I’m who you want to be around when you’re feeling low.
Need some chicken soup? I got it.
A cup of coffee? It’s already made.
Big old hug? Coming your way!
Seeing someone’s sadness, confusion, hurt, pain, and then making it better? I’ve landed in two, really three, careers so far that have all had to do with that same concept. And it lights me the hell up.
Are you like that, friend?
Does your heart soar at Christmas time when someone opens the present you picked out just for them? Paper patterned in red and green crumbled to the side, bow torn and misconfigured, while your recipient beams because only you knew just what to get them?
Is there something magic in your words of advice and listening ear? How you can perch alongside someone while their world is crashing down and take that pain, just for a little while, and lessen it solely from your open heart and support?
What about hosting? Can you preemptively foresee all the small extras that can elevate your parties to something oh-so-memorable? The way you remember that one weird wine that a guest adores, or can recall the allergies of another party member and step around any inclusion of that specific substance?
Let me go ahead and tell you: you are amazing.
Superhero, the statue of support, unshakeable, and even-keeled, “do-it-all” -er, I am celebrating you right now on this Friday morning as I’m typing my homage to you.
I am asking, have you ever taken that beam of sunshine and pointed it towards yourself?
Are you the type of person you want to be around when you are feeling low?
I don’t mean buying yourself presents. Going to the spa and captioning it #selflove. My motive in this piece isn’t to persuade you to bring something external into your life and justify it as an act of appreciation.
Those things ABSOLUTELY have their place. Hell, I am the Queen of Buying Myself Presents.
And I also know the emptiness that can come when the gift to myself isn’t aligned with the emotional support that I am oh-so-craving from my inner self.
So, what I want to challenge you today:
Say the words out loud: “I am so happy to see you.”
Close your eyes, say them out loud, and know that you are speaking directly to yourself.
Does doubt come up?
The inner monsters shifting in their uncomfortability of “what the hell is this crazy lady doing?”
It feels weird, right?
Sit with that for a second. That crazy, weirdness of telling yourself how oh-so-very happy you are to see yourself. What comes forth in that awkwardness?
Then, shift for a moment. How do you feel when someone else tells you how happy they are to see you? Or how glad they are for you to be there. If you can’t think of a time someone told you that, that’s okay! Think about a time you were happy to see someone. To be in their presence. How did that make you feel inside?
Is it warm, like it is for me? Like the smile that broadens my cheeks feels like it opens my entire being. Seeing my sister, for example. The way her long, wavy blonde hair falls like sunshine and her sunshine envelops me in the same way. My tummy feels full and I can feel our connection through my heart: shared sisterhood that brings everything good to life right there at that moment between us.
And then when my best friend tells me she is glad that I’m with her. That vulnerability in her voice reflects back to me how there is another type of sisterhood- the kind that is made, not born. And there is power in the making, the cultivating of connection between two women whose experiences are better when they are combined.
Brown sugar, and nutmeg, and warm, deep scents feel my nose because that is what happiness smells like to me. If I can describe so deeply how to feels to love someone else, to share that joy at the first sight of the moment, what kind of power would that be to reverberate that back to your own self: your womb soul? That one true and solid thing that you wake up to every single morning and lie alongside night after night?
You deserve that too, my friend.
That feeling that you bestow upon others or receive from others: you deserve that in the greeting you whisper to yourself.
So, let’s try that again.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath starting from the bottom of the belly and climbing, climbing up the top of the stomach to the chest, and, in your mind’s voice or out loud, tell yourself “I am so happy to see you.”
For a long time, I was not happy to see myself.
Doing any activity like this one would have brought up monstrous voices from deep within my psyche: “Happy to see you? Why… You still have a sinkful of dishes, a pound of schoolwork, a roomful of gym equipment sitting there- maybe after you do that… maybe then I’ll be happy to see you.”
The familiar push of do, be, work more would drop down from my brain and I would busy myself because I had something to prove to that monster. That, no, maybe I wasn’t happy then but… just after. Just after the dishes or the essays or the workout, then I might have some time for my own happiness.
Let me tell you, friend. That’s not how it works.
Very, very beautifully those monsters weave a faux reality that promises you a world of peace and sunshine and joy… only after you handle the “broken” shit.
You are not broken. And the collective pieces of your intricate and rich, beautiful life are not shit.
Despite the dishes, despite the work left undone, despite the sweat you haven’t shed today, you are not broken, friend. You are whole and worthy of that self-love just for being you right now.
I am so happy to see you.
Try it again. And again and again, until you believe it. At this moment right now, you have all the time in the world. Sit with yourself until that mega-watt smile spreads your face in all the sunshine-y warmth that you made. You conjured up in a celebration, in sheer joy, to commemorate being so very, very happy… to see yourself.