Loving My Light.

Parental struggles y’all. They’re real and they’re rough and I’m drowning in them lately and feel very inadequate and ill-equipped and sometimes very lonely because there are just problems you see differently from the other parent in a 2-parent household if you’re the primary caregiver. There are things that look different to the person who sees the children during all of their upswings and downswings and some days I find myself wondering if I should retitle our 401K in my budgeting app from “retirement” to “kid’s future therapy needs” because I’m convinced daily that I’m hurting more than I’m helping.

I’m also struggling in my journey to self-love to make it over one particular hill. I’m doing great in a lot of areas in terms of loving this body. I find myself looking in the mirror with more love than hate than I’ve ever had at any size. I beat down the instincts to hate pictures of myself that stretch beyond my face and I worry less about where the fat rolls are showing during yoga and more about how to modify stretches to avoid squooshing them. (Because – let’s be honest – there are a lot of moves where I’m flexible enough to do them but my belly fat is in the way!)

So…the hill? Is the, “But my husband is really hot” hill. This has always been something I’ve struggled with, feeling like my husband and I standing together look like the prince and the troll. Even on our wedding day when I was beautiful and thin and tan and young…I worried people thought he deserved someone more beautiful.

I really hoped I’d be able to work past that as I learned to love myself AS IS but y’all? It’s worse than ever…a million times worse. It’s like I can look at and love my body beautifully when I’m alone anywhere. But the second I’m hanging out with my husband I feel gross and ugly because he’s there with his perfectly sculpted body that gets better with age and if I let myself think about it too long I honestly find myself fighting off tears of shame. And the words in my head thinking about my body in those moments are ugly and terrible and inflict the worst kind of hurt on my soul all because my husband is hot.

ISN’T THAT THE SADDEST THING EVER?

So that’s my focus lately, is trying to really shout back at those voices in my head. But man…they are loud and they say terrible things. They are mean and cruel and if anyone ever said the things to my daughter that I say to myself when I’m commenting on my appearance next to my husband’s, I would punch that person in the face.

But I try to remember that underneath all of that ugly talk there is a little girl who just wants to fit some sort of media-driven model of beautiful when in reality – I know from 43 years of life experience – that the most beautiful people shine light from deep within the corporeal frame of their bodies. If I look at the light I shine when I’m not burdened by thoughts of my body, I can see my beauty radiate like the sun. So I close my eyes and I see that insecure little girl and I remind her that…when she is kind and loving and when she smiles and laughs and – most importantly – when she cultivates love around her…she is the most beautiful being on the planet. I tell her the body that holds her light does not matter in the world around her where there is so much pain and darkness. She needs to believe in the true beauty of the light she shines both sitting alone and standing next to her husband at a party. And I need to imagine that little girl every time I start the negative self-talk because it’s a lot harder to say terrible things about yourself if you imagine saying them to the 8-year old you.

Let’s try to be kind to each other today, but most importantly, let’s try to be kind to ourselves. I will hold in my heart today all of the women I love and I will think of all of them when I’m criticizing my parenting or my body…because I think nothing but brilliant things about the women who surround me from my childhood and from my present. They are brilliant mothers and strong women and loving friends and most importantly – they add beautiful light to the world. I need to cultivate the same love for myself as I have for them.

Here’s to loving myself like I love all of you. Both as a mother and as a body that simply holds the soul that is shining light into the darkness.

6 Comments

  • Gingermog

    You are beautiful Zoot inside and outside. I feel your rays of sunshine shining lol the way to rainy , grey skies london. Talk gentley to that little girl she’s going to grown up to be an amazing warrior.

  • Kathy Laney

    Kim, I don’t read any blogs but yours because it’s so real, honest, and raw. I commend you on your willingness to be vulnerable and authentic. I’m leaving a comment today because the feelings you share when you’re with Donnie, your “hot” husband, resonated with me because sometimes I feel this way when I’m with Anna (“Cocoa”). Different reasons….. but same self loathing talk in my head. Even though I was a career woman in my past life (before kids) I’ve been a SAHM since Anna’s birth almost 25 years ago. I feel like my life and world pale in comparison to hers and I always let my light go out in her presence because her world is SO BIG compared to mine. She’s out there meeting all these strong, focused, driven, women who are leaving a footprint on this planet while I’m shopping at Publix and walking the dog. I’ve really had to work on this issue because it would impact our relationship when she was home for visits. Anyway, I just wanted to say you are BEAUTIFUL and I love your blog and the insight, knowledge, and lessons it brings to your readers.

  • Julie

    This post really resonated with me—the part about the voices directed at yourself—wanting to protect and heal your inner child–and wanted to share how my own personal journey with EFT has helped me grow. The beginning of my journey was about just recognizing those voices (which were rather subtle) and observing them. Later as I learned more I realized how much that mind/body connection is important. We walk around all the time thinking and experiencing those ideas in our bodies, it only makes sense that to release their power we also have to express them and experience them through our body–which is why Tapping has made so much sense to me. I can start a tapping meditation about one topic, let myself start acknowledging that inner voice and suddenly there is this angry, mean voice and I just let it come out (and during the Tapping I am talking out loud). I realize that it is actually my father’s voice and often my father’s words that I end up saying/yelling at myself as I tap. I am also so grateful for the process because I feel like those thoughts and the anger behind them have never really came up in all the therapy I have ever done. So many new things have come up for me that I never even realized I believed. I feel like with EFT I have been able to feel those feelings, say those things and at the same time release them from my body–many, many times crying as I do so. I tap as I am saying them all and as the anger and mean things towards myself subside, as I breathe deeply, as I say some of the carrier phrases I have learned from Brad Yates , Iyanla Vanzant and Nick and Jessica Ortner, I feel myself releasing them. I have learned to say things to myself like “I love and forgive myself for these thoughts”, “I love my child self for creating these beliefs to keep me safe” “I know now as a grown up I can choose different thoughts” “I give myself permission to see my own pain and heal”.
    I am sending you so much love and light on your journey Kim. The self-healing you are working towards helps and heals us all.
    Julie

  • Beth Edwards

    Lets start with this- Nyoka looks very much like you. Nyoka is very pretty, so how can you be unattractive? I always thought I was ugly and other kids told me that. I would look at myself and see the same, but I couldnt figure out what it was that made me unattractive, other than my teeth and I can keep my mouth closed. When my daughter was a teen everyone told me that we looked like each other. My daughter was beautiful, and that isnt just a Mom opinion. So I asked the same question. If I look like her, how could I have been ugly. I have a notebook that has a picture of me at 20 on the front cover and a picture of her in her late 30’s in a similar pose on the back. Amazing resemblance. Not to be too forward, but I dont find you husband to be attractive. Nice fit body, but otherwise average.- To get really perverted, I think your son is gorgeous and you I classify in the forever cute corral. You were cute as a child, are cute now and will be cute when you are 80.

  • Beth Edwards

    2 parents will never be on exactly the same page, but its best if they are in the same book!. Here is the thing- I am sure you know that your kids act differently depending on which parent they are with. So how the parent deals with behavior will be different. Keep in mind- any parent that has more than one kid and says they dont have a favorite is lying- triple that for teachers. The important thing is that you dont let the kids know by extreme favoritism. In my opinion the 2 most important things in child raising are: 1 Remember that you are raising an adul.t 2 Its a process. They dont need to be adults until high school graduation. They will still need guidance after that. But if you have raised your kid to be kind, responsible, and charitable you have done your job