The truest of true love is self love. Up until fairly recently whenever anyone brought up self love I always thought they were talking about masturbation. I do have a dirty mind and very sophomoric humor but masturbation is away of loving yourself so I was not totally off.
Both self love and masturbation were two topics never, I mean not even once discussed in my household. I grew up with three brothers and my mother worked on and off my whole life. I do not believe I received any compliments as a child not related to how I looked or my skills of being a gracious host/servant. My parents had their hands full and I did not stand out for any other reason than for being a female. Also it was a different time, positive reinforcement was not the way of the world. I am not sure the term self love was even really a commonly used term then.
During middle school and high school I went to a few college preparatory schools. At these institutions I found, the culture is all about cutting people down to be seen as the best. If you were not the smartest, the most athletic, a musical prodigy, how would you ever of get into Yale, Harvard, MIT, Juilliard or whatever college you would die to attend. And if you didn’t go to said university how would you ever be a success. My years at these schools taught me many things. But two things that are very relevant to this post. One, I am not the best at anything. Two, I learned that I did not fit in.
The second lesson has been a part of my journey my whole life. I force my self to try to fit in and then fail. Until now! When I finally got divorced and decide to start my own life for the first time I ever, I made a decision to be me. Even though at the time I had no idea who that was. I was a total stranger to myself. I moved to Portland, ME. If you don’t know Portland it is one of those fantastic cities where everyone is a bit unique and a bit less stuffy and concerned.
In my new found city, in my new found life, in my new found home, in my new found body I was finally able to explore me. I didn’t even really know who I was or what I liked. As I have explored myself I have begun to embrace and love myself. And although it was a bit uncomfortable at first, I find so much comfort and peace in being me and loving who I am. This is not narcissism, egotism, self righteousness, excessive self involvement, stubbornness or being conceited. This is me acknowledging my talents and uniqueness. This is me valuing myself.
We all have some basic idea of who we are. What we are. What we are good or bad at. What makes us a happy. What we are total failures at. Knowing yourself is the first step in loving yourself.
I love myself. Who I am now and who I am becoming. Writing, reading and exploring for this blog has helped me so much. I love being a suburban goddess mom.