This morning started off great! As I scrolled through Facebook, I was reminded that Chris Pureka’s new album was released today! For a musician and someone who just loves music, listening to an anticipated album is one of the best things in the world. I eased into my morning with coffee and a FaceTime chat with my dad and step mom over in Italy. I always take Fridays off, so I had a little extra time to lounge in my office and read through my morning reflection:
“I am love. Everything in me and outside of me is love. Today I choose to repeat this, believe this, and commit to this. I am love. Anything else I have chosen to believe is false evidence appearing real. What I choose to see as real today is love and only love. I am love.”
I read it out loud, I sat with that thought and felt pretty amazing about it. The problem is that throughout the day, it is so easy to slip back into old thought patterns without even thinking about it! I took a trip to the bank to get quarters for laundry and ended up chatting with the teller about the Chicago teacher’s strike. He asked if I was going to join my former colleagues and all of a sudden I felt a wave of guilt wash over me. No, I hadn’t planned on it. How terrible am I?? Next I went to CVS just to get tissue and also walked out with Easter candy on sale. What can I say? Cadbury mini eggs are my crack. On my way home, all I could think was, “You’re so stupid. Why the hell did you buy that candy? You know you can’t control yourself. You’re either going to end up eating it all or you’re going to eat most of it and then have to throw it in the trash because you lack self-control.” Really nice self-talk, huh? Not once did I stop and remember to tell myself “I am love”.
As I did house chores while Richard was gone all day, all I could think was how much I missed him but knew he was coming home to me tonight. I imagined what it would be like to miss him, knowing he wasn’t coming here and then continued to think of 8 weeks of that. All I felt was extreme sadness. When he got home, I wanted to connect with him but I could feel myself putting that distance between us. I recited affirmations in my mind, “Choose love. Love over fear.” The anger started to seep in. He sat at the table on his computer doing school work. I sat at the table, zoning out listening to Chris Pureka. “Put your gloves back on, get back in the ring.” Choosing love, whether it’s towards others or myself seems to be a daily fight. I got up, walked into my office and knew it was time to blog and complete tonight’s exercise.
First, look in the mirror and say 3 times: I love you.
As I stood in the bathroom, staring at myself in the mirror and saying, “I love you” it felt like a total out of body experience. I felt nothing, as though I was saying “I love you” to a stranger.
Next, write. The topic: I choose to love myself fully.
I’m supposed to write for 10 minutes and just write. This is the hardest exercise yet because I really struggle when I feel as though I have nothing to write about, but I want to stay true to the process so I will. I choose to love myself fully. What? Ok. My choices do not define me. Even though I am not where I want to be physically or financially and that’s mostly based on choices I have made, it’s ok. Each day I have the option to make a new choice. Even on the days I can’t fit into my pants, have a muffin top and my shirts are tight I choose to love myself fully. I am not stuck in this body, I get to decide what kind of body I want. I have made amazing health choices in the past 2 years that I never would have made before. Even though I am not always the kindest and most loving partner, I choose to love myself fully. I have been through some shit and I am protecting myself, even when there’s no real need to protect myself. So many times relationships have ended in ways I never could have guessed, so it’s completely understandable why I’m always thinking in the back of my head, “How much time do I have left in this relationship?” I’m stubborn and I dig in my heels. That has been a trait of mine for as long as I can remember, but it’s been developed more and more over the years. I’ve been told I don’t compromise in relationships but why should I when I have felt so many times that my needs don’t matter? I love my stubborn part because it protects me. It can be dangerous and destructive, but I love it anyway. I love myself for being on this journey. I love myself for never giving up. I love myself for always getting back up after being knocked down. I love myself for loving fully again and again even though my heart has been shattered numerous times. I choose to love myself fully. Loving myself is a choice and although it may not be the obvious choice, I have myself always…forever…just me.
In this moment, I miss Gainesville. I wish I could slide open the door and go sit on my porch, surrounded by trees with a glass of wine and just be. I’m sure it’s the mix of emotions and Chris Pureka still playing in the background. Her voice, her lyrics and the violin…all 3 just go straight to my soul and it just feels like being wrapped up in a blanket in the most comfortable place possible. So I’ll just sit here for a minute, connecting to myself with my hand on my heart, taking a deep breath in and let it all out as the tears gently roll down my cheeks.