These past couple of years have been quite the eye-opening journey for me filled with so many good and bad days, times of difficulty and tears, along with moments of strength and determination. Prioritizing myself, self-care, and my health and wellness has not always been easy. Struggling with mom guilt and feeling the need to sacrifice myself for the sake of my family was always running through my mind. Losing myself in the all-consuming world of motherhood. However, when I decided that I was worthy of investing in my health and wellness, and deserving of practicing self-care, my life changed. Was it easy, absolutely not, were there days that challenged me, heck yes, but it was always about my “why”. The reason why I MUST. That drive that motivates me to get to work each morning and take care of business. The reason why I choose to stay consistent and keep going, even when I do not feel like it. Every hardship, every heartache, every tear, was also met with progress, achievements, and wins….and in the end; those moments and experiences were worth it all!
Like many women, I spent so many years (many of them in my youth, but also many in my adulthood) criticizing myself- how I look, feeling inadequate or not enough. I look back at all those years that I was so hard on myself and wished that I had been kinder to myself, given myself more grace, and had the confidence to see how remarkable I was and the conviction to know that not only was I enough, I was extraordinary! I think to myself how sad it is as women that these revelations don’t come until we are older, and I truly hope and pray that my daughter will never feel less than or inferior as I once did. I always want her to feel exceptional, incomparable, limitless, brilliant, beautiful, strong, and empowered. Though it has taken me several years to get here, I am so happy that I can now look at myself and I love who I see looking back at me. I know my value and my worth, and I expect to be treated (by myself, as well as by others) with dignity and respect. I know that I will not settle for less than what I deserve. I know I am strong, both inside and out…stronger than I ever thought I was. I am intelligent and I have a voice that will be heard. I have integrity that will never be compromised. I am fierce and a force to be reckoned with. I am not perfect; perfection was never my goal. I still have my occasional insecurities, but I remind myself that I am amazing. When I see my physical “flaws” in the mirror, I know these imperfections are my battle scars- signs of the incredible things my body has done for me over the last several years. I am thankful that my body has allowed me to create, carry, and give birth to two beautiful children. I am grateful that my body is healthy and lets me wake up every morning to care for my family, my home, and myself. At 41 years old, my body has let me work it out and push it farther and harder than I ever have in my life, allowing me to feel strong, beautiful, confident and powerful. I am now at a stage in my life where flourishing into a better version of myself every day is not only healthy, it is essential. It is important to continue to evolve. I know that I am not the same person I was a few months or years ago. I am who I am now, I love who I have become, and I am not going to try to fit into spaces I have outgrown. I am taking care of this version of me. I have worked hard to become her.
I wish I could go back in time so that I could encourage my younger self, build her up, teach her to feel empowered, to be confident, to just be herself, love herself the way she is, f*ck the haters, and don’t let anyone tell her or convince her otherwise. Since I cannot, I will impart these words of inspiration to my daughter and to all the women I know and love in hopes that they will always remember the wonderful traits that they possess and feel so special and exceedingly happy to be whom they are.
Love yourself more.
Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself grace.
Do what makes you happy.
Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.
You are amazing- remember that!