Friday, May 25

let it be so.

i have been meditating of late on the vast importance of accepting the truth.

the truth is not something that we can simply choose not to accept. it is the truth, whether we embrace it or not, and oftentimes we only make things more difficult for ourselves by not accepting what is in fact so. 
ever since having my baby, i (along with every mother out there who has just delivered) have been slowly plodding along the path to feeling and looking like myself again. i'm not sure which takes longer, but both are essential to attain (at least for this mama). 

from the first day i embarked back into the world with both boys in tow, i have had people tell me how lovely i look, how small i am for having a baby that age/size, how i don't even look like i was ever pregnant. 

trust me, i was. the 50 pounds i gained is a hearty affirmation that yes, i did in fact carry a mini giant in my body for 10 months and delivered him mightily into this world. 

so of course, i would protest: "you didn't see me before i was pregnant. if you had, you would not be telling me now that i look so small, like i was never pregnant. you would realize those words are mini daggers in my heart when i see all that fluffiness that still needs to be lost in the mirror." 
but then i realized: people were not lying to me. and if you've ever seen a new mama, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? how adorable she is, how precious her little one is, how brave she is for courageously offering up her own self-interest for nearly a year to craft a new human being in her body, and how miraculous this new child's existence is. 
you never, ever think to yourself, "man, that mama could stand to kick it up a notch at the gym! i mean, that baby has to be at least 2 months old! plenty of time to be back to a size 2." 
so why, mamas, WHY do we feel the urge to deny as truth what others in fact see. they see beauty. they see courage. they see dignity, fertility, womanhood at its peak. 
we must re-train our minds to recognize these things. otherwise, those first few months, overwhelming as they already are with round-the-clock feedings, self-deprivation, and endless diaper changes, will add yet another burden to our hearts: the debilitating urge to look "perfect" again. 

we must learn to say thank you. we must learn to accept the gift of affirmation offered in love by others, and allow our hearts to see the truth within. 

i am not where i was before i had my second son. i was not where i was before my first son when i conceived my second. 

and yet, i am beautiful. i am exhausted, slightly overwhelmed, somewhat ragged. 

but i am beautiful, and if you tell me so, i will do my best to accept it and believe it. 

so if you see a pregnant woman or a mama with a new little one, tell her she is lovely. tell her she is courageous, a super woman, for doing what she is doing. tell her she deserves a medal just for embarking on this journey called motherhood. 

it doesn't matter what the scale tells you before or after delivery, or after the amount of time you thought it would take to get back to "normal." 

this does not determine or affect your beauty.

we are beautiful because we bring new life into the world. 
 remind yourself daily that you are beautiful. look at your gorgeous pregnant self, your burgeoning belly and remind yourself that you, that popping belly button, that expanding bust line, that tiny heartbeat, are miraculous and beautiful.

remind yourself constantly that you have achieved something extraordinary. you have carried life within and brought it forth into the world. remind yourself ever time you look in the mirror and feel those pangs of self-doubt, of self-dislike emerge: you, those never-fading stretch marks, those ankles slowly returning to normalcy, those leaking faucets that once served to attract the opposite gender, are undeniably radiant and incredible. 

for my dear readers that are not mothers yet. you are beautiful in the throes of your femininity. don't let anyone, including yourself, tell you otherwise.
believe it. embrace it. accept it. 

so the next time you are offered a compliment, don't shoot the giver down. they are messengers from Jesus, sent to pick you up and remind you of an undeniable truth. 

because He knows how we sometimes look in the mirror and hate ourselves just a little bit. He knows how we sometimes stand on that scale and just want to die. He knows how even when we are having a good day and are feeling good about ourselves, it's so easy to wish it were just a bit better. 

He knows. and He wants to radically change how we look, stand, feel. 

because He thinks we are absolutely, without a doubt, the most gorgeous creatures He's laid eyes on. He loves every fiber of our beings. He knows every freckle, every pimple, every stretch mark, every scar. 

He adores everything about you, just as you are. 

so love yourself too. be gentle to yourself. if you are like me, striving to get back to normalcy, give yourself time and embrace the true affirmations and compliments as they come. 

just say thank you and let it sink into your heart. before long, you will believe it. 

because it's true. 

you are beautiful. 

disclaimer: photos are not my own work. i gratefully give credit to the following locations, where i found them:

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