because you must love yourself first

And the day came when you had to look at yourself in the mirror and say:

I love you, all of you

Because as the old adage goes you must love yourself first.  

As I sat alone in my studio apartment admits the carnage of relationships past I knew I had yet to fully love myself.  In fact I didn't even know who this girl looking back at me in the mirror was.  I followed along with what others wanted to do.  I kept my opinions to myself.  I stayed quiet.  I chose being alone over going out.  

I was hesitant in my own footing.  Unsure of who I was and what moved me.  This was no way to live.  But when you are deep in it you don't know that.  I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving through life blindly.  

After he left everything changed.  The chains that were holding me down were no longer and I needed to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do.  When you are faced with nothing but yourself you learn a lot about who you are. 

I jumped in head first on a mission to get to know what ignited my spark.  I didn't know where I was going, or what I was doing.  All I knew was that it was time to save my own life.  

What transpired was LOVE! 

As I unearthed who I was I saw that I actually loved the person that was hidden underneath.  I had a voice to offer.  Opinions, inspiration, kindness.  There was so much that I didn't know was there and I knew it was going to be a long journey to find her.  I was in it for the long haul.  

I love who I am.  The writer, the dreamer, the hopeful spirit who is always seeking out the good in others.  I love bringing people in close and learning about who they are and what moves them.  I love the adventure of life.  You never know what the next turn will bring.  I love the opportunity to explore my own path and unearth my own way forward.  

Love is something that happens only when you are open enough to let it in.  When you spend the time to discover what is true, what is real, what is raw.  Love must be nourished and tended to. 

I now know how important self love is.  I must love the person looking back at me in the mirror.  I need to cherish her with my whole heart and be her biggest supporter.  No one will ever believe in me, unless I believe in myself.  

I stand here today sure of who I am.  I am ready to take on anything that comes my way.  I am not afraid of a challenge.  I know it takes work to make things happen.  Knowing who I am, I know what I am capable of.  

I stand here with a heart full of love.  For the person I am and the person I am destine to grow into.  

What is it you love most about YOU?  How do you shine brightly in this world?