I’m still learning to love the parts of myself that no one claps for. -Rudy Francisco
This month’s challenge was a beautiful one for me, one that took honest reflection, forgiveness, humor, and acceptance of the fact that maybe I still don’t have it all figured out but that if by the end of the day I can honestly say I am learning to love myself better, well then maybe I have more of “it” figured out than I think I do.
The first part of this month’s challenge was to write a love letter to yourself. As I sat down to write my love letter, I began to think of all the great love stories of this world. You know, the ones you read about in books or see in movies, yes, but also the ones that might otherwise go under the radar… like the love story my Grandpa Bob shared with Mary Ann, or the love story of Joey and Rory. I even spent time thinking about my own love story, the one I share with Christian. While most people’s love stories don’t go to the big screen or even written to be shared with those who choose to read, they’re still very much there… they’re still very real and true. Love stories are created by many little moments, most of which are only shared between the people who share them, never to be told. And while love can be found in grand times and things, I think love is proven in the little things and during the mundane times of life. To me, those are the best love stories… the ones of patience and grace and lots and lots and lots of “redos.”
And so, when I thought about the real love stories of life and not just the ones you see in the movies, I wondered why it’s often times so hard for us to love ourselves in the mundane times of life…. when things aren’t rosy or when you’ve had a bad day or when you’ve really messed up… when you need to just be loved through the redo. Often times I am so much quicker to offer forgiveness to someone else I love who’s going through these things than I am to myself. No, it’s not always easy to love another person in the hard times but perhaps when it comes to loving oneself, it’s not as easy as simply choosing to. Maybe it’s something you just continuously learn how to do better and better and that’s how you love yourself, to give yourself patience through the learning time… and I decided this month that I’m okay with that. As I wrote my love letter I realized that as we learn what loving others unconditionally means, we must also learn that for ourselves and so it’s not just simply one grand action, it’s learning to do it in the little moments too.
The second part of this month’s challenge was to practice positive self-talk and positive self-reflection daily. I have talked about this quite a few times in this space (here and here, for starters) as this is something I believe very much in. Surely we aren’t born thinking negatively about ourselves or freely offering little jabs here and there when we’re not happy with ourselves; these are habits we’ve picked up along the way unfortunately. BUT, the thing to remember about habits is that they don’t have to be permanent. Sure, it may take twice as long to break them than it did to pick them up, but they can be broken. Once you practice positive self-talk and positive self-reflection, that too can become a habit – one that can surely stay.
I think the best thing about this month’s challenge, for me anyway, was the reminder that in the end it’s not about what anyone else thinks of me or even what I think of myself – Jesus has already written my love letter and in it He says I am His beloved. He says I am more precious than jewels, that I am worth dying for – on my best days but on my absolute worst days too. (And He speaks these words about you, too.) Truly- is there a greater love story than that?
Now it’s your time to share your feedback from this month’s challenge. Link up your thoughts below & don’t forget to check the Twelve Months of Bliss page in a few days for next month’s challenge!