I tripped and fell while running down a mountain scraping my knee and bruising my ego. As I lay there curled up in a ball and wishing for peace, I started to look at my hands covered in scars and scratches. I looked at my knees and knew every scar had a story; learning to ride a bike, or running to catch a friend. I moved my arms and legs and listened to the sounds my bones made, remembering every bone I ever broke. I smiled because I am still standing.
I looked at my reflection and I knew the woman I am now is not the same as I was year ago or ten years ago. I can stand and somewhere along the line I learned patience. I learned to be okay with every scar, bruise, and blemish. Briefly, I burned up like a phoenix and from the ashes I found I have wings.
I found a way to love myself, to hug myself, to be my own best friend. I found love in those ashes, the love I knew when I was born before life happened. Before the world told me I had to be smarter, funnier, friendlier, taller, skinnier, before the world told me I wasn’t good enough.
I found my own beauty and I can laugh at my own jokes and my own self. I love my scars and the stories they tell. The ones on the outside and the ones on the inside. I can dance and sing (not well enough for a career) but good enough to make me happy. I can close my eyes and imagine I am flying across a desert sky enjoying the cool breeze on my skin. I learned grace.
I want to believe in a world that there is no hatred and violence; where people can stop being greedy, however, in order to do that I have to live that life as well. We are taught so many things in this world, but the more we learn about money, greed, competition, political correctness, judgement, the more we lose sight of love.
Love is something I found in my journey through darkness. Some call it the dark night of the soul. I reached a point in my life where I had to choose a path; one was down further into darkness and the other was reaching for light. I chose the light. I chose to forgive myself for my transgressions. I chose to love my flaws, the parts of me society told me to hide. I chose to be kind to myself and somehow this made being kind to others so much easier.
I learned to take each moment as it comes and not get overwhelmed by what may happen and what the media and the rest of the world tells me is happening. I learned to cry when I want, laugh when I need, and be angry when the time comes. I learned to accept myself; which isn’t perfect but perfectly okay.
I want my children to love themselves and know that the world is only as cruel as you perceive it to be. When you begin to find a way to love yourself completely despite the cards you are dealt you find strength. Life is all about love but it begins with shedding lies we have been told and learning to love the self.