Life is is hard. Period. And I know that perspective is everything: hard compared to what? I have not lost a child or even a parent, yet I say Life is hard. I know I need to adjust my view finder and see with different eyes... and I am trying. I guess each one of us fight our own battles. Everyone of us live in our own world of troubles and we don't have answers and clear cut paths. Sometimes it resolves and the hardship comes to an end. But in many cases it's something that just becomes a part of our lives and we learn to live with it. I try to teach my girls that it's not what happens to you that defines you, but how you handle it. And in the handling is where I think we can all be brave together.
I have been going through a hard time in my marriage for the past 3 years. I don't think I need to disclose the details, as it's not really relevant here or my story to tell (for now). But I have endeavoured to handle everything that comes my way with grace and as much peace as possible.
It's not always easy. I will admit there have been many times that I simply couldn't do that. I will also admit that I have learned so much about myself in the process. I have discovered that I am stronger than I think. That I love myself more than I could ever thought: this is a good thing, by the way. Self love when times are hard is important. It gives you self respect. It makes you look at the world with softer eyes. I makes you hold your tongue when you want to lash out. I reminds you that you are wired for struggle but that you are worthy of love and belonging.
Self love equates to being your own friend. To be that familiar face in the mirror when negative feelings swirls around you. It causes you to believe the word that says: “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”
Loving yourself means to be your own best friend. To talk to yourself in soft tones. To be kind to yourself and to look out for yourself. Not in a selfish manner, but in a tender hearted way.
Please don't think I am there. I am not. But looking back over the past 3 years, I am delighted to see that I have come closer to loving myself instead of moving further away.
A few weeks ago, I came to the realization that I have been neglecting my skin for months. I was so happy to discover this... because this meant I could actively make a decision to change. And I did. For the last 3 weeks, I have just gotten diligent with my facial routine at night. I even time myself and discovered that it takes me 2 minutes to go through the moves and climb into bed with a clean skin. This is but a small token of loving yourself. The other realization that I came to was that I have fallen out of the habit to eat healthy on a regular basis. So, i made changes and decisions and I really do feel so much better for it.
Loving yourself means that someone else's love (or lack there of) does not define you... It means that you are not paranoid when someone is cool with you... you have faith in your own heart. Loving yourself means that there is a quiet confidence within you that bears up under pressure.
Let's be brave together and love yourself more.