My journey of liking myself has been long and full of tears. Growing up, I know my parents did their best. I know my mom wanted better for me than she had. Unfortunantely, it wasn’t enough for this tender soul. I feel deeply, express emotionally, am content but never satisfied. This did not bode well in a home where emotions weren’t often expressed and perfection was highly regarded. As you can guess I did not thrive. There is a physical condition of failure to thrive, mine was an internal failure.
Granted this did give me that tough, determined spirit people admire, although I had to pay dearly for it. Thinking about that little girl who never felt like she fit in anywhere, or was even good enough, brings tears to my eyes. She was so broken, so desperate. That desperation caused her to do some very bad things. Things she doesn’t like to talk about. If only someone believed in her, she often wondered how life would be different. She is not angry, she is no longer bitter, and only has one regret in life. Well, maybe two.
When she began having her own children, she finally found the healing she had been seeking for years. She made a home and finally had something to call her own. Little people who would over look her faults and love her anyways; who would challenge her to overcome her demons. These demons were ink black and shifty. They knew how to morph into other shapes. Sometimes they would catch her so off gaurd she would lock herself in the bathroom, the only room with a lock, and weep. She often wondered how she got so lucky to be blessed with these little souls. Many days she would question if she was enough for them. If she could raise them well. Many nights her pillow would be stained with tears and prayers that God give her grace for one more day.
As these babies grew into toddlers, then into double digit ages, she began to see. No longer were her tears of pain and sorrow, but of joy and pride. She did this! She raised these future adults! She faced her demons and all of their shiftiness. You aren’t supposed to grow anymore as an adult, but she did. She grew five inches because her back was straighter, her head higher. She learned she was worth it. She learned she was lovable. One child taught her, your best effort was plenty, perfection is never the goal. One child taught her to love the body God gave her even though it is not long and lean. One daughter gave her the gift of relationship that she always wished her mother could give. Another child showed her the value of pure joy in every moment. She always smiles when she thinks about those bright, shiny eyes.
Because of her children, she forced herself to finally speak about the voices that haunt her on her very bad days. The days that leave her unable to function, barely able to get out of bed. She finally realized that although she can’t do it all, she is plenty.