By Mia Black
The funny thing about love is that we always refer to it in reference to someone else. But we never examine it when it comes to loving ourselves. I’ve heard, “Love hurts”, “All is fair in love and whatever”, or “Love will conquer all.” But the truth that I’ve slowly become to see; is that loving me doesn’t hurt, it is fair, and love alone will not conquer all. After being in my marriage for two years and my relationship for six, I’ve recently discovered that I have lost me.
I accept full and total responsibility for the changes I have made to accommodate my relationship/marriage. Some of these changes have come because they are life changes that I wanted to make like, moving from Virginia back to Massachusetts, having two children, and getting married. I wouldn’t take back any of these decisions. They have shaped who I am, and I now know they were part of God’s plan for me.
The one regret I have is that I have chosen my marriage above my all of my own needs. I no longer exist. I have become a wife and a mother. I am either doing for my husband or I am doing for my children, but rarely do I ever do for me. The problem I am encountering is that I now want me back. I’m not saying I want to forfeit my marriage or parental duties, but I know if I’m going to be of any value to my husband and my children, my sense of individualism needs to return.
I am slowly finding myself again by seeking guidance through God. It has not been a simple process and I have slipped and fallen many a times, but to date, he has not steered me wrong. I have begun to love myself again for the first time again in about ten years.
Part of loving myself is accepting me for who I am. Accepting that I am far from perfect, and I don’t have to be. Striving to stop looking and pointing out imperfections in others and begin working on my own. Finally, letting go of trying to control the free will of other.
Rather than allowing these things to consume me, I have surrendered them all to God and allowed him to take over the steering wheel. Now, cannot say that I have not perfected this yet and sometimes I am a backseat driver, but He has placed plenty of angels in my path in the forms of my best friends to keep me on course. They remind constantly that it is a process and to pray and keep my faith, and if I do this everything that is meant to be will come to pass.
God has shown me that I have passed the test of loving others, but I now have to accomplish loving myself. The first step in this journey is to find that individual that was here before marriage and parenthood. The second and final step is to trust that God will take me where I need to go.