When I loved myself enough

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Mary Pickford

When I loved myself enough…….

I let go of the need to be perfect.

I laughed at my own jokes.

I found myself charming.

I stopped settling.

I knew I was worth it regardless if they didn’t.

I dreamt bigger.

I let go of the attachment to things that didn’t serve me.

I practiced more.

I loved you more.

I laughed a lot.

I appreciated every day and everything in it.

I knew that I was being guided.

I am comfortable standing up in front of group of people and facilitating a yoga class or giving a talk, I know I am good at it. I’m comfortable around other people, I know I am smart and fun, sometimes even funny. I’m a great wife, auntie, sister, daughter, friend, cousin. My body is strong and open from many years of practicing yoga. I know I can get the job done, cook a good meal, write an essay, be a great travel partner, do a lot of things that scare me, throw a fabulous party.

But what happens when I’m not? When I don’t? When I fall flat on my face?

I’ve stood up in front of a group of people and bombed a class. I’ve met people that didn’t want to be friends, not known what to say in a conversation, tanked jokes or offended people with my humor. I’ve forgotten birthdays of those close to me, been too consumed with my own life to call a friend, screamed at my husband, drove my parents crazy. I have gone for weeks without stepping on a yoga mat and have arthritis in my knees. I haven’t gotten the job done, I’ve burnt a lot of diners, sat at my computer blankly (not a word coming to my mind), had a terrible time on vacation, stood frozen in fear, seen people leave the party early.

I could actually keep going with this paragraph for a long time. I will think long and hard about the ways in which I don’t measure up before I finally settle into the fact that I’m enough, take a long breath, get back up and begin again. My self-esteem vacillates between, “I’m on top of the world, to, I don’t deserve this world”, I think that is true of most of us until we surrender, until we stop looking for the answers outside of ourselves, until we begin to practice self-love. I read a quote the other day that said, “self esteem is thinking you look good in a pair of shorts. Self love is being kind to yourself even when you don’t.” Thank you Tracy McMillan. I set an intention to be kinder to myself a few weeks back and since then the Universe has so graciously given me innumerable opportunities to practice. Being kinder/softer/more loving to myself sounded so nurturing, like wrapping myself in a big cozy sweater on a cool fall day. I had no idea the incredible amount of courage it would take to actually practice it, to say to myself over and over again, “that was a really stupid thing you did, but sweet Cindy, I love you anyway.” I threw myself onto the mat in an attempt at self-surrender and my lovely friend and teacher Kristin Tone said “come into child’s pose with your knees together rather than wide so you are supporting yourself fully.” I took a long sigh and thought, “that is self-love”. Of course the cardamom sea salt latte I treated myself to after class was also nice;) but self-love will last longer. My self-esteem was low and I was looking for something, someone to tell me I was enough, the work I do is great, that I’m wonderful, but instead, it had to come from within. I had to get up for a fresh start. Scrolling through self-love quotes I came across the book; When I loved myself enough. I haven’t read the book but it was the perfect place for me to take a long deep breath and begin again rather than staying down and calling it “failure”. When I loved myself enough what happened? How has self love got me to where I am today? What happened when I didn’t beat myself up for the times that I failed or screwed up? How quickly can I forgive? So I ask you, what has happened when you loved yourself enough? How would it change what you are doing right now if you loved yourself more? If you forgave yourself? If you accepted your own sweet self, EXACTLY as you are?