Embrace Yourself…

“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.” ~Brene Brown

It has taken me 45 years to truly learn to love myself.  It seems that when many of us look in the mirror, we strive for what we don’t have. Thicker hair. More muscles. A smaller waist. Clear skin.  The list goes on and on… We want our “packaging” to be perfect, yet this quest leaves us feeling empty and frustrated.  Ten years ago, my journey of “self-acceptance” truly began. What choice did I have? Everything I thought I knew had been turned upside down…

Ten years ago, my Dad passed away from cancer.  He was my rock.  Shortly there after, my mother walked out of my life.  I was married to a wonderful man and we had three children together.   Inevitably, my self-discovery and acceptance of being gay brought our marriage to a close.  Let’s just say, it was a bit of a difficult time. But, I truly believe that we are never given anything we can’t handle in life.  From that moment on, my mantra began… Just because my marriage ended, doesn’t mean my family has to!

I don’t like referring to him as my “X”. I would rather refer to him as my “X-man”, like the superhero.  Through my journey he was extremely supportive and understanding, as hard as that was for him.  To this day, we remain friends and spend family time together.   Family supports family.  As Wifey always says, just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

My journey of self-acceptance did not end with the discovery of my sexuality. I still had an entire drawer full of self-image issues to face and conquer. Slowly, one at a time, I learned to love myself. I accepted the fact that I would always be 5 ’10” and wear are training bra! I accepted the fact that my numerous stretch marks and c-section scar, from the gifts of motherhood, would never go away.  I focused on joy and gratitude, which allowed me to heal on the inside.  When I met Wifey, I learned to accept love and share that love completely in return.   From that point on, I began to bloom…

I had one more challenge to face…my career.  Three years ago, I accepted the fact that I was exhausted from years of teaching little people. As much as I adored the kiddos, the rigor and expectations were causing too much damage to my health and wellness. I was truly “burnt out”. Teaching is a job that is never done.  When I approached Wifey with the idea of taking a year leave of absence, I was only half serious.  I never thought it could truly happen.  Yet, what I felt would be a long and emotional conversation with Wifey was a very simple one…I needed to close that door.  Funny how she knew this well before I even came to the realization.   Although it took me a bit of time to uncoil from years of stress, the gifts I have received emotionally and spiritually, over the past three years, have been endless.img_9570

I feel alive. My dark circles have faded…mostly.   I have learned to live in the moment. I know the true meaning of joy. When the windchill is -30 and I am shoveling snow so the animals can move about, I have no regrets. I love my days tending to the farm, growing and raising healthy and clean food for our family and being there for my three adorable and hormonal teenagers.

I learned a valuable lesson over the past 10 years. You must start with the inside first. Who are you? What brings you joy? What makes your eyes twinkle and your heart flutter. Live your life for today!  Embrace the simple moments.  As difficult as it may be, embrace your insecurities. Begin your work on the inside. Don’t be afraid to have an open and honest conversation with yourself and your loved ones.  Let yourself GROW.  If you struggle, I promise you, one day you will look in the mirror and say “I love you” and truly mean it.

The following book titles have been true friends to me, along my journey of Growing Self.  Feel free to click on each title to link to Amazon.com for more information on these incredible books.  I hope your find them as powerful as I have!

 

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brownimg_5719

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brene Brown

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

Love yourself… Embrace yourself… Just Be You…

Roda

17 thoughts on “Embrace Yourself…

  1. Wow! This is so deep… real and in the moment. I am thrilled that you finally learned to love and embrace yourself for who you are. It is indeed a long road that one has to endure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Roda. Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts. I started to wonder about my own life 6 years ago and just like you after losing my dad from cancer. I tried to cling on to my former life, meditating to make it. And then last February I had a second tough moment when I almost died myself from pulmonary embolism. And I still went back to business. Only this time things were different. I struggled every day just to make it to 4 pm and repeating myself everything would be alright soon.
    Well by December I was so exhausted that I had a major break down in the middle of my office, scaring the heck out of my secretary and my colleagues and once again ending up in the emergency room.
    So this time I am decided to change my life. I don’t have a farm but I do have a passion for artwork. I know it won’t be easy but, from the bottom of my heart, I will do my best to make this dream reality. I hope that this new road will lead to as much inner growth as yours led you to … namaste Roda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Losing a parent can be so painful. 🙁 You have a gift. Your art is truly incredible! I enjoy painting, but I am not a gifted artist. Your last piece, focusing on Meditation was amazing. That word does not even seem strong enough. Follow your heart. I truly believe if we do that in life, we will never be led astray. Life is too short… I hope you find much joy in today. The sun is shining here in Michigan and it is actually above 50°! I will take it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Roda, it’s very touching post. I’m very sorry for your loss of your father and mother… I’m very impressed by you being so brave to embrace what you like and yet to keep good connections with your family and your kids. I wish you all luck and thank you for sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess,
      This is outstanding…I have no words! Thank you so much for your kindness. I feel truly honored and blessed… By the way, I might need some help figuring out how to get that amazing little logo on my blog!

      Like

  4. I’m glad that you’ve finally been able to accept and love yourself fully, the good, the bad, and everything in between. I absolutely love Brene Brown!! She’s so brilliant! Love how she distinguishes between shame and guilt, what she says about things like comparison and perfectionism etc.

    She notes Kristin Neff a couple of times in her books. You should check out her book Self-compassion. Its also really good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love you as much now as ever. My teaching career has ended and I am about to embrace health for myself. I would love to see you and my kids. Xo beautiful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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