodies, and self-esteem—it’s a monumental task, but it’s possible and necessary.

Join me, Hortencia Jimenez, in affirming that we are all worthy of love and belonging. Whether in person, through a DM, or an email, let’s continue this conversation and support one another.

Recommended Articles