I found myself watching The Help this past week. No reason in particular, I just wanted to have something in the background while I was doing some meaningless work. I’d seen the movie before. It’s good, heart felt and eye opening. But this time was different. The movie took on a whole new meaning to me when it came to this scene:

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” 
These past few weeks have been emotionally and physically draining on me. Some days are better than others. But when this scene came on I immediately stopped myself from what I was doing and let out a good cry. You know the one. The kind of cry when you dramatically sob into your hands and collapse into a small ball on the floor. Where you think the whole world is caving in on you, and you take little sips of air to bring you back to reality. It’s quite an embarrassing scene when you think about it afterwards. Not at all attractive, like how they look in movies. Luckily the only one there to witness it was my dog, Teddy. Bless his little heart. He didn’t judge. He just sat right there next to me and gave me little kisses right when I needed them, and sat on my lap the rest of the movie. Even now as I type this I’m working hard to hold back those same emotions that came flooding up inside of me that day. I know this is all starting to sound so cryptic. Sorry for that.

The point is, this quote really had my thinking. Thinking about how we treat ourselves. I know firsthand that I am my own worst enemy. When something goes wrong, when something doesn’t go exactly how I planned, I turn inward. It must have been something I did. If only I had done this. Maybe I should have done that. Or those days when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see back. I wish I didn’t have so many freckles. Check out those raccoon eyes. How about those legs grow 5 more inches. I don’t think that should be shaking when I walkIf only I could look like her. Or for those moments when things just don’t line up and you feel like a failure not only for yourself but for those around you. Trust me, these negative thoughts run through my head on a daily basis. More now than ever, or at least since I was 16.

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” I want this to be my new mantra. I want this to be constantly running through my thoughts whenever I turn inward. 

I took this picture of myself the other day. I took it right after coming back from a grueling weightlifting class at the gym. I wasn’t feeling particularly beautiful this day. In fact, it was another one of those crying days. But I wanted to take a picture of myself to reflect. I took the picture and immediately stopped and looked at it. Instead of seeing the greasy hair, my flabby arms and those freckles (oh so many freckles), I decided to be kind to myself. I really looked at this person as that, a person. A person who was created out of love between two people, who is loved by her family and friends. A person with a past, who has scars. Battle wounds on her heart that are trying to be put back together. “Be kind to her”, I told myself. And immediately I did. I saw those freckles as little memories. Memories of days spent on the beach given kisses by the sun. Memories of holding my moms hands and seeing the same freckles staring back at me. I saw those arms who had given so many hugs to loved ones who are no longer here with me. I saw those bags under the eyes as moments of showing vulnerability as opposed to weakness. From many sleepless nights and crying spells. Those little bags are worn proudly as badges of honor for those moments of hardship recently endured. 

If you are still reading all of this blubbering I applaud you. But mostly I just want to say that I love you. Be kind to yourselves this week, and know that you’re in my thoughts. There are so many of you that I just feel connected through, whether it be through your comments, emails or your own blogs. Know that you are kind. You are smart. You are important.