“Do you love yourself?”
The question had never been asked of her, and she wasn’t sure how to answer.
She thought for a moment. Deep down, she knew.
“No. I don’t think I know what that looks like.”
For love to her was so big and true. So loyal and steadfast. So wide and deep. Lasting and heavy and grace covered and held so much meaning. Her belief held that when all else fails, love wins. It is what stands when everything crumbles and the reason life is worth living. The love she gives when her heart feels safe is so vast and strong there is nothing it would not cover.
But did this kind of love she carried in her own being extend to include herself? She hadn’t thought about it until she was asked the question.
In that moment, she realized she didn’t quite know what it would feel like if it were true, for she breaks herself on behalf of those who take up the space of her heart, leaving no room for her head to rest.
Crucially, she realized that love itself was the thing that had been her ultimate undoing. She had been so broken by it. She had loved fiercely with all of her, and that love was not cared for, returned, or wanted. This changed her into a person she no longer knew. She knew that when she fell apart the whisper of “you weren’t enough” wouldn’t quiet, but rather sat and gnawed at her. That whisper made her doubt everything, blocking the love she could give herself.
So. It begins. This journey the wise woman set me on because she and I both know it is a journey I must travel. It is a road I must walk and learn the divets of; one I must see the other side of.
Love for the woman in this picture will come lightly I believe, but today, I can stand on how proud I am of her. She is the strongest woman I know because I know what she has endured, and in that, I know she will be OK.
I am surprised over and over of just how capable she is. I am taken aback sometimes at her beauty, because I have learned that true beauty is found in scars and hurts and tender places that have been so harmed. Her laughter that shines through the dark illuminates her. She is beautiful because she doesn’t let this world with all its pain drown her.
Beautiful because she rises. Again and Again. And again.