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Fall In Love With Yourself

Updated: Feb 15

Once upon a time I fell. Uncontrollably unexpectedly down a rabbit hole filled with wonder and all kinds of curiosities.


I fell in Love! There is a reason it is called falling in love. It bloody hurts. How many of you can relate? It is a free fall with no parachute or safety gear. If you are lucky you will land with bruises, bumps, and the odd fracture. As humans we are built for connection, but we so often avoid it at all costs because we are terrified of being hurt. But rest assured when you bravely step into the unknown you are stepping into a place of growth and learning.



But growth can hurt too, does it ever end! Growing pains like no other pain. That feeling of cracking splintering bones as they grow within you. When we grow emotionally there is not this almighty light and angels hovering singing hallelujah overhead. NO there is bone splintering pain. Growth emotionally means diving into your darkest places, digging deep, owning shit, and stepping back with hands in the air saying Yep that’s me. Growth is messy, its digging with a spade that at times feels too heavy to hold. Its yielding that spade in the air and continuing anyway, despite the bruises, the searing pain in your back and the splinters in your palms. Yes, growth hurts, but from it comes this beauty called self-awareness.


I have friends who adore falling in love and run with it, relishing, and soaking up the endorphins like a long luxurious bath at the end of a working day. Me, well I limited my falling in love. A need to be in control, because I could be rejected and then my entire world could fall apart. Rejection, that terrifying word we often carry in a backpack from childhoods.


So here we are. I fell in love, and I learned to let go. How many of you have been scared to let go, completely let go? Relationships are messy and complicated because as human beings we are messy and complicated. We each enter a relationship with our own backpack stuffed full of past. Packages big and small some hidden, some in secret pockets, some on show! This is what informs how we behave in relationships, how we communicate and how we connect. In relationships there are bumps, in fact I’d call them mountains and land mines at times. It can feel a slog to climb those hills but once up there the view can be spectacular. Land mines explode when you least expect it. Explosions not always of the verbal kind but rather the emotional wars that happen silently when two people clash. Both wanting control both coming from wounded child!


For the first time in my adult life, I finally fell in love with myself.I have never felt more empowered or more able to face life’s challenges. Not because I loved another person but because the process of falling in love allowed me to finally truly fall in love with myself. And that meant facing my body! A body that had carried four children, a body broken at times. A body that did not quite function the way I wanted. A dodgy eye that had a complete mind of its own! Veering off course since I was two years old, and it was operated on. A body that I had punished in so many ways. Predominantly with negative thoughts. Often what others see is not what we ourselves see. Being human is so wonderfully complex and complicated.



I was given a piece of art recently, a drawing of a photo of the six-year-old me. This drawing stared at me, the little girl willing me to look closer, to understand why I reacted and behaved as I do. That picture still sits uncomfortably in my sitting room, propped against a wall. She stares at me with a look that I can only describe as unnervingly cocky. An arrogance way beyond her six years and a pose that a grown woman would be proud of. It has taken me over 40 years to re-create that pose today. Children are wonderful, they want to conquer the world. Then life happens and the child becomes an adult with all of life’s lessons.


In order to grow we often need to peel back layers of ourselves, layers so raw and painful. I have been honoured to sit alongside such brave warriors who have courageously looked beneath those layers to become a better version of themselves.


I faced my own little girl head on in that drawing, her sheer determination shone outwards. I think the adult me could learn a lot from her! How many of us move through life and forget who we were as children? If I have learned anything I have learned to hold my inner child close to listen to what that little girl tells me. We all carry a story from childhood, we all carry scars and wounds of different shapes and weights. But its what we do with those stories that matters. We can grow from these stories. The childhoods that made us who we are today or the life lessons that moulded who we became as adults. Life really can be a slip sliding muddy, messy affair!


During some significant falls It can be a messy mass of tear-stained pillows and sobs into the night. Bridget Jones style at times! Entire boxes of tissues often used in one sitting, the only thing missing is the soundtrack. Although I know in my own world, I usually add the soundtrack for dramatic effect.


Falling in Love means being vulnerable and from that vulnerability can come courage. For me that courage was cautiously stepping into a little homely, heated photographers’ studio. I was feeling brave, empowered, and ready to welcome the adult me. I was ready to stand in my vulnerability and say I am here, and I am beautiful. As I sit and look through the photographs taken, I can see so clearly the child in me staring back. And then I look again, and I see the woman holding her hand. I see the vulnerability within me alongside the strength. No shit it took me nearly 50 years to suddenly like my body enough to say what the heck photo me naked!



I am struck by the understanding that to become our true authentic self we must embrace the vulnerable parts of us and sometimes that means getting naked by stripping back the layers. For in our vulnerability is our strength. Only now am I fully understanding this. At almost 49 years old I can say I have held the hand of my 6-year-old self and guided her through the darkness into a place where she can be seen. I have guided her gently and leaned in to tell her she is beautiful and that she is worthy.


Facing body issues is hard, I know and love so many who have struggled. Find the root, sit with it, work on loving yourself unconditionally. Its hard but once you reach that place of safety, that island where you feel secure because you know you are worthy, then life begins.


I left that photo shoot a new woman. Stronger, braver, and taller with a sense of who I truly was. True Beauty shines from within so please remember be kind always. We never ever now another’s story or the weight of it. Never presume that what you see is what they see in themselves. And boost one another up please, smile, sing and encourage those brave warriors who are fighting demons of their own.


 

Thanks to Mikaela of Mikaela Morgan photography for the care kindness and encouragement to step into the unknown and for those goose bump moments. Thanks to Kathy a phenomenal artist, I will forever be indebted to you for bringing that little girl out of the shadows and into the light. How lucky am I to have met these phenomenal figures. Here’s to strong women everywhere. You absolutely rock! Now go strut yourself out there into the world and be seen. If you would like to contact Mikaela to arrange a photo shoot, I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting to find their inner warrior. See her fabulous work at: www.mikaelamorgan.co.uk For anyone interested in viewing, buying, or commissioning any of Kathy’s art please see her beautiful work at: www.Kathywhyte.com


#fell #in #love

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