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  • lindafostek

The Gift Of Self Love

February 14th Valentine’s Day. The day we celebrate LOVE. Everyone wants to love and be loved on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year. Yet many of us are feeling alone and unloved especially on this day.

What happened to leave us feeling this way?

More importantly, what can we do to change the way we are feeling and how can we bring more LOVE into our lives?

The reality is that only we can change the way we feel about things. It’s not about what has happened to us that is important.

What is important is what are we able to do about it now.

As a widow I feel the emptyness of missing my soulmate. Missing how loved I felt when wrapped in his arms. Instead of feeling sad I take the time to say thank you for having been so loved for 28 years. I have been so blessed by the love of my sweet gentle giant.

I am keenly aware that all love starts with me. As it has in the past, is in the present and will be in the future.

I am currently having a love affair with me…

Today I am standing in front of the mirror. I take time to reflect on the image staring back at me. In that reflection I see my naked body in it’s full splendor. I counsciously take in every inch of me without criticism to celebrate the beautiful uniqness of me.

This is not “The Mirror” we’ve seen advertised of late, where a leotard clad perfect body admonishis us to do one more rep. They shout at you and cojole you to become something you think you should be.

This is just an ordinary full length mirror.

I am taking the time to love me just as I am and invite you to see what I see.

I see my father blue eyes looking back at me so full of wisdom. They are surrounded by happy smile lines reflecting so many joyfilled experiences of my life. Just looking at them makes me smile.

The smile reveals the dimples in my cheeks, a gift from my mom reminding me I am missing her every day still.

My eyebrows may be thinning and grey, but I can still raise the right one in a quizical manner. One raised eyebrow was something I learned to do in college just because I thought it looked cool.

I love how my long hair gently falls on my shoulders and moves with me soft and gracefully.

The bangs I’ve worn most of my life cover an almost invisable scar on my forehead from a strawberry birthmark removed when I was two. They also hide any forehead wrinkles I might have. Ha ha!

I see the small scar on my earlobe where my earring tore through and required a repair so that I could once again wear my favorite earrings.

The skin on my neck is not bad either. Years of sunscreen use and sun avoidance have minimized the damage the sun can do. Though I am not without a few sun spots each one earned and reminding me of the wonderful years living in the Marshall Islands and scuba diving around the world.

My left wrist has a distictive curve from a broken wrist the result of being run over by a herd of 6 Golden Retrivers, 2 of which were my own. I stepped into the path of their joyful full bore running and went flying in air. Of course I was covered with dog kisses when I hit the ground.

My left hand bares the scar of a box cutter, when I forgot my safety for a split second resulting in 2 severed tendens and 46 stitches.

Right now both of my hands are sporting several scabs and scratches from my new puppy’s needle sharp teeth. Playing with Duffy is so much fun I don’t even remember when they happened.

I look at my breasts, while not as perky as they once were. I am grateful that I have them. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 73 and following a mastectomy was a 20 year surviror. I count my blessings and do my mamograms.

My belly is round and soft and my butt jiggles a bit. I giggle knowing that I released 46 lbs this year and know that my walking routine has tighted both and I have found my waist once again. Something I happily celebrate.

I am loving the space between my thighs and my baggy knees. I’m no Tina Turner that’s for sure. This is my body and I am celebrating every part of it. There is a small scar on my right knee from a bicycle mishap on the bluestoned street. I remember pulling bluestone out of that knee on many occasions.

I love my ankles, even if they have turned on me many times. Sprained, possibly even broken but never casted. I find I am now in love with flat shoes. They keep me connected to solid ground. Heels no longer serve me or my knees for that matter.

I look with pity at my mangled twisted toes. How many times have I broken them? Stubbed them here or there, found the wheel of a bedframe, the corner of a suitcase or turned them backwards. I once dropped a chair on the two middle toes resulting in them looking like 2 black olives. They may not be beautiful but I am loving the silver nailpolish and pampering of a pedicure they are sporting right now.

I am loving myself in this reflection. My body is it’s own journel of my life.

Your body is too,

What does your journel tell you?

Take the time to love the stretch marks of your pregnancies and/or the C-section scars that celebrate you bringing new life into the world. Look at your mastectomy scars and rejoyce that you are here to celebrate another day.

Each and every one of those perfect imperfections make you special and unique.

Every line on your face, curve and fold of you body, spot on your skin and hair on your head is a beatiful part of you.

Use your mirror as a no judgment zone. Stop seeing what you don’t like and start seeing what makes you beautiful.

Many of the most important parts of you are not seen in the physical sense. Your spirit, kindness and giving heart is seen only in a beautiful peaceful glow radiating from you in your reflection.

What do you see?

Who do you see?

What do you want to see?

Learning to love yourself is a great gift.

I want to remind you how beautiful you are.

You are worthy of love and that love starts with you loving you…

P.S. This message is for everyone: man, woman, trans, gay, lesbian, old, young, healthy, frail, disabled, fat, thin, confident, and insecure. I invite you to stand naked in front of your own mirror and see your beauty. Learning to love yourself is freeing you to be loved.

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