Footnotes of Day Thirty-Two; Dear Self

So, it is the month of love.

Why do we try to restrict the acknowledgment of things to certain, limited days?  Anniversaries are one day, Grandparents have a day, bosses have a day. If we look, calendars are marked with all these special, one day events. Today, according to my calendar, was actually National Freedom Day. The fourteenth, in case you haven’t kept up, is Valentine’s Day. The day to show and declare love.

Well guess what self?  We are about to break that mold.

We are about to work on this self love thing, and make it an every day- scratch that-every moment life style. We have spent years, a life time actually, battling negative emotions. Being a person that never fit in that box, being the one just different enough to always feel on the outside, finding self love, has not been easy. Finding acceptance of myself, as myself has been a battle. Especially when I have made less that intelligent choices along the way.

To believe in love, only to find out it was at best, lust. That within a short time, lost its luster. One alone, cannot keep something that isn’t there alive. A year struggling, that ended with a loss of self esteem and strength.

Finding love, that turned out to be no more than use and abuse. Trying for two years, to in the very least survive. All the while the verbal, physical, and mental abuse working its destruction, turning me into a shell of who I was supposed to be. Escaping  saved my life, but the damage was done.

Third time a charm?

  Over thirty years spent with one love. One who even as they loved, did not understand. Not the person I was, or the damage that had made me who I had become. Then, suddenly, he was gone. Taken by death, leaving me struggling.

Now here we are self, almost four years later. Four, long, years. How far have we come?
I can think back, remembering that phone call, remembering talking to the police officer who had to deliver the confirmation. I remember those long days, struggling to get his earthly body home. The long nights lying awake, staring into the dark as I watched the hours tick by on the clock. I remember, standing at the gate, staring down toward where that truck should have been parked, listening desperately for the sounds that would never come again.

 It has been a very long four years.

So very much has happened over the course of that time. Most of it, within the last year. Strange isn’t it self, that when you lost your job thanks to the pandemic, you should be gifted with the ability to rediscover who you are. Who you always have been. You have been gifted with the opportunity to learn how to accept and yes, even love yourself. Not in arrogance, but in humility.

 The first thing I learned, was my determination. I knew that physically I had strength, I needed a strength of will. I needed to accept the loss of employment and find ways to spend my time. For so long I had been someone constantly moving, constantly doing something. To suddenly have nothing to do, was unsettling. So, I reclaimed my yard from the jungle it had become. Seeing each area becoming clean and usable again, built my confidence.

 With every cleared area, and every snake that I uncovered and didn’t panic, I felt stronger, more capable.On days that I couldn’t work outside, I worked inside, clearing away the things not needed, the things not used, the items, with too many memories attached. 

The disaster that was our storage building was the biggest challenge. When the last of the mess was hauled away, there was a definite sense of accomplishment and peace.

 I had no issues with who I was physically. I have never had issues with the physical. Even when I battled cancer, God blessed me with the strength, health and ability to fight and win.

My battle, was with my thoughts and belief in myself. My battle, was learning how to face things on my own. I suddenly had time to do things, but lacked the courage. I lacked the inner peace to believe in myself. In my head, the voices from the past played, telling me I was weak, a loser, unworthy. At the same time, the voice of the Lord, reminded me that I was worthy, I was loved, a was a child of the King.

The very first time I drew on that courage and hiked the trails on the local mountain. I felt braver than I ever had. When I got in my Jeep and drove to that first group meeting, even though I had no idea how to mingle, I felt stronger. I had stepped outside my comfort zone. Something I know I must continue to do. That every time I breach that barrier, the next time will be all the easier. I will believe in myself all the more.

 One thing I found true. In the reclaiming of the yard, I created an area for me to walk when I couldn’t go into the woods. My son tagged it my thinking circle. Most times, it was my praying circle. A lot of talking to the Lord went on there. I left a lot of my worries and concerns there and walked away with a greater peace of mind.

I have come to find, after this past year, that I really, actually do like who I am. I have discovered more than just the physical strength. I have found peace. I have found a contentment with who and what I am. Who I have been all along, just covered up and locked away. Allowing only a shell of myself out among the populace.

So self, are you still listening? We don’t need one day to show and feel love. We are love and we are loved. From today forward, we’ll remember that. We’ll work on solidifying that fact. We’ll take care of our self, pamper our self, and strengthen our confidence and belief in who God created us to be.

Not in arrogance. Not in selfishness. But with confidence.

In doing so, becoming more and more able to convince those who have been hurt, who carry the scars and open wounds of any and all forms of abuse, they too, are worthy. They too, are capable. They too, can love, themselves and others. As one who has been there and survived. As one who has healed.

Healing takes time, but it is possible. And, when you believe and trust in it strongly enough, lasting.

Finding the acceptance and love of who we are, is an ever upward climb. But oh that view at the top.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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