Learning to love myself as I love my daughter;
learning to love myself as she loves me.
I brush golden brown wisps from her eyes, I smooth down strands on the back of her head, I tuck a curl behind her ear. I take in her beauty, her radiant joy.
I look in the mirror and see my own reflection -- the same hair in my eyes -- and make a mental note to dye it. It's not shiny enough, it's a weird color. It's not good enough, I decide. But then she grabs her brush, asks me to sit down so she can brush my hair, and tells me it's "bee-ful" (beautiful).
People say, "she looks just like you" and without hesitation I thank them, tell them how beautiful she is -- a three year-old version of me. I see so much beauty in her... yet why do I fail to recognize my own? I love her for exactly who she is, how God made her. Yet I am critical and discontent with myself.
Having a daughter has been more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined. An unconditional love for her was in my heart from before I became her mama. Recognizing her beauty, understanding her worth, filling her heart with truth about herself. Loving her has come effortlessly for me.
But why is it so hard to do the same for myself?
Today, I promise to love myself. In the same fierce, unconditional way that I love her.
Because daughters grow up to become women, and their perception of themselves will be shaped, in part, by the mamas who raise them. Her understanding of beauty, of motherhood, of being a daughter of Christ, will be influenced by the way I live. The way I reflect, or fail to reflect, the beauty of our Creator. The way I speak to myself, about myself, even about others. These will shape her.
I promise to love myself the way I was made. To teach her to love herself in the same way. To speak kindly, to live joyfully and build healthy habits, to honor myself as a creation of God.
Because she has my hair. Because she has my smile. Because she has my heart.