Well little Ruby-Sally-Dracula-Dorothy... since those are all of your favorite things at the moment, and at any given time, you insist on being called one of those names (or some odd combination of them)... I'll address you as such here. In my second piece of advice to you.
One a month for all of 2019.
I had 28 days to write this post. And on the last day of the month, at 7pm, I begin it, finally. Hey, at least it isn't 10pm, right? And in my defense, February is a short month!
The thing is, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted my February advice to be. I just didn't know how to write about it. I've been thinking about it, day and night (maybe this is my problem with sleeplessness recently?), and while it is SO important for you, I struggle to write about it, because I struggle to live it.
January Advice: BE KIND. In a world where you can be anything, this is my most important advice: be kind.
February Advice: SELF LOVE.
Fitting, right? Valentine's Day and all... and if I had been a bit braver about this post, I would have gotten it finished 14 days ago. But I wanted it to be the perfect post, with the perfect words, so I continued to think and plan and ponder, and I'm no closer than I was on Valentine's Day. *cue shrug*
WHY is Self Love so important? Why does your mama struggle to live it, and consequently, write about it?
I reached out to some of the most influential and important women in my life. They'll be some of the most important women in your life too, I'm sure. I wanted to hear their words and thoughts on Self Love, and record them here for you. I thought it might help me gather my wild thoughts about it, and it has.
Let me start with Auntie Belle. She has had this quote hanging above her bed for almost 10 years. She reads them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT before bed. These words remind her how beautiful she is AS she is, and simply needs only be true to herself. Occasionally, like the rest of us, she struggles to believe the importance of these words, but has surrounded herself by women who lift her up, and remind her how important she is, and she remembers.
Auntie Belle will ALWAYS remind you how perfect you are, AS you are, and is one of your biggest supporters. When you're struggling and feeling down, re-read these words, and think of Auntie Belle. Call her. She'll help lift you back up.
Auntie Gabby is next. If you ever need to talk to someone about following your dreams, this is your girl. Seriously. I couldn't have summed her up in a more accurate quote, and because she believes in herself, she is following her heart.
But Auntie Gabby also sent me this important quote that she believes in when it comes to Self Love. Knowing who you are and that you are unique is SO IMPORTANT, and if you ever doubt yourself for a second, call her. Right away.
She'll remind you of all your super powers. But be prepared for a long phone call, because you are full of super powers.
Grammie Roe has beautiful words. Your birth has been a blessing in so many ways, but one of the biggest ways is that it created a bond with Grammie Roe (and Grandpa David!) that we were missing before. They are beautiful people, and if you ever need to feel loved, you go to their house. You'll feel the love. You call her. You'll feel the love. She loves freely, and openly, and with incredible grace; we should all aspire to be like her.
These are some of her words about life and love that she believes in and follows daily.
She also allows herself simple affirmations. You should allow yourself these as well. They will help you overcome all obstacles, big or small.
Believe in yourself because your opinion matters.
You don't need to be perfect to be loved.
Love and embrace yourself: all of yourself.
Treat and talk to yourself and others with kindness.
FORGIVE yourself mistakes.
LOVE yourself, in many ways.
Thoughts and advice from one of the STRONGEST ladies we will ever know: your Mimi. She says to...
ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Believe in your abilities! Failure is necessary, and critical to learning. So if you fail, keep on believing!
Behave in a way that you won't dislike the person staring back at you in the mirror. Wince at yourself reflection? Don't ever. Don't give yourself a reason to!
Mimi says to learn self reflection. This helps with Self Love. You'll grow as a human, be able to admit when wrong, be able to apologize, and be able to grow. Growth allows change. Change is good.
One of Mimi's favorite quotes? Shouldn't surprise you... but very strong and true words to live by!
And finally, my advice. Self Love is modeled, so I'm working to do that for you. I grew up with a critical eye on me all the time; a mother who didn't model self love.
I've been doing research and discovered how important language is...how big of an impact it has on EVERYTHING. So I tell you. I tell you that you're strong. You're smart. You're kind. You're a phenomenal soul. You're beautiful. You're a kind heart. You're brave. You're courageous. You're curious. You're extraordinary. And you are so important to me. And I LOVE YOU, exactly as you are. You don't need to be anything different. I'll always love you for who you are and who you'll become. I hope you'll do the same for yourself.
I do not love all of myself, not yet. Even writing those words is hard for me.... admitting that I'm not good at Self Love is hard!
I'm learning. I'm telling myself good things, and how to improve. I'm practicing my advice to you, so you can see it, know it, and know that it is valuable, healthy, and important.
So my quote on Self Love? Besides the self made quote of "give yourself love without guilt".... (guilt... ah, the existential mom feeling!)?? My favorite quote on Self Love is by Nayyirah Waheed:
I love you Ruby. Please, always love yourself.