Those of you who know me well know that I go through seasons of self-loathing in my life. I think that everyone enters phases where they feel like the sun is hidden from them. To be frank, I talk a big game. The personality I present to those around me is so much larger than the person that I truly am. I drive myself to be and to do more than I am comfortable with. I press myself to go outside of my comfort zone. I encourage others when I am wholeheartedly discouraged with myself. I help others when I feel helpless and I put on a brave face when I am terrified of my own voice. I talk like I am in control and I know what is going on when, really, I haven’t got a clue. I lead others… sometimes when I’m positively lost myself.
Today, I’m silencing the negativity in my mind for a moment. Any other day I would look at a picture of myself and cut myself down. I would magnify every flaw and become angry with myself. But no, not today. Because right now I am choosing to believe positivity and I’m reminding myself that I *am not* a failure.
Tonight I am looking at a woman whose eyes are full of hope and optimism. I see someone who is looking forward to tomorrow. A mother who loves her children fiercely and whose heart is overwhelmed with pride. I am looking at a wife who can say, without a moment’s doubt, that she made the best decision of her life on the day that she said, “I do.”
Tonight I see a woman who has experienced the pain of loss but has not been defeated. I see someone who has been afraid but has not let her fears immobilize her. I see a woman who has held secrets in her heart to protect the ones that she loves. A woman who has known the heartache of abandonment but chooses still to love. I see a woman who lost her baby, alone, in a public restroom because her body wasn’t strong enough to carry her sweet, tiny child. I see a woman who vowed to never cry another tear unless it really meant something because life is too short to allow herself to be swallowed up by her grief. This woman is strong, and she is brave and she is kind. She is is broken and she is beautiful. She has seen tragedy but she holds onto hope. In this woman’s eyes I see peace that transcends the harsh realities of the world in which she walks. I see a woman who looks up to the heavens with triumph because she knows that death and hell and the grave have been defeated by an omnipotent creator. Tonight I am looking at a woman whose eyes can pierce through veils of deception and not allow herself to be overcome with fury. I see a woman who has let go of hatred and made a conscious decision to move forward in her life, seizing the opportunities she is given with gratefulness. I see a woman who is not afraid to open her heart to hurt because she knows that pain cannot consume her and love is stronger than darkness. I see a woman who has learned to find peace in the midst of the chaos that surrounds her every single day that she draws her breath here on this earth.
I see me.