There are only two types of women–goddesses and doormats.

Pablo Picasso

I tend to give too much credit to the relationships that bring about change in my life. So I’m not going to do that. I will say that an extremely challenging and magical time I spent with a significant person recently brought about awareness of my own strength, all of my weaknesses and my ability to persevere. My fears, my courage and my capacity to love also have risen to the surface. Quite an interesting place to end up. I have had the time to thoroughly sort out the beautiful mess encompassing that experience. Here is what I discovered.

The fear is what started it all. Fear that I wasn’t good enough. If I didn’t prove my worth I would never be accepted by my peers, partner or family. Being told you’re beautiful, have a nice ass, pretty eyes, can only feel good for a little while. It’s not enough. I wanted to be known. I wanted to be accepted for who I am. I wanted someone else to do these things for me. 

Just as I had suspected when I met this person, he had given me a mirror. Ugh, I knew it. I knew he was going to teach me something, but it went far deeper than I anticipated. I saw myself in him. I saw myself at my worst, my flaws, my mistakes. And I loved him. I accepted all of him. This was more than I had ever offered myself. I was okay with receiving love from others, but not from myself.

Compassion starts with you. Loving yourself sets you up to recognize when something is not healthy for you, and gives you the self-respect to walk away from things that don’t serve you. I learned that there was a huge, wide open space for me to begin loving myself. All of me. The parts I strive to hide behind my yoga persona and my smile. I learned to love the darkness of my past and find my root, the core of my being. I found my truth buried underneath my desire to be desirable, accepted and to prove to others that I am worthy of love. I found my truth underneath all of my positivity; words that sounded motivating and happy but had no backbone.

I am worthy of love, just because I exist. Not because of anything I’ve done or the way I look. I’m here. I’m human. I am rooted and grounded in my strength, resilience, faith, and the knowledge that no matter what happens, I am safe in my body and I am supported by the ground beneath me. At 31 I am just now learning to love my body and everything in it. I have compassion for the person who has fallen apart time and time again. The person who just can’t seem to get their shit together. That was me. But I’m choosing differently now.

I could never fit inside the box I have attempted to mold myself into. I’ve always known deep down that I belonged among the wildflowers but I still tried to meet the expectations of jobs and people who considered me a novelty. Now that I step into a new season of life, one that I sought out and invited in, I feel authentic. I’m opening the door to adventure, growth and challenge with a strength I never knew I had. The fire that once almost burned me down is safely lit deep inside me, guiding me, calling me to carefully take steps that listen to wisdom as I tread into the unknown. This time I won’t let the passion burn me. This time I will love myself.

There is no one who can take the place of self-acceptance. And even if you prove your worth through hard work and accomplishments to other people, you’ll never prove it to yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself. And when you do, you have the freedom to set healthy boundaries. You have the freedom to make better choices for yourself. Choices that may be misunderstood and frowned upon by others. Thankfully, you can rest in the assurance that you know what’s best for you, there is no one to impress. Nothing to prove. That is your root, your truth. Sit in it. Rest there and find peace.

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