It’s 8 am and I’m still lying snuggled under flannel sheets at our family cabin in the woods. The kettle is on and I’m thinking of coffee. The only thing I can see is light streaming in the windows, towering pine trees and the lake. Nothing else. What else could there be that would bring me more joy than I have in this moment? Nothing really. I suppose my family could be here, but then I’d be up, getting breakfast for the kids, as opposed to this – doing what my soul wants today – lazing in bed, feeling my own skin, listening to the words of my own true self. What a gift to be here right now.
Is it possible to ever be decloaked? To be fully and completely decloaked? I think if it is, for me it happens when I’m here. Stripped away of unnecessary additions, they disappear along the trail as I walk into these woods.
The truth of my soul unveils itself.
Yesterday afternoon I climbed to the top of a ridge that I haven’t been to in years and stared at the trees. I just watched and marvelled in their presence. They stand firm in their roots and yet they sway as the winds pass through their branches.
In these moments I pause, as if to savour the clarity of self for later – for when I am back home, and all the day-to-day stressors are back, the layers of life heavy on my skin. What it is that I know? What do I know to be true?
I know I’m a writer. I have a story to tell. I feel driven and inspired to write. That comes from a place that I can’t quite explain, but it is what my soul craves. That is truth.
What else do I know to be true?
I know I want to help others find what I have found. I want to spread this feeling of alive-ness that I carry. I want others to be able to stand in their truths and to discover that who they are is golden and precious and to be loved. We are meant to be loved.
But first and foremost we must love ourselves. Which brings me to being a parent, which some of you will be able to relate to.
I’ve been learning that loving myself is the greatest gift I can give my children. Loving myself more than anyone else loves me teaches them that one day, when they’re alone and all by themselves, that they carry within the one person they really need. If we can stand on our own two feet, and love ourselves passionately and unconditional, isn’t that all that we really need? Isn’t that the greatest gift?
If we teach our children that it’s more important to love others first before we consider loving ourselves, what does that teach them? It teaches them that they come second to others.
Of course even if I didn’t like myself, I would love my children. But I know to the depths of my being, that this process, this unveiling of me, discovering radical self-love, has absolutely deepened my capacity to love them. Our capacity to love ourselves is directly and proportionally linked to how much we can love our children and others for that matter.
The funny thing is I started down this healing path because I wanted to be a better mother, so they could be better children. I wanted to be the best mother I could be, for them. So they could be strong and whole, and live full lives.
The biggest shocker of this journey has been that by being the best me, the clearest and truest version of myself that I can find, I am by default a better mother, a better wife, a better everything.
Ultimately it’s about being the best me, for myself.
The rest? Quantum icing on the cake.