A couple days ago my husband took Celeste and I to the beach to enjoy the beautiful warm day we were having. Since Celeste’s birth we hadn’t really been out much with her and most of the outings we did have with her had been for doctor appointments, so it felt great to be out together as a family for something enjoyable rather than mandatory. There were so many families out that day and it felt like I was getting energized as my husband and I walked along hand in hand, with little Celeste enjoying the ride on the carrier my husband was wearing.
As we headed back from our stroll my husband asked us to walk in silence for some time and as we walked I reflected on some of the different emotions I’ve been feeling the last few weeks since becoming a mom. In that moment I realized that I need to be more gentle and loving with myself. I don’t usually do New Years resolutions because I tend to just start the new year fresh and excited for what new things may come, but just for the heck of it I guess you could call this a bit of a New Year’s Resolution, especially given the date.
In reality though I want this idea to be something deeper than a possible unkept promise to myself. I want to be more aware of the way I treat myself because, like so many other people I’m sure, I tend to be my toughest critic. Especially now that I’m a new mommy I find that I’m filled with many fears and worries because of all the unknowns that come with this new role. I realize that I’m going to be faced with many moments that will make me feel awkward and embarrassed because this is all new to me and honestly I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s in those moments especially that I want to be aware of how I speak to myself and to make sure that my words are loving, gentle, and encouraging.
I would love to say that I’m the kind of person that isn’t affected by what others may think of me or judgments they may pass, but I’m not entirely. While there are times that I’m not phased by that, there are moments that I am. Those are the moments I want to remember to be gentle and kind to myself. Also sometimes as women we can be so tough on each other and rather than offer encouragement we sometimes make someone very aware of their flaws and inadequacy. I want to be more aware each moment of my life and even more so during those tough moments, whether it’s when I may be harsh on myself and place high expectations on my behavior, emotions, or reactions or someone else is and my insecurities begin to rise.
Of course I can’t do this alone and first and foremost is going to be my faith and trust in God. I realize that whenever I remind myself that God made me in his image and that he loves me as I am, I tend to be more loving and gentle with myself. So this will be my gift to myself this year and after, to keep in mind that I’m human and that I’m not perfect and that perfection isn’t the goal. That I’m going to make mistakes, have difficult moments and even wonder if I can get through them…and in those moments I’m going to have the fullest intention to take a deep breath, be gentle and loving in my words and realize that all I can do is my best and laugh whenever possible. Because I’m a strong woman, God made me in his image, and he loves me as I am.