For the last week or so, I’ve been taking part in the Choosing to Love Myself challenge over on The Small Seed. I love this challenge; it’s all about loving who you are as a woman, right now, and not waiting until you lose weight or have hair like that girl on Instagram or fix those things you hate about yourself. It’s about not hating those things anymore. And it’s about remembering that you–and your body–are wonderful and valuable, just as you are right now.
Yesterday’s task for the challenge was to find a photo of yourself as a child and post it on a mirror in your home, remembering that you are still that child.
I chose this photo.
I have so many photos of myself from my childhood that I have seen dozens of times, but don’t happen to recall the moment when they were taken. This photo, though, I remember distinctly. I was leaving soon for my ballet recital. My mother had painted my fingernails with her gold nail polish I loved. I thought my costume was beautiful, and I absolutely loved dancing. My father took me outside to take a few photos by the drooping trees that grew beside the canal that ran behind our house, and I remember exactly how cool it felt near the water, and how the ashy trees smelled slightly peppery. I remember feeling so special and so loved.
I looked at this photo again yesterday and thought: here is a little girl who knew she was beautiful and talented and wonderful and loved. Here is a little girl who knew her worth.
Several years ago, I went through a traumatic change that left me confused and angry and feeling worthless and rejected. For months, I struggled with depression and the certainty that somehow, I was not enough. I never really told anyone what I was feeling or how badly I was fighting for my own sense of value, but somehow my mother knew. About six months into this internal battle, she sent me a powerful letter that said, among other things,
“My girl, this is what I feel so often is the source of your troubled heart: you do not believe or you do not yet understand your own worth. I feel it is past time that you are able to say, ‘The worth of my soul is great and precious in my own sight’ and believe it–no, KNOW it to be true. Remember. I think you knew this truth once, for a long time. I think about that girl who used to sit in the irrigation ditch. That girl sat upon the earth and constructed things that were great in her sight. What were those things? Simple nothings: hills, roads, piles of pebbles and little villages. She sang little sweet songs to herself while she worked on her creations. She was perfectly confident that whatever she did would be acceptable and grand because she had been the one who fashioned it. She had a sense of her goodness, a sense of her value, a sense that simply because she existed, sitting there on the warm earth under a bright sun that made her little head reflect the light, that she was wonderful! How did she know that she was wonderful? I believe she was born believing it.
“Why did you come to disbelieve this truth?”
Why do we come to disbelieve we are so wonderful? Deep down, we are all little girls, creating marvelous things. Every one of us is magnificent, created to be happy and to find joy in this life. We can do hard things. We can be kind and brilliant, and regardless of our challenges or our past mistakes, we have value, just as we are.
I propose this to you:
Remember your worth today. Remember that you are loved, and that you have infinite value. Remember that you are beautiful and capable, just as you are right now.
I hope it makes a difference in your day. I know it’s made a huge change in mine, this last week. 🙂