Have you ever come across something (a song, poem, movie, etc) and felt like it’s exactly what you needed to find given what you were feeling?
Sometimes when I get sad and put my iPod on shuffle, it starts playing songs that either make me feel so much better, or that go with how I feel perfectly. Sometimes I wonder if my iPod has magical powers.
No, but really. The past two days I’ve been trying to figure out some things and today I came across a blog post on the To Write Love On Her Arms website that just.. made sense.
I would be lying if I said I am done growing. Self-love is a long and arduous road, but it is beautiful one, I promise. I don’t pretend to know it all. Everyone is on a unique path, and I am by no means claiming I have the antidote to depression. But I do know this:
There isn’t a day I don’t wake up and physically have to decide that I am more good than I am bad.
This is not a chore; this is a gift.
My mother once told me something I will never forget: “When you have a negative thought about yourself, imagine yourself as a baby. A source of awe and wonder. Joyful, blameless, full of love. This is who you are at all times, Sierra. This is your true self.”
When we are babies, we are showered with affection. We bring joy and happiness into everyone’s lives, even strangers. As toddlers, we love so freely. We touch and kiss and hug and want to receive love in return. As children, we somehow know we are worthy of this.
So picture yourself as a baby. We are always the children we once were, but with the intelligence and power that comes from experience. We are all worthy of the love, forgiveness, and patience we show others. The practice of self-denial isn’t easy to unlearn, and honestly, it isn’t what gets better. You get better. You get better at saying Yes to love. You get better at saying No, I won’t let you hurt me like that. I might not be perfect but I made it – to today, to this very moment – and right now that is enough. It takes a lot of tears and laughter and mistakes and even more patience and forgiveness. It takes a lot of work, but I know now recovery isn’t a finish line or a destination. It’s the music we listen to on our journey.
These days, I spend a lot time thinking about what leads us to self-loathing—why, specifically, love isn’t the first thing we choose. I wonder why we are so willing to forgive and affirm others, yet withhold those same gifts from ourselves. When does this start? What triggers it?
Read the whole thing here.
I am constantly going back and forth between wanting to fight and wanting to surrender. The fact that I’m still here is a sign that I’m still fighting. It’s not that the fight is hard, it’s that there’s something seductive about surrender, about falling into that hole of self-pity or self-loathing. And the problem is that once it starts, it’s hard to stop it.
But that blog post made me think about how I try so hard to be good and kind to others, but I’m never kind to myself. I read somewhere that you can’t really love people until you learn to love yourself, and I think kindness works the same way. In order to be kind, sincerely, to others, you need to be kind to yourself.
I got this bracelet a few days ago to remind me of that.
So let this be a reminder to you too – be kind to yourself. Know that you are worth so much. Believe in yourself. And most importantly, love yourself.
Walk through this with me.
And because I always feel the need to share new images when I write blog posts, here’s one I shot when I was in Egypt.
The title is from Audioslave’s Shadow on the Sun.
I might be falling behind on the 52 Week Project again. I got kicked out of the park today for shooting – I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to! Okay.. I snuck in, but no one ever said anything about pictures! I wish I had a funny story. There isn’t much to it other than that the security guard came to me and my sister and said we’re not allowed to take pictures in the park. He didn’t ask for a pass – thank god. We still didn’t get a pass for the park.
I’ll try to have something up by thursday or friday though!
I hope you’re all having a lovely week ❤
2014-2017 Thoughts amani alshaali cairo egypt failure fears fine art photographer fine art photography insecurities inspiration kindness photography photoshop photoshop edit self acceptance thoughts to write love on her arms TWLOHA