Friday, September 14, 2012

For the Love of Self.

I do not consider myself a selfish person.  Is it selfish to love yourself? 

Let's talk friends.....

After many years of self condemnation, I do believe that I have finally learned to love who I am.  For years I didn't.  Years. The insecurities of just "being" developed early for me. Remembering back to elementary school it was my bucked teeth and boyish hair cut. Middle School it was just the daily attempts to fit in.  In High School it was finding that boy who would love me, the clothes that would make me beautiful, the social life that reigned above all, and the goal of reaching the status of "popular" that I had so highly set for myself.  Truly, it never happened.  I never got there. I never felt like I fit.

In my early 20's it was about me almost "being there".  New set of friends, new marriage, new church, and new family.  My status, socially, was climbing in the world's view. But was I there internally? No. With time, came my babies, and my existence became more valuable. I was good at this Mom thing. There were two little girls who needed me. Motherhood surely made my confidence soar as I had finally found a place in life. I do believe this is where God began to teach me, mold me and define for me; what my worth really was. 

Yes, I said God.  Without Him, I have nothing. Am I perfect in my faith? No. I'm not a perfect person at all.  If I was even close, I wouldn't feel any of the things I wrote about in my first paragraph.  I have, however, learned that my relationship with God is not based on the things I don't do. It's based on me accepting His love and gift to me. I don't have to answer to anyone on this earth about the way I've chosen to live my life. I'm not here to please men.  Truly, that has been one of the overwhelming obstacles in my life.  This is part of me accepting myself, and knowing that GOD knows my heart. I don't have to prove it to anyone else. 

I've discovered in my 40's that in life you have to learn to accept yourself. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Believe in yourself.  Because without can't love, accept, forgive or believe in others.  I believe that God designed the person I am. I believe that He loves me beyond my faults.  I pray, daily, that He move me out of the way so I can be who HE designed me to be.  

My parents taught me many things throughout my childhood.  Be a friend. Forgive those who hurt you. Treat others like you want to be treated.  Lend help to someone in need. Defend those who are mistreated.  Be the bigger person, and always do what's right.  Do not get me wrong.  There are times, in anger, that I'd rather slap someone silly than do what's right. I get mad. Really mad. I don't like to see people wronged or be wronged myself.  I have a tiger within me that wants to defend my family and friends. BUT, through life's tough lessons; I have learned that everyone has hurts. Everyone has been through something that has made them bitter or sad.  A lot of people have deep hurts that we will never know about.  I can't judge.  I have to look within myself and examine my own heart.  That's all I'm responsible for.

So, love yourself.  Believe in yourself.  Accept yourself.  And forgive yourself!  Forgiveness is so important! Let go of your mistakes and guilt.  I promise you it will be like being reborn.  Guilt is a captor.  It will hold you captive and destroy you.  I know from experience. Loving yourself is not selfish.  It's believing that your creator doesn't make mistakes. He knows what He's doing!  He can use any mistake that you've made and grow you in to a beautiful soul! I still have a lot of growing to do.  I still have pity parties where I'm the only attendee.  I still act ugly.  (On occasion).  I still have moments of discontentment.  I still want to beat myself up when I mess up. 

But ya know what?  This epic tale of "finding me" the mean time, love yourself so you can love others and I will do the same.  

Be beautiful,

Leigh Ann 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

To Oopsies & Best Friends

So, as you all have seen, I have been absent for a few weeks.  As I mentioned on Facebook, I forgot my login to my blog. I could NOT get in to my blog. I forgot the email I used. The password.  The whole nine yards.  I will define for you all in the near future the true, living example of ADD.  Yes, I have it.  Diagnosed.  Treated and ongoing. I sometimes fail to write things down.  When I don't forget to write them down, I forget WHERE I wrote them down.  Ugh.  Just another cramp in my 40ish something existence.  So here's to my oopsie for the month of September!

Now, on to more cramps.  I'm continuing to struggle with my "Change Challenge".  BUT I haven't given up! I have made better choices and I have failed to make EXCELLENT choices.  Does that make sense? I have given up Pepsi which is my true love. I have cut back on portions and eating past 7 pm. BUT I have failed to walk on a daily basis and put a defined plan in place to lose weight. I am down several pounds, but at this point I could be down 10-15 lbs. So, guess what?  I will march on!! I find that my struggles are more common that I've realized before, and that I can do this!  I HAVE to do this!  I want to be healthy.  I honestly think God is placing people in my life that have succeeded in losing weight and becoming healthy, and I look forward to spending more time with those friends and learning from them. You know who you are! (Wink wink)

On a lighter note~ in this "epic journey of finding me" I had such fun a couple of weeks ago!  My childhood friend, Lori Lanier Fatzinger, invited me to the Opry to see Keith Urban.  What fun we had!  Of course, we enjoyed the URBAN music,  the EPIC tale of Keith personally singing to Lori (for her birthday~), the good food & margaritas, the down town music of Nashville, and the rockin' surprise of KISS & Motley Crue sharing the same hotel!  But the most memorable time was just sharing, laughing and talking with one of my best friends in the world.  We have always shared laughter, tears, ups and downs, and we have always always been friends.  Through miles of separation, trials within our families, marriages and divorces; Lori has always been a constant.  No matter what this life holds for either of us; We are forever friends.  I know that in this day and time that is a gift.  So, Lori, thank you!  Thank you for your constant, loyal and sweet friendship.  I cherish it with all my heart.  I look forward to many more years of being your friend.  Heck, I've even been called your boyfriend.  (I may explain that to you all at a later date.  She knows what I'm talking about).  Love you girl!

So, I journey on.  Thank you all for sharing my struggles, my hopes and my dreams! And remember to "be beautiful" in everything you do! 

To be continued.....