There are times when my heart becomes tired and her usual roar turns into a whisper.
If I listen closely, I can still hear her messages but it’s a struggle that leaves me open to the infiltration of the distraction army. It doesn’t take long before I feel myself slipping into a space of temporary darkness.
Even my words seem to scatter and hide in the unattended corners.
When I succumb to these darker internal forces, my self-care practices are the first to be suspended.
I sleep less. Drink more. Sacrifice true nourishment for empty calories. Skip workouts for the comfort of my couch. Focus my attention outside instead of inside.
I even ignore the magic that is waiting to be birthed from the center of my soul.
And of course, it’s painful.
As my spirit screams and I lay tightly wound in the fetal position, I am completely open and vulnerable to the naughty, taunting, judgmental voices that speak messages of body shaming and not enoughness.
When I look in the mirror, I even look different. Less shiny. Less alive.
Instead of acceptance, I criticize—finding fault in every new line on my face or imperfections in any extra ounce that lives on my body.
Instead of compassion, I judge—filling my head with monologues of negative self-talk.
I listen to these voices for a while, feeling the words as they cut and reopen scars that have healed over and over again.
But then I notice that each time they return, their power over me becomes a bit weaker. They don’t cut as deeply as they once did, some of them barely breaking the skin.
With this realization, something rises within me, an emanation of light that surrounds my heart and makes her beat faster, stronger, fiercer.
This is when I know the battle has begun.
This is when I remember that my love for myself is stronger than anything else.
Although these moments are painful and powered by fear, there are many lessons to be learned from clawing our way back towards the light.
There is strength in knowing that no matter how far we wander, if we listen and love ourselves unconditionally, our inner compasses will guide us back to the center of our hearts.
And, even more importantly, we are never alone in these battles. Every day we are surrounded by compassionate, warrior souls who are fighting to bring forth their greatest, most beautiful selves despite their inner struggles.
So, as we move through this month, let us remember that our strongest and most valuable superpower is our ability to look inside and love every last piece of ourselves.
We are absolutely worth it.
Photo: Lauren Treece/Flickr
Brandie Smith (Managing Editor) is a writer, poet, singer, editor, InPowerment Coach, energy healer and graceful warrior. Her purpose in life is to work with people to help them cultivate and nurture their unique gifts and passions to create a brilliant and meaningful life. After a brief five-year dalliance as a lawyer, Brandie decided to follow her free spirit and spends her days writing, living fiercely and peeling away the layers to expose her most vulnerable and raw spirit. She has published articles on Elephant Journal, Some Talk of You & Me and is currently working on a book of soul-fire haiku poetry. Brandie loves dancing in the mystery, living on the edge, making her own rules and finding beauty in all moments. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.