What My World's Like

ending the war: “i love you still.”

Mar
24

Recently, I asked “do you talk about things that matter?” and today I experienced one of the most emotionally honest conversations I’ve ever had. Topics ranged from absentee fathers, sex, eating disorders, rape, molestation, relationships, education, socialization, etc. It was genuine, cathartic, comforting, inspiring and beautiful. So many times throughout the evening, I found myself smiling, feeling connected and understood as we discussed highly privatized events and feelings.

Sitting with this beautiful woman who spoke so candidly about her life, I felt inspired and reinvigorated, reminded that neither our stories nor our struggles are our own. We will all experience trials, intense pain, and loss. We will all walk with fears, insecurities, and moments of doubt. We will all struggle with some degree of feeling fragmented. These are inextricable parts of the human experience, but if you let pain harden your heart instead of soften it, you’ve missed the point.

As of two days ago, I made an important decision based upon a startling revelation. I’m ending the war with myself.

My #notetoself yesterday was:

“stop waging war with the one person who will always be there for you: yourself.
love is accepting, patient, and kind.”

While reflecting upon a previous relationship, it occurred to me that I was incredibly capable of accepting someone else as they are, accepting the imperfections of their personality and body. Yet, I was often unwilling to extend the same acceptance to myself. The love and care I generously gave to someone else is what I needed– but refused –to give to myself. That is, until two days ago.

My new motto now is “I love you still.” Even though I have a laundry list of things I’d like to “correct” about my thinking, behavior, or body, I say “I love you still.” Regardless of this factor or that factor, “I love you still.” If I can love another who is also “imperfect”, why deny myself the same qualities of love: acceptance, patience, and kindness?

In the past, scarcely, I’ve discussed having had an eating disorder, or as I prefer to say, disordered eating patterns. I discussed it on the now defunct We Think Radio two years ago, and briefly here last year, but never at length. After deciding to live more authentically with greater transparency, after once again agreeing that neither our stories nor our struggles are our own, after deciding to end the war with myself, and after my conversation tonight, I know I have to discuss this more. My evasiveness serves no one, including myself. While I can and often freely will admit I’ve experienced disordered eating, I can’t say I’m 100% shameless about it. But acceptance, patience, and kindness…I love myself still.

Honestly, I look forward to sharing this aspect of my journey in the future because I know someone will benefit from knowing– truly knowing –they’re not alone.

I urge you to think about your own journey and what you’re holding against yourself. Could you begin to let it go?

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7 Responses to ending the war: “i love you still.”

  1. Pingback: A woman’s touch « A Blues for Nina

  2. ditchthetrend.com

    The quote at the begining really resonated with me. Especially when you go through defining moments in your life when you may feel hurt or betrayed it takes alot to accept what has happened and forgive.

    ditchthetrend.com

  3. “If I can love another who is also “imperfect”, why deny myself the same qualities of love: acceptance, patience, and kindness?”

    You’re so right Leandra!

    This is what I’ve been trying to help people understand for the past several years when I realized what my mission was. So many of us attempt to or claim that we “love” others, but when it comes to ourselves, we have judgment, criticism, neglect, etc etc. How does one accept/love another yet deny/hate pieces of their own being? Is it really acceptance/love? Just what is being accepted/loved in that case?

    It’s a beautiful realization to come to because often times we forget that we are also worthy and needing of love. We want to accept, comfort and love others, but when it comes to us —- ehhhhh…..

    That approach doesn’t serve us well.

    “I love you still” because it erases many fears and setbacks that we hold against ourselves or towards life. No longer do we have anything to hide because hey, we’re still loved. Even if we DO fail that thing we’re afraid of failing – hello, you’re still loved. Maybe you STILL haven’t made that intended phone call that has been on the list for weeks but it’s no biggie cause – yep, you’re still loved 🙂

    There’s no way one can go wrong!

    How sweet? 🙂

    THAT is Love. Unconditional, no-matter-what, even-if Love. The kind that some of us are blessed enough to already have in our lives and the kind that others of us should work to create in our lives…

    Thanks for sharing :)?

  4. “I love you still” is so powerful because*

  5. i love you alfine. 🙂

  6. This is a great message and right on time. Your observation is so true and I discovered that’s something I need to change about myself. I’ve loved and accepted people from past in spite of their flaws but didn’t do the same for myself. Not any longer. The turning point for me came two years ago and I’m grateful for the lessons learned thus far. I love when I stumble upon or find inspirational blogs/websites as well as books, quotes and anything that is inspiring and uplifting.

  7. Jas, I’m finding that this is really more common than we think. It’s amazing how much we can think we’re the only ones doing something. We’re not. 🙂 At all.

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