My youngest years were surrounded by, like many, alcohol addiction. My parents divorced when I was six, and soon after my dad quit drinking, became a proud and vocal member of AA and my mom joined Al-anon. They remarried in our living room with the island priest and I thought my small life was complete, after all, how many parents do YOU know got married and divorced and back together again...until their tumultuous and final divorce when I was 16.
I then began trying to figure out what life was all about, whom to trust - because I wanted so badly to be loved and to trust life and to trust men.
Then, two divorces. Lots of learning, grief and growth. And, forgiveness.
At the age of 49, I married again! A man whom I had known of since early childhood. A man whom I chose because of so many reasons. Tom not only supports my dreams and company, but he is hands-on in helping with it, too. We share dogs and a lifestyle that's actually pretty simple. And, I love it.
This love stuff, this self-love stuff, I still continue to work at it each day! This term is so overused these days, but about two decades ago, I learned about this from a wise woman by the name of Louise Hay. Her work inspired me then, as it does today and it all starts with self love.
How does one do this?
For me, it began simply as rethinking. Retraining my brain, as I taught my students when I taught elementary school.
Because, I would have thoughts like, "I'm not good enough. I'm so stupid. I don't deserve this ________(fill in the blank) How could I have been so naive? I don't know why I should even try, I'll never get there."
I had to tell myself new stories, much like I was asking of my students. New stories like: I AM good enough, in fact every single person is! I am really good at what I do and am open to learning more. I deserve a beautiful and loving life. I wasn't naive, I was just trusting. If I don't try, I'll never go on this amazing journey of learning and growing.