Authentic

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I recently joined a female-centered empowerment and support 5 day experience (led by one of my favorite instagrammers Mary Hyatt) and today we were challenged to write a letter to a female who inspires us. I immediately wanted to write gushing letters to about 5 different women in my life who are just incredible and the more I thought about it I realized a few things...

1. Gosh am I blessed that God has surrounded me with females who inspire encourage and empower me

2. I need to tell them this more often!  (read: I now challenge myself to do this at least monthly)

3. I can feel this way all I want to about other women but I cannot truly love them the way I want to or gain anything lasting or meaningful from my relationship with them if I do not love myself in the same way first.

 

and then the tears came rolling in. So today I say

- to the scared self conscious scrawny girl I was : I love and accept you for your flaws see in you now the precious innocence and wonder you viewed the world with. It didn't matter that you had no boobs or curves, that your feet grew before the rest of your body, that you had thick awkward glasses, and no sense of style - you were uniquely you and developing an incredible inward strength through some of the hardest years of your childhood, surviving the abuse and immeasurable pain of a parent suffering with addiction. You are incredible. 

- to the young woman I was.. too busy putting on a front, chasing endlessly after the approval of other people, lying to herself and everyone else because being anyone else was better than being herself... I love and forgive you. You could not see your unique gifts, your endless potential, your own kind of beauty, your priceless value. I see you now. Who you are is more than enough.

- to the overweight unhappy depressed anxious woman I was: I love honor and accept you exactly as you were. Your body is beautiful at any weight or shape - it has been the vessel for two incredible human beings. Your mind went to the depths, to the valley of shadows, you experienced death and yet you persevered through it to rise again. You are resilient.

And to my future self: thank you for loving me in all of my flawed glory as I am now. Let the grace flow as you learn to stand in and learn to embrace your true identity as a unique, capable, singular, spectacular, perfectly imperfect person.

Each of you inspire me.