A Story About Love

Disclaimer: This is a longer post than is typical; thank you for reading until the end.❤︎

Chapter One:
Once upon a time, there was a baby who wasn’t planned but was wanted. She was loved, and nurtured, didn’t know fear, concern, or worry, was cared for with tenderness and affection. She explored her world with natural curiosity. Her first retained visual memory would be seeing a doorknob, mesmerized by “that shiny thing.” 

Chapter Two:
As she grew and was introduced to the larger world, she became exposed to people and situations outside her family, where she wouldn’t automatically be the “sweetest” or “smartest.” She’d recall walking home alone from kindergarten, crying because a boy claimed her circus drawing—her earliest recollection of being hurt and vulnerable. 

Chapter Three:
As the oldest of many, her life became full of responsibilities: she helped with the younger children besides homework and chores. She learned to be a people pleaser, which made her proud (although the ultimate price was very costly). And, sadly, like too many young girls, she was taken advantage of by someone who “should have” loved her. She never told her parents until another damaged child shared her story. She put an invisible wall up and loved herself a little less, but she wouldn’t acknowledge or process that until many decades later.

Chapter Four:
As a teenager, she realized she was intelligent, which gave her “value,” so she embraced it fully and always did her best. She caused no trouble and pushed no boundaries making her “easy to raise” and, I suppose, easy to love. She had dear friends, was involved in high school activities, played her guitar, went to college (but lived at home to help raise six younger children), and pushed forward into her dreams of what “life could hold.” 

Chapter Five:
Moving into adulthood, she often got hurt. The world and her responsibilities grew. There were times when she chose to believe in people who, in hindsight, weren’t those she should have put her faith in. At times, the love she felt for herself floundered; she sometimes believed that she wasn’t “enough.” Tough “life lessons” were learned; she vowed not to repeat the same mistakes. 

Chapter Six:
When she became a mother, her world expanded with love and devotion that she didn’t know could exist. She loved herself again because her heart held more joy than she ever imagined possible. With her daughters, she was fiercely protective. They became her center—breathing beauty and life into every day. But, too soon, she realized that the man she chose would break her. She knew survival required change and that creating a new reality was the only way out.

Chapter Seven:
She trusted again, loved again, and got crushed again. At times, she stopped believing in herself—slunk back to the child-damaged years, assuming that perhaps she never had value. But, undying love—from her parents, daughters, and friends mended her, and the journey continued. She chose who she would become, created that reality, loved her daughters with abandon, built a career, and was independent. She was happy and again fell back in love with herself. 

Chapter Eight:
Of course, she’d experience tragedy and hurt again, but she stood firm in her convictions, sometimes losing her stamina but never her desire to help those who needed her. She grieved losses and celebrated life. Sometimes she’d fall in and out of love with herself, depending on how others treated her. (It took years to understand that seeing herself through others’ eyes was not the same as seeing herself through God’s eyes. After over a half-century of life, she wept when she finally “got” that.)

Chapter Nine:
Growing older, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, spouse, and dear friends, she recounts stories of her life—mainly those of laughter and adventure, not pain. She’s grown the ability to laugh at herself and let go of little hurts, desiring to pursue joy like her two-year-old self discovering that doorknob. She learned that the essence of life is living into it with understanding, love, unbridled joy, and peace. Of course, she allows herself to cry, but mainly she desires to smile and laugh. She has no fear of leaving the earth when it’s time because she knows that this existence is simply a transitory state. She says, “I love you” regularly. It’s a statement of fact, reinforcing what her heart feels. 

Who is this person? She’s most people we know. She’s the woman who looks like she has it “all together” and the man who looks like he’s falling apart. She’s the teenager raising money to help those struggling and the student bullying another kid. She’s the man lunching with his elderly father and the woman screaming at her child. She’s most of us who have worked in life to remember that we are valuable and loved. She’s you. She’s me.

I’ve had to rewrite my own love story throughout life. There have been times when I’ve been incredibly hard on myself and times, when like that little girl, I only saw my value through the eyes of others. There have been days when I’ve been proud of myself and days when I knew I was simply doing the best I could. There have been years when I couldn’t imagine life being any more challenging, and there have been stages when I walked in a place of complete and utter bliss, knowing I am a beloved child of God.

While we’re still on this earth, we have the opportunity (and responsibility) to love ourselves, believe in the goodness of ourselves, and be our best selves. 

What is your self-love story? Are there multiple chapters of bliss and joy, or only road bumps of sorrow? Are you confident in who you are, or do you allow others to create feelings of being “less than?” As you write your life story, will it be a story of love? 

My prayer for you this week is that—with whatever time you have left in this life on this earth—you first love yourself, so you can love others, and they can love you. You are worth that and so much more. 

And so it is…..

©peace full home.com®/intentional living, 2013-2022


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