“I love myself.”
Can you say this one thing?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately; wondering why it took me so many years to come to truly like myself and to love who I am.
For some reason turning forty in March was very significant for me! My dear friend gifted me a beautiful journal which I began writing in the following day. My first entry contained a list of 19 things I love about myself…AND it wasn’t at all hard to write it! I asked myself the question: “When would [writing] it have been a struggle for me?”
The first thing that came to mind was a time in my life when my eldest daughter was about 18 months to 2 years old. I was struggling hugely as a young wife and mother. I was feeling like I couldn’t do anything well. About that time I attended a young mum’s group and a wonderful woman came to speak to us and afterwards offered to meet with anyone who wanted to talk about stuff[!]. I took her up on this amazing offer. The first topic we looked at together: Self Acceptance.
Wow. It blows me away to realize just what a difference 11 years can make! I’ll be forever grateful that someone was there to get me started. Looking back on the years since then I am super grateful I had the courage to push into learning and growth and to learn from the dear ones who have come into my life for reasons and seasons. You see, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is this: We are damaged in relationship AND we heal in relationship.
I am currently continuing to heal in relationship with some very dear ones. I feel surrounded by love. I feel like I belong. Truly belong. I feel super happy to be me. Why? Not only do I love who I am but I am also feeling like I am finally living my purpose. How? I am both feeling loved AND I am making others feel dearly loved. I feel like I belong AND I am creating an environment where others feel they belong too. Somehow, in the process of the last 8 months I’ve come to know deeper down to the core of my being, finally, that it’s truly okay for me to be me. Imperfectly perfect. This deep down knowing feels extraordinarily wonderful!
What does this being comfortable to be authentically me actually look like? Well, for one I am no longer living with a constant inner critic berating me for saying this or that. No. Instead I know that in any moment I can trust that what I say is okay. Yes, it may challenge the other person, but if I also welcome their authentic self then they have the freedom to say what is true for them too. In so doing we co-create something beautiful!
My challenge to you, if you haven’t already – journal a list of what you love about yourself. What makes you you? One of my favourite things about me is my open-heartedness. I’d love to hear what you love about you!
P.S. I can very highly recommend Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection.