During my process of deep grief I had a hard time looking at myself. I avoided a mirror at all costs because that person, that broken and dark person reminded me of the pain I was feeling. I criticized her, I hated her and I did not want to see her. She would not let anyone close enough to see through the barrier.
During those two years there were moments she was strong and would try to come to the surface and she would be pushed back down. Negative self talk was paramount in my life. The occasional time I allowed myself to put on makeup or do my hair, were a very short period of time and I always reverted back. I removed every single mirror in my house... every single one except for the back of a door that was placed low enough I did not have to see my face.
Negative self talk was paramount in my life
I could not let my hair down, I needed to always wear it up. It seemed as though by allowing it to flow freely, that allowed freedom, which I was not prepared to embrace.
In January of this year I received a message from a beautiful soul that ignited my internal flame. That message for me, was the opening of the door from darkness to light. That moment as simple as it was, opened my heart, ignited my soul and gave me the strength to finally move forward. I will always be eternally grateful to him.
A couple of weeks into January I decided it was time to update my social media and website picture. One that would reflect who I am today.
I took a few pictures and quickly scanned through them to decide what to use. One stood out to me, it was more of a personal pose and not a professional one. I did this specifically for someone. I had never seen this side of myself before, who was she?
I did not at all recognize the woman in that picture. I had no idea where she came from?
This picture was taken for someone and was not going to ever be made public. As I sat and looked at her I noticed her wrinkles, I noticed her smile and I noticed the light in her eyes.
I sat with her, I looked at her and I talked to her. I realized that SHE had just came out of the worst and darkest storms imaginable. She grew, she fell and she got back up. BUT I still did not recognize her? It would take a couple of more weeks before I truly embraced her.
This picture and I would sit together many times over the next couple of weeks. I would talk to her and thank her for having faith that I could. To always be there, hidden under the veil of pain and grief. To gently hold me up when I needed her most, even though I had no idea she was in there. It was then that I decided to no longer keep the picture private, but to share the incredible strength and power of a picture and what it can do for you, if you let it.
During this time of resurgence I received messages from friends asking me if I was ok. I was told I was spinning and manic (my favorite) and also so many messages from people who found inspiration in my journey. When in actuality, it was the strongest I had ever felt. I learned that sometimes when you come out of darkness your light can shine too bright for some, and that is ok.
I also found a love for having my hair down. The incredible feeling of being free from constraints is something that felt so powerful to me. When you sit within the little things that we take for granted we can see so many incredible lessons hidden in there.
Stop and take a picture of yourself. Sit with it and reframe your self talk. Start seeing yourself as the most incredible creature that you are. Place a focus on what you LOVE about yourself and not what you hate. Actually remove that word from your thinking process all together. It is not healthy, it is not helpful and it stops your growth immediately.
Every single wrinkle, scar and inch hold a story. One of incredible strength and perseverance. Honor that!