The Hearts of Gold Project
JacquelinneOne of the greatest struggles I’ve faced throughout my life, and especially since becoming a mother, is not feeling “good enough." I often times set unrealistic expectations for myself because I wanted nothing more than to be the best version of myself, to be able to do anything and everything. I found myself tirelessly chasing a means to provide the perfect life for my husband and children. The truth is, perfection is unattainable and, as I started accepting what was realistic for MYSELF to achieve in addition to letting go of the things that really didn't matter, I found more joy in being a wife and mother. I realized that living a perfectly imperfect life meant freeing myself from anxiety, stress and insecurities that I’d carried longer than I could remember. I’ve been able to break down walls I had built up, open my heart to feel and love more. Living more authentically and being open about what is real has been empowering, it has connected me with other women and mothers in ways I never knew possible. I like to think that it is the braver side of me that I never knew was there—it’s a side that’s learning to be not only authentic, but courageous and dare greatly.
Most of my adult life I have worked so hard to have the "perfect" body. During pregnancy with my son my body changed so much and I began to body shame when I looked in the mirror. One day I read something that said, "you don't need to be perfect to be good," and it hit me like a ton of bricks. My body isn't ruined! It just went through a beautiful change that many women don't get a chance to go through. I have learned that I already have a great body -- one that made a healthy baby boy and is so amazing that it allows me to continue to help him grow!
MichelleSo this is something that is actually really hard for me to admit out loud...but I honestly feel incredibly socially awkward all the time. I always feel like I'm missing something - like there's an inside joke that I'm not in on. This in turn makes me quite self-conscious - and probably even more awkward - in situations that most would be completely comfortable in. As I've matured though I've come to accept my awkwardness and all of its charms. Yes, you read that right, charms. You see, I have grown to be extremely confident with my awkward personality, for better or worse. So far it's been working for me though. ;) One of my biggest "problems" is that I am an open book - AKA I overshare. But, I've found over the years that my openness often helps others open up to me. Because I'm so willing to share my "deep dark secrets" others are willing to share theirs, which has been a powerful tool that has enabled me to help lots of people I've come in contact with. I cannot tell you how many friends reach out to me because they need some advice or a listening ear that refuses to judge them. I am so grateful for my charmingly awkward personality that allows me to be the friend that you can come to when you need some validation, love and support. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Something that very few people know about me is that for most of my life I was very insecure and self conscience about my body. For most of my life I was told that I need to lose weight to fit in and, even worse, to be happy! In the past few years I have really dug deep to understand why I needed to lose weight and I realized that I DONT. My goal from that point on has been to be active, healthy and strong so that I can enjoy my kids more, and guess what? I don't need to be skinny to do that! In even more recent months I have to come to LOVE MY CURVES! I think my curves set me apart from other ladies and make me unique. Don't get me wrong I still have moments of wanting to slim this or that part of my body, but they are short lived. Feeling this way about my body has been a benefit to my children because I am able to teach them to love who they are whole-heartedly and not try to "fit a mold" that society wants them to fit in.
So my darling ladies, what do you love about yourself? What are you not willing to say out loud but wouldn't give up? What has been a struggle for you but you know now is what makes you sparkle? We want to hear about it! We want you to share it with our little community, and hopefully the world! Join us for this fantastic project by downloading your free printable below.
The best mama is the mama that knows she is golden.
Download the Hearts of Gold Printable here.