I married at 18, I dropped out of college [3x's, oops], I had my oldest son at 18, I worked a million horrible jobs, I married and divorced and I was a single mom at a young age, I attempted to provide for my oldest son who lived through all of this with me. I realized at that moment that I beat the odds. I did it! I also fell madly and deeply in love with myself. I had a crazy amount of admiration for myself, and I started to cry. I walked onto the stage and took that piece of paper, but it was so much more than just a piece of paper. It was an acceptance of love for myself. It was the thing. The thing I never knew I had inside myself. The thing that held me back because it wasn't there. I discovered true love.
It has given me the courage to accept true love in others and give back true love to all of those important people in my life. Being resilient, strong and courageous, accepting, nurturing, and truly loving who I am as a person is the greatest gift I received that day. Discovering true love for myself has given me the courage to accomplish many things I never saw possible. I ran my first ½ marathon that same month and when I held my best friends hand and crossed the finish line with tears in my eyes it symbolized a crossroads in my life. I completed two things that I never EVER thought were possible.
So in this season of love, I am asking that you look at yourself. Decide who YOU want to be. Decide how YOU want to live. Decide how YOU will gain that admiration and joy for yourself. Look to yourself for wholeness and completeness. Look to yourself to give you the compliments you deserve. Take care of yourself in order to take care of those you love. Look back into your life and pull out your achievements [they are there even if they are small--they are there], and think how you obtained them, it will give you the best gift you can receive!
Love, it sure is a crazy thing! And sometimes it can be the THING that drives you to accomplish or fail, make you do crazy things or wonderfully crazy things. It is the thing that we can't live without! It is the thing that as parents we give unconditionally and receive unconditionally from our children. It is the thing that we look for each day in our partners. It is the thing that some of us never take the time to give to ourselves. Give it to others, openly accept it from others, but don't forget to give it and accept it from yourself.