She stood on the precipice of her dream.
Her dear friend, insecurity, rose up around her, until she stood in an all-to-familiar haze.
Her knees began to shake. Her hands trembled. In an effort to steady herself, she sat down on a rock overlooking the empty space before her. She dangled her feet over the edge and hung her head.
Her thoughts began raging their familiar battle. All the usual suspects. She thought of all the others who have come before her. Would she be able to live up to them? Could she follow in their footsteps? Could she find a way to stand out and shine on her own? Was she good enough? She had her doubts.
The sun peeked out from its comfortable hiding spot—brilliant beams shone down upon her. She felt the heat on her skin and was jolted back to the present moment.
And she remembered that she was alive. Just as alive as anyone else. Just as alive as all those others.
The only thing stopping her was that bubble of insecurity and self-doubt that she had been floating inside for far too long, disillusioned and confused. Afraid.
Suddenly, she remembered something that she’d been carrying with her for some time now, waiting until she was ready. She had heard about how it could be used but never tried it herself. She put her hand to her pocket. She pulled out a safety pin with small tag tied to it. The tag read “self-love.”
Self-love is a choice and a practice—something that takes commitment.
Self-love means believing in yourself. Self-love means cheering yourself on even when no one else seems to be on your side. It means respecting yourself enough to work hard toward your dream and not being too tough on yourself when you make mistakes.
Self-love means remembering to feel the sunshine on your skin and to notice the beauty and simplicity of a field full of flowers. It means finding those things that make your soul fly and taking time to do those things every single day. Self-love means knowing your worth and allowing yourself to reach your fullest potential.
It means pulling that cape out of the back of your closet and becoming your own hero.
She looked out to that expanse in front of her—the endless potential. She gazed through the iridescent shield keeping her from fully exploring herself, into the seductive unknown. She was ready. It was time. She took her pin—her self-love—and she popped that bubble.
Finally, after all these years, she burst through self-doubt.
When she felt the sun beat down on her skin, she realized something. She realized that believing in yourself is a choice just like any other. And once you make that choice to practice self-love, it all seems so simple.
Yes, it’s a practice. It takes work and commitment. But, she decided to dedicate some effort to finding those things that make her happy, and she committed to doing at least one of those things a day, building a foundation for the person she wanted to be. A person to be proud of. A person to believe in. A person capable of making all of her dreams come true, just like all her heroes.
She made a commitment to treat herself with respect and gentleness and love. To listen to her body. And her heart. She realized that self-love was the beginning of everything. The first step to creating the life she dreamed of. She decided to hold on to that self-love for good.
But this time, instead of being tucked safely inside her pocket, she pinned that self-love right to her chest.
She wore that pin as a reminder to always honor herself and to keep an eye out for those bubbles of self-doubt. Because they are persistent. They will come back from time to time, inviting her back inside. But now she has the power and the tools to keep them from trapping her ever again.
She is too big to be confined to a bubble—she is expansive. She is open. She is a super-hero. She is love in all of its forms.
She looked out into the unknown with a sudden piercing clarity, and she took a step toward the expanse, toward the canyon of possibilities.
She took a step toward herself.
Author: Nicole Dunlap
Image: Léa Dubedout/ Unsplash
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren