Saturday, January 28, 2012
The Most Important Love
I am on a journey. At the beginning of the year I had several different generalized resolutions but as the month has gone on and as the days pass I am realizing that it all boils down to one resolution really. That is to love myself.
I knew that it was a problem, not loving myself, but I never knew how big of a problem it was and how large the impact it had on my life and my relationship with others. I always had this nagging feeling that I should spend more time/money/effort on myself, but that feeling was always counteracted by this nagging sense that I am a mom and my responsibilities are to give to my children. If I didn't buy myself XXX then I could give XXX to my daughter or son.
I was raised in a family where Mom made many sacrifices. I watched Mom give up hobbies and passions for us kids and although I was proud of the things my mom accomplished and loved and I knew that it wasn't right for her to give up so much, somehow I came out of it doing the exact same thing with my own family. I was raised believing that beauty is more than skin deep, and well that is true. But where did I learn that it wasn't important at all? I felt that by giving and giving of myself, my time and energy I was being a good mom. That is until I ran myself into the ground.
Last year was a difficult long year and I am so glad that it is behind me. I embraced 2012 as a fresh start and a chance to change things and to really embrace and take a stance against what was holding me back. I thought I knew what the problems were. I thought I had pin-pointed exactly where I had gone wrong, but as I started to make changes old familiar feelings started coming back and I was paralyzed to make a difference.
I realized, with some help, that the challenges that I had were only symptoms of a sickness that is bone deep. So deep in fact, that I wasn't even aware of the real issue. That issue is that I just don't love myself. I always put myself last if at all.
As I've become aware of this I've tried to make changes. I will tell you it is not easy. This afternoon, for example, I wanted to spend some time to myself shopping. There wasn't anything in particular that I was in search for (rarely do I just shop, unless list is in hand). First I had trouble asking for my Hubby to stay with the kids. I actually felt guilty asking and it took some time before I actually did get around to asking. Of course he was supportive and had no problem giving me some time to myself, but I had mounted in my head all of these terrible reasons why I shouldn't leave ranging from my son has a slight cold and needs me to we don't have money to spend. He practically had to push me out the door. In the driveway, engine running I just sat there in the car. I knew I didn't really need anything and so once again like a ping pong ball I went back and forth justifying what I was going to do. I honestly felt paralyzed by fear! I knew I had to break through it so I just backed up the car and started driving. I eliminated the choice of giving up.
I had no place to go in particular but I drove around the block until I decided to visit a little vintage shop that I had been in once long ago. I bought myself a little necklace. It was the first thing I saw when I walked through the door and it just caught my eye, she was so adorable. I bought myself something and didn't even think twice about it. I didn't think if it was practical or how many gallons of milk or eggs the money would buy. I immediately snatched it up. I spent the rest of the time making peace with the peace of being by myself; being alone. I looked through vintage dishes and embroidered tea towels, books and little vintage toys. I cleared my mind and just enjoyed being with me. I didn't have to worry about the kids breaking things or chasing them down or getting out of the shop as quick as possible to avoid a melt down and suddenly I felt very unburdened. As soon as I put the necklace on in the car on my way home I felt the weight of the tiny rhinestones and silver and I felt peace and pride. It was a first step in a journey of learning about one of the greatest loves of all.