If I could go back 20 years to tell myself just one thing, it would be this: be free, Kim.
Be free to be you.
I spent most of my life believing I was a mistake. That either God had messed up somehow, or (more likely) I’d effed up his perfect creation beyond repair. I bore a tremendous amount of guilt and shame, and I did not truly believe I was worthy of love. While a work in progress for the past four-ish years, it has only been in the past year that I have been able to really and truly accept myself for who I am.
If I could go back, I would shout these words of truth to myself; I would whisper them over and over into my ear, and pray that I could believe them:
You are not a mistake.
You are enough.
You are lovable and you are loved.
You are quirky and funny and goofy and nerdy.
You can be both highly logical and deeply emotive.
You are an outgoing introvert (and that’s not a contradiction).
You can seek to be more, while concurrently being fully you.
You are free, dear one. Free to laugh, love, and live.
I’ve thought a lot about Jesus’ response to the “what is the greatest commandment” question these past few years. He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It does not show love to my creator to constantly criticize, belittle, and mock his beloved creation. And if my standard of love for myself is barely (or not at all) disguised hatred, how can I possibly hope to love others well?
This past year, for the first time in my life, I have learned to love myself. Not for who I could be or who I have been or who I might become, but me, now, just as I am.
And it is a beautiful thing, this freedom to be me.
This post is part of the June Synchroblog, “If I could Tell Myself One Thing”–what do you wish you knew 10 or 20 years ago? Here is a list of the other contributions to this month’s synchroblog:
Justin Steckbauer – What Do You Wish You Knew 10 or 20 years ago?
Michael Donahoe – What I Wish I had Known
Mary – What I Wish I Would Have Known as a Newlywed
Heather Wheat – As a Young Mother, I Wish I Had Known…
Michelle – Ten Years of Wisdom
Michelle – Twenty Years of Wisdom
Wesley Rostoll – If I Could Speak to a Younger Version of Me
Peggy – From Peggy … To Peggy
Glenn Hager – The Reluctant Time Lord
Carol Kuniholm – Life Lessons from Lydia
Edwin Adrich – A Note to My Younger Self
Paul Metler – A Note to my 20 Year Ago Self
Liz Dyer – Dear Me
Kathy Escobar – Never Say Never
Jeremy Myers – A Letter to the “Me” of 15 Years Ago
Loveday Anyim – Hot Romance with the Dreams of the Sparkling Old Times
Susan Cottrell – Be Kind To Yourself