Several years ago, I made the commitment to be fully alive and live in my love. Along with that, I made the commitment to stop being mean to myself, stop believing that I am “always wrong” or “not enough” or “fundamentally flawed” or “broken,” and develop an understanding of what it means to love myself. It was a commitment that, when I made it, I had no idea the effect it would have on me.
Since that time, my life has been turned upside down and inside out several times. I have faced my own death and chose back into life. TWICE. I have lost a lot, learned a lot, and gained a lot.
I have experienced my greatest fear: losing loved ones. It has happened, I am sad to report. Some of them have disappeared, broken up with me, gone away, judged me, hated me, stopped interacting with me, pushed me away. And, still, I have lived. I have cried and I have felt the pain, but I have lived.
There have also been new loved ones who have shown up and grown with me, encouraged me, walked with me, supported me, reminded me, helped me find me. Some of these new beloveds are still walking with me. Some of them have taken other paths that have sent them on winding journeys around the world, far away from me, but I still feel them in my heart. With every new experience of love, I’ve expanded and awakened and remembered. I have lived.
Through it all, the most delicious thing has happened… I have grown to love me. Actually, I believe I have loved me all along, I just wasn’t recognizing it. It has only been since I added the commitment to recognize the way that I AM a Catch, that I began to witness the biggest shift in how I experience myself. Through this practice, I began to recognize all the ways that I love myself, all the characteristics, quirks, and traits that make me lovable. All that “stuff” that I used to say made me unlovable is actually the stuff that makes up lovable me.
I have fallen many times and I loved myself as I’ve been on the ground, crying, feeling that pain, feeling alone, feeling isolated, feeling like an alien on this planet. I have loved myself as pools of tears and snot grew around me each time; even though I didn’t know I was loving me then. Allowing myself, in that moment, to lay there in that sticky pool was the most loving thing I could do for myself. And then, when I struggled to get my knees beneath me, then my hands, and then my feet, and I straightened my spine and stood again, I loved myself some more. The pain of rising each time was intense and sometimes I didn’t think I had it in me and sometimes, I had to cling to hard surfaces – which sometimes showed up in abusive mentors and violent lovers and other times they were literal brick walls and splintering fences – and I pulled really hard to get my feet underneath me. But I did it. I rose. And I stood. And I lived.
And today, as I stared at myself in the mirror, something happened. It was gentle, but I felt it. I saw it. I witnessed the change in myself like I have witnessed in others over the years. I witnessed the remembering.
It wasn’t big. It wasn’t a blinding light. There was no line that I crossed, telling me that I had arrived or that it had happened. There weren’t bells or whistles or alarms or cheering. There was no significant change in the atmosphere or in my surroundings or in my appearance.
It was a simple and profound shift in that quiet moment of the mundane, amongst piles of laundry readied for the washer laying about on the floor and after plucking a stray hair from my chin and before putting on any makeup. There I was, in all of my perfect imperfection, all of my humanness, all of my glorious flawedness – there *I* am! ME!
It was just me, standing there, looking in the mirror and realizing something most amazing and wonderful: I am in love and oh my god! I love that woman looking back at me!
And, in that moment, the tears began to flow. Tears of gratitude. Tears of love. Tears of unfounded, unconditional, undying love. Self-love long fought for, long hoped for, long had but unrecognized. In that moment, I remembered… years ago, I made a commitment and today I felt the manifestation of that commitment in every single cell of my being.
I AM being fully alive and living in my love!
What a gift!