oh you guys. this woman. she is amazing and gorgeous and talented and strong and brilliant and the woman whose prayers and talks and advice and wisdom saved me on my darkest days (read: years).
she is my mom. and she has not had an easy life, an easy marriage, or an easy bunch of kids to raise (SIX, might I add). she has earned every wrinkle, every gray hair, and every twinkle in her eye, so I promised her I would not touch them so you could see her as her truest self. and I may be showing a bit of favor to this woman, but isn't she the most beautiful creature you've ever beheld?
Today, I'm not sure I find much to love about myself. I feel weak and sad and empty. But that is just today and I trust I won't feel as bad tomorrow. Usually I can love that I have been making progress in this life. Especially recently life has handed me some unexpected blows, but I can honestly say that the pain has helped me learn and grow. So, I love that I'm able to do that, that I can face the day and move forward. I love that I have compassion. It is a gift that some don't have and I feel blessed to feel it and to share it with others around me. I love how much I love my children, how amazing is a mother's love. Another gift.
What makes me real? That I have as many heartaches as the next woman, that I long for love, that I find comfort in hiking, that I feel like a mountain top is about as close as I can get to God. I am real because I have been an imperfect person. I am full of mistakes and faults and good and bad and love and joy and sorrow. I am a human and I live a complex life but I am grateful for all the good and even some of the bad that has been my experience.
What advice do I have? Love God, love yourself, love others. In that order. Take care of yourself, don't ever dismiss your sense of right and wrong. Listen to your gut. Believe it. Be kind to others. Love your children fiercely. Stay connected with friends - when you least feel like connecting with a friend make the effort to do it anyway. Talk about your struggles, your hurts, your challenges, don't try to get through life on your own.
How did I overcome my insecurities? I don't know that I have. But I'm better. I realized that I am worth buying a dress at full price. I realized that I can risk being rejected. I can talk to strangers, I can be alone, I can feel pain and not die. I can be happy. What matters is what I do right now, not what happened in the past or will happen in the future.