And as soon as I did it, I just felt miserable. Tainted. My images are, for the most part, beautiful. Pretty pictures and lovely words,
But I do have some of these images. Quotes that are filled with self loathing. And I can't deny, there is a lot of that dialogue in my brain. Deep inside of me. It has been there for years. Certainly since I was 11 or 12.
But I'm not a teenage girl anymore. I'm a 36 year old happily married woman with 2 amazing sons. Yes, there are things I don't like about myself. But most of them (not all) are physical. Most of them are related to the way I look and the state of my health.
Aren't our 30s supposed to be when we start to let go of some of that? When we start to be more comfortable in our skin. Care less about the superficial and start to like ourselves again? I did, you know. For the first 3 or 4 years of my 30s. I honestly did. But in the past couple of years, I've felt things like this start to take over again.
So. It gave me a jolt last night - just how quickly I pressed 'like' on that. Those awful, negative words. I'm not saying I don't feel that way. I do. Often. But even I know they're not healthy. And that the only way I will stop feeling that way is to replace those thoughts. Deliberately. Regularly. Consciously.
In honour of that, and Tina's post today which follows a remarkably similar vein (I was amazed when I saw hers this morning. We were both in the same place last night, it would seem) I want to find things about me that I like.
It's really hard to do this. Harder still to do it on here. Everytime I go to write something down, I find myself deleting it, thinking "You can't write that. You sound so full of yourself...". I guess old habits are hard to break.
Things I like about Me.
- I am an amazing mother. It's hard to say this. I know we're supposed to all think we're not doing it right, worry that we're screwing our kids up. And who knows. It's early days yet. J But honestly, I do feel this way. This is something I'm good at. I don't parent the way I imagined I would. I'm far more an attachment parent than I expected to be. I'm far more ruled by my awareness of their emotions. Every word I say to them is considered. I'm only too aware of how thoughtless, seemingly minor statements can cause scars that last a lifetime. I am incredibly careful to create as few of them as possible. I'm incredibly intuitive with my children, incredibly gentle and loving and silly. And I'm proud of that. And I want it to be ok to say that I'm proud of that. Proud of me.
- I'm very loving. I love deeply and passionately. I don't just mean Joel. Though I do love him that way. I'm loving and thoughtful with him too. But anyone I love, I love a lot. And once offered, it's hard to lose my love and my friendship. It takes a LOT of strikes before I decide that I can't do it anymore. And even then, my heart will hold on to you, hope that one day it will be ok again to love you openly. Safe to love you openly.
- I like that I smile with my eyes. I love that when I'm happy and smiling, my eyes sparkle. Joel pointed it out to me really early on, my smiling eyes (he has them too). I love that in other people. So I have to appreciate it in myself.
- I'm reasonably smart. I'm not talking Masters degree smart (though oh, how I wish). But I have a deep love of learning. I'm a nerd. And I love that I'm a nerd. I'm proud of it. I love other nerds. We're a cool bunch, you know. J I enjoy getting lost for hours in books, in websites. Looking something up and then following link after link after link, getting as much of the back story as I can. I also love that I'm raising at least one child (Sammy's a little resistant right now, but we're hoping he's picking it up through his brother. Or osmosis. Or anything) who feels the same way.
- I can, at times, bring the funny. I'm snarky. I have a fairly quick wit. I like that my sons think I'm funny. I love the way that Joel loves (and comments on) the way that I can still make him laugh, every day, even after 15 years. It does my heart good to make him laugh. I know a line was good if he has an asthma attack. I'm only a little sorry that I've single handedly brought back his asthma (! That's a terrible thing to say. And not true. He's always been asthmatic. But when he laughs a hard, he can end up with a bit of an asthma attack. I should probably stop that, right?)