When I get quiet on this space, it is usually always because I am dealing with some real life stuff. I don’t mean to not write in these times, but for me, I have to process internally before I’m ready to process externally. Both of which are necessary parts of my growth .
I am someone who has a natural gift to be happy and optimistic about most things. I understood it was a unique gift I had when I realized my sweet bubbly, bouncing Stella had it, too. I am easily excited and a total romantic. I can usually find something charming and swoon-worthy just about anywhere. I get giddy over nothing, and the things that normal people get excited for, I nearly hyperventilate. This is my voice. It’s part of what makes me, me.
I am also someone who has fought a life long battle with depression, off and on. That is a really quirky side of my personality compared to my usual bouncing self, but I have come to really just adore quirky people, and loving this part of myself is hard, but I am really trying to do it anyway.
I think it’s also strange to talk about depression, because you would rather that just go away. Depression doesn’t own my joy, so where I choose to be happy, my depression can’t reach. These pages I have written here have been the happy moments I have wanted to keep in my mind forever. But I also know how important it is for us to share our hearts, especially those tender parts, to heal ourselves and help heal the world around us.
Depression for me picks and chooses it’s years or months to invade, and I have learned how to fight this internal battle in different seasons in different ways. I have also learned that love is the greatest healer, and nothing heals me quite like loving myself does.
Having a healthy relationship with myself, loving who I am as a person, accepting the way my body looks and my life looks, doesn’t just mean I just do all the time. It means I have to consciously each day to choose that, over the alternative. Which is giving into the idea that I’m not doing enough, that I need to be different, or look different, whatever the case may be. Some days I feel on top of things and it’s easy to love me, other days I fight with myself and have to choose to love me. This is a journey I’ll likely always be on as a woman, and I’m grateful the years ahead (I hear) come with more self-acceptance and less care of pettiness, especially as we continue to practice self-love.
I live with four young children who sometimes, actually all times, demand and ask of me way more than they give back. My husband is also living a life keeping his head above water just like me, and our lives definitely pull us away from each other more than we would like sometimes. I can’t always rely on my “love tank” being filled from them, and when I can extend grace and love to myself, I am less needy of attention from them. I can also give more when my tank is full.
Loving myself is a daily practice of prayer. Each day I walk through the areas of my head and heart with God and ask for guidance, comfort, love, patience, direction in whichever areas are weighing on me. This is the first thing I started doing as I began to build a relationship with God, and it’s the single most thing that has changed my life the most. I am grateful to know that there is this source of Love I can tap into when I’m feeling low, and the good Lord knows I can feel low on love from time to time. I can imagine every mother can feel drained of love and patience now and again.
I choose happy every day, I really try even when it seems so impossible. As someone who fights depression and anxiety, I fight the feelings of restlessness, hopelessness, never-enough-ness, discontent, grief, sadness, past trauma, work through the healing of old wounds. This is not work for the weak, this is work for the warrior.
I may not be showing up everyday in social media or even here on the blog, but you can bet I’ll be working hard to show up every day in my actual real life. The life only I can live, the children only I can mother, the husband I get to wife, the struggles I’ve been conditioned to walk through. This is me.
Every evening, low on patience, messy kitchen, dinner on the stove, and a baby or two wanting up in my arms. It is the beautiful chaos that to me, creates the most beautiful life. The pain, the joy, and every last emotion in between. It’s all just color, and color is beautiful.
Writing this close to my heart feels vulnerable and scary at times, but I think what we don’t share hurts us more than what we do. We are better together, and I’m so glad you’re showing up for me here and living life along side me.