This is a little awkward but here we go, this is a love letter to you because you need to hear this. Society tells us that it is immodest to love yourself and the marketing people of the world don’t want you to love yourself but after a really shitty year, let’s just go for it.
You have been through so much and I am really proud of you, you battled so hard and I am amazed that you have come through this experience a stronger person. Though at times you are frightened, angry and distressed, you have taken it all on board and made something amazing from a terrible situation.
I know you feel you have to always have a smile on your face, that you created this public face of positivity that sometimes makes it difficult to admit when you are struggling. But you have had to learn let yourself be sad, let yourself cry, let yourself be angry.
I love that you love your friends, that you care about them and try to be there, your kindness has been repaid 100 times over during your recovery and you are lucky to have such wonderful mates around you. I love that you want everyone to be happy but you know that sometimes you need to take some time for yourself.
You have learnt that you need to look after yourself, that your body is the only place you have to live, that means accepting it’s weaknesses and recognising when you need to stop and rest. You realise how important you are, and that you can’t help others if you are broken yourself.
I love that you have learnt to love your body, that you have accepted your new shape, your scars and your modified self with pride and joy. It hasn’t been an easy path but your new found happiness has not only benefitted yourself but has become a role model for others.
I love that after a long time of feeling that your career path was lost in the woods, that you have cleared the trees and discovered these strengths that you didn’t know you had. Your childhood dream of being a writer that you thought was a silly fantasy is coming true through your own hard work and you are carving your own career and making your own opportunities.
I love that you are silly. That you are ok with playing the fool and know that your laughter is far sexier than any pout. I love that you did a ropy poly across a dance floor just to see the look on all the “beautiful people’s” faces. I love that as you grow older and relax more, your humour grows without shame.
I love that you are learning that you can’t fix everyone and that sometimes, no matter how hard it feels, you need to cut people from your day to day life who don’t bring you anything positive. I love that you are learning that you shouldn’t be a doormat and that ‘no’ is a full sentence.
I love your interests in penguins, dinosaurs, collecting found shopping lists, learning about obscure, random things, knitting, reading and whatever else takes your fancy. I love that you like these things despite others mocking you for them. You know your interests should make you happy, not anyone else.
I love that you adore your children. That you accept that being a mother means constant adapting and learning, you know you aren’t a perfect mum but you try your best and know that is enough. I love that your children haven’t been scarred by your illness but it has taught them to be more empathetic, caring and open.
I love that you have found a man who makes every part of your life better. Though you have had really tough times over the last 16 years, the past year that would have broke some people has just brought you so much closer together. You are a lucky woman to have a person in your life who sees through everything and loves your soul.
I love that you are learning that the hard shell you put up for years didn’t just keep out the hurtful words but it kept out some good people and so you have learnt to drop the shield. Your path hasn’t always been easy and I know you have anger and hurt when you think of your youth but I love that you are learning to deal with that. You have been rough on yourself but you are learning to be kinder. I know you didn’t always feel like you had people to guide you towards making healthy decisions, but that has made you the person you are and I forgive you for all the mistakes you have made along the way.
Your decision to take the last difficult year of illness and recovery and make something positive of it is a real achievement. This love letter is just one way that you are hoping to teach others to love themselves and I hope you continue and make a difference to the lives of other people. I love that you blog your journey without shame or embarrassment in the hope that it will help others.
So here we come to the end of this awkward letter of self love, all I can finish with are the words of the great Dory.
Just keep swimming…
Love Sam xx