Loving yourself doesn't come easy. In fact, I never knew what love meant until I felt that one-of-a-kind love bloom within me for my husband and son. That special love inspired me to love myself too. I found that loving myself wholly meant loving every part of my self--my mind, my body and my soul. It had never occurred to me before I became a mother to explore and fall in love with those parts of myself.
Loving Your Mind:
When you think about who you are as a person, what do you find you love about that person? Do you love your funny sense of humor? Your kind spirit? Maybe your ability to easily learn something new? Start there. Find one attribute that you truly love about your mind and work off of it! For instance, in the lowest times of my life, I've always fallen back on my wit and the ability to make someone laugh. Even in those hard times, I found joy and confidence when I could make someone laugh with a funny story or my quick wit. It helped me have a renewed sense of who I was. Whenever I can find one attribute I love about my mind, I find that I can create my own confidence and I don't rely on the compliments of others to feel sufficient. Learning and applying this concept opens up limitless possibilities for growth and self-love.
Loving Your Body:
Now this one is tricky. I've never met a woman who doesn't have some insecurity with her body. Realistically, every woman wants to feel beautiful. I am very familiar with the devil on my shoulder that pokes fun at my jiggly thighs and my soft Mom bod; and learning to silence him has been the most liberating feeling I've ever known. I've come to realize that our bodies are just that, bodies--they were made to contain life. I learned that once I loved the person inside that body, I loved my outside person--the person that everyone else can see. I also changed my perspective quite a bit. Before I became a Mom, I had a lot of time on my hands to spend shaping my body the way I wanted it. Afterwards, not so much. I realized my goals needed to change along with my new life. My ultimate goal became this: to be strong and healthy enough to live a life full of adventure alongside my husband and son. That was it! I did not have a weight goal. I did not have a body fat percentage goal. I created the goal of living an active life with my family. If there came a time when I could no longer keep up and do the things I loved, then I would know that I wasn't achieving the goal I had set for myself. I currently strive to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and I can truly say that I love my body. I am so thankful to have a healthy body that takes me to any place I want to go.
Loving Your Soul:
I never understood what loving my own soul could feel like, but then I became a mother and everything changed. Over the last two and a half years, I have done hundreds of hours of soul searching, praying and reading to discover who I was as a person. I went through a point in my life where I felt extremely lost, but the funny thing is, that's when I found myself. I distinctly remember looking at a picture of my 8-year-old self. She had a black baseball cap on backwards with a blunt blond bob falling down to her chin beneath the cap. Her matching black cutoff shirt showed her belly and she didn't care. She wore a huge smile on her face as she held up a wooden hydroplane that her grandfather made her. She was about to take off on her bike with that hydroplane attached to the back with a piece of cord, but her mom wanted a picture of her first. I remember looking at that girl in the picture and wanting to be her. I wanted to be that girl with the smile and the cutoff shirt and the adventurous spirit; so I decided to become her again. I had known from the very beginning who I was, but somewhere along the way I had forgotten. I went back to my 8-year-old self and I found her again; that is how I began to love my soul. First, I loved the parts of me that were still child-like, which I found out, was a lot of parts. Then I built on them. I humbled myself and accepted myself for the first time. I discovered many parts of myself and it was wonderful. Developing your knowledge and overall understanding of who you are as a person is the best first step you can take to loving your soul.
Take some time to love all three parts of you. Explore them, learn them, and love them. You deserve it mama.