i have loved reading what everyone has written for this series and i can't wait for you guys to continue to read along with me! a major theme i am seeing from people is loving yourself. and as we are so frequently told, you must love yourself before you can love another. we must know who we are and love every piece of who we are before we can start to expand our capacity to love.
ashley has always been a sweet friend i have known from blogging. she's always been a beacon of light with her testimony and love of the gospel. especially in the last year, my heart has ached for her struggle with fertility. and just this week she announced their miracle. i started crying when i read about it and i am so happy for her and derek. love you guys and congratulations again! check out her blog here.
as i look back on 2015, it was definitely one of high highs and low lows. i've wondered if i'll remember it as the worst year yet, or a year that i loved. so often in life we experience hardships and tragedies. with these come the pity, the blame, and the misery. sometimes too, comes the guilt from the "what-ifs". as i've struggled through hardships in my life i've found that far too often i blame myself for my situation, even when it's not even within my control.
this past year was one where i truly had to learn to love myself. it started with my 25th birthday in january and the disappointment of the goals i hadn't accomplished. this led to self-doubt and discouragement. the year progressed with struggles of infertility and blaming myself for what "i was doing wrong."
mid-year i had a turning point. it came on a day where i was consumed with myself and my problems. my thoughts were, 'you can go on blaming yourself and thinking of all you can't be, or you can change your thinking and focus on what you can be.' that day i signed up for my first sprint triathlon. although my body couldn't do everything i wanted it to, it was still capable of amazing things. i spent the next several months training and reminding myself of all i could do.
race day came, and it was difficult. but i was proud, and strong, and determined. when it seemed like i couldn't finish i'd remind myself, 'i can do hard things.' i cried when i crossed the finish line. tears of joy, and accomplishment, and love.
last year, i learned it's okay to love yourself. to give yourself a little slack. and to not really be that much "better" tomorrow than you are today. it's okay to set goals to work towards, but it's not okay to beat yourself up when you don't quite accomplish what you've set your mind to. it's okay to be yourself and to love who that person is. it's okay to be confident and happy.
it's so easy to focus on the negative. it's easy to look in the mirror and notice all the things we'd like to change. it takes strength and determination to overcome those thoughts. but each day we have a choice.
will you love yourself today?