3 x 3
The best thing I did in 2019, was love myself. If I had 9 photos that illustrated my last decade, you wouldn’t recognize me in them. I was… different. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had many good moments. I was married, I graduated college, I had great friendships, I had my girl, I led some amazing women through ministry, I started teaching, I started a company, and I finally moved to LA. I did love myself in those 10 years. But not enough. It wasn’t the BEST thing I did.
2019 was HARD, ya’ll. My whole world flipped upside down. But I was more driven than I’ve ever been in my 33 years of life. Because I wasn’t motivated by jealousy or FOMO. I was driven by this burning desire to figure out what was good for me… and what really, really wasn’t.
In the pursuit of myself, I’ve failed so many times. But when you love yourself, you’re able to forgive yourself. You’re able to look at your mistakes and say “Ok, self, that didn’t work. But that’s okay, let’s try something else.”
When you love yourself, you let yourself cry. You don’t hide behind the fear of being found out. That people will suddenly realize that you don’t actually have your shit together. You just cry. You cry because you’re sad, because things didn’t work out, because you hoped for something that didn’t come, because people suck, because you yelled at your kid, because your kid yelled at you, because you don’t have the answer, because you have the answer but you don’t wanna do it, because you’re lonely, because you’re tired, because you’re thankful, because things worked when they shouldn’t have, because you’re afraid, just… because.
When you love yourself, you let yourself be loved. You let someone look you in the eyes and tell you you’re a queen and you fucking BELIEVE IT. You let them love your ugly. You let them love all the things that you are, that aren’t your beauty. You let them tell you they’re proud of you even when you haven’t done it yet. Despite old notions that you were not lovable (like truly, unconditionally) you let them wrap you in the warmth of their love and resist the urge to run away… because sometimes you want to.
When you love yourself, you love others well. You forgive them. You seek to understand them. You listen. You don’t have to make everything about you because you already love you. You’re no longer proving that you deserve space. So you make space for them.
When you love yourself, you don’t have to explain to others why you chose you. You just do it. You say no… and nothing else. When you love yourself and choose yourself, the motive behind that “no” is pure and kind. It is from a place of love for you… and for them. You want to give your best. If you can’t, then “no.”
When you love yourself, you speak up. You say the things on your heart. You say them with love and dignity and integrity, because you know your worth. You accept nothing less. You remove yourself from toxicity and brokenness. You hold others accountable to their actions and you expect to be held accountable to yours.
When you love yourself, being alone is okay. You enjoy the company and laughter and love from others, but you don’t vie for it. You are comfortable with yourself and you do not compromise your worth for the company of others. Others will come. And if not, that’s okay too.
I have not perfected the art of loving myself. Sometimes I’m not loving myself as well as I could be. But in 2019, I loved the hell outta myself the best that I could. I learned to like myself first, so that I could learn to love myself better. I don’t have any grand plans for 2020. I have plenty that I want to accomplish, but mostly I just want love myself better than I did last year. And in the next decade, I hope I have too many pictures to choose from for a 3 x 3 grid.