I love the quote "nature never repeats itself. We are all made to be different." No two leaves are exactly the same. No cloud is ever the same as another passing cloud. In fact, nothing is ever the same as it ever was in any past moment. The wind blows, hair grows, water flows. everything is constantly changing, including ourselves. Our beautiful minds are always processing and learning from the external influences of our individual lives.
When i was growing up in a tiny farming town in northern indiana my mom always told me that we were all meant to be different and that i had to love myself just as i was. This was borderline impossible in an area where i felt everyone wanted to be someone else and no one was happy with the body they were born with. as a girl, heavy make-up, boob jobs, spring break bodies, and luscious curls were way more important than...you, than whatever you currently had or looked like or wanted out of life. this was a prevailing mindset where i grew up, and regardless of my straight A's and quick wit, i never felt i was good enough.
At 17 i had my heart broken and decided to get the fuck out of the midwest and went to spain as an exchange student for a year, living with a family who spoke zero english and learning the art of sex appeal from my host sister. This boosted my self-confidence, but not my self-love as i continued to value my outer appearance over anything else. After spain i lived in norway for three months and then moved out to colorado where my heart began to learn the importance of loving the self and all the pieces that make the whole of the self. I began to eat well and understand the importance of proper nutrition and well-being. I became life-long friends with a girl who was raised in a family filled to bursting with love, and she showed me a book called "You Can Heal Your Life" which introduced me to real self-love and understanding that i was enough. This book changed a lot for me, but i was still young, just 21, and life wasn't going to let me by that easy. I was cutting corners, and although i was beginning to love some pieces of myself, i still put so much emphasis on outer appearance. I went to costa rica for a few months and continued to go deeper into the world of positive thought, and then was put to the ultimate test, one that would last for years.
After my trip to costa rica i moved to breckenridge and began a downward spiral into late nights, booze and drugs and all the fun that accompanies those three. I was fired for the first and only time and began seeing a guy who would turn out to be the epitome of my rock bottom. One night he snapped and put his hands on me and beat me up; it was a horrible experience. After that i began to hate all of me for allowing myself to go so low, to have put myself into those situations, and to have adopted the disgusting habits i had. I smoked cigarettes heavily and drank just as heavily every day. Talk about self-love..
Fast forward a few years after i found the strength to move away, with less than $200 to my name, to the place in colorado where i knew i could find healing.
and forward a few more years to today, where i find myself sitting next to the river in zion national park with my love on the tail end of our four-month road trip in our camper van. all of the hardships, the horrible decisions, the extreme lack of self-love for years of my life, it all just washes away down the river. I am now able to look back at these past Jane's in retrospect and see the value of these experiences and poor decisions. They taught me lessons in life that only personal experience can teach. Reflections allow me to forgive myself, perhaps years later, and to forgive others. The scars on my heart now influence my current decisions. I have finally been able to shed the layer in my consciousness that relied so much on external beauty and perceive life through new eyes, through eyes that care deeply for integrity, universal love, happiness, and an appreciation for life. I finally feel content with me, and i know that i am enough just the way i am. i also care so much more for my body. Loving the self means taking care of our body and our mind with good food, exercise that we enjoy, and lots of outdoor time!
"Nature never repeats itself. We are all made to be different." My pieces are refined and polished for my life, and yours for your life. Every experience that life throws our way is meant to teach us more about ourselves so that our love for ourselves can grow. No matter what you believe, no one can deny that all we have is the present moment, and the only way to live that moment to the fullest is by loving yourself, your pieces, and all of life.
Not every day is sunshine and flowers. Feelings are like the weather..cloudy days are inevitable, but the sun will always return. Knowing and accepting that you are enough just the way you are is one of the most powerful and life-changing things you can do for yourself, and once you do, a whole new world of opportunities presents itself in the form of your dreams manifesting and everything beginning to flow a little bit easier. Love your pieces and the rest of it all just falls into place.