Mom Life,Parenting

Kindness Starts With You

kindness-starts-with-you

I shutter to think of the hollow shell of a woman I was seven months ago. I was elbow deep in postpartum depression and I wrote something that had a much stronger impact than I ever could have anticipated. I can pinpoint this as my lowest moment— when my entire world was rocked by my words.

Everything I knew was being challenged and I found myself struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I was out of a job before I had even begun, people who had no ties to the situation were holding it over my head like an unforgivable sin, and I was reminded that things are not always as they seem— as my quest to shine light on an issue resulted in me doing the very thing I was trying to fight against. It was a brutal reminder that life is not black and white and that actions, however well meaning, have consequences.

I’ve blossomed since then. The upside to having your world turned around is that it forces you to look at yourself from another angle. From upside down, I could see the spots in my heart that needed to change.

And so, I got to work.

I realized that the first step to changing the world is to better yourself. We tend to leave ourselves unscathed when we are on a mission of philanthropy, because we believe that our hearts are already good enough. But good enough was no longer going to be good enough for me. So I checked my inhibitions at the door and started searching for more.

The most important thing I began doing every single day, was changing the way I spoke to myself. Have you ever noticed the things you say to yourself/about yourself to others? The words I spoke of myself daily are things I would never dare utter about another person, so why on earth did I deem them appropriate to say to my own heart?

How can I claim to be a kind person when I can’t even be kind to myself? I couldn’t— and it was time to change that.

I began speaking words of affirmation, twice a day and this changed my soul from the inside, out.

I am strong. 

I am worthy. 

I am the best mother for my children. 

I am a wonderful wife. 

I am kind. 

I am patient. 

I am capable.

I am beautiful. 

My body is perfect because it gave me the greatest joys of my life. 

I see the good in others. 

I can make a difference.

I am stronger than the urges to put myself or others down. 

I am a safe space for others. 

I will speak up immediately when I see someone being mistreated and I will do so with kindness. 

My past does not define me. 

They can vary on any given day, but you get this jist.

At first, I felt silly— embarrassed even, despite nobody being able to hear me when I recited them. But after about a week of committing myself to working through the feelings of insecurity and silliness, I noticed that I was smiling more. I was giving out more compliments to others. I had more patience. Even the way I hugged people changed.

My cousin once told me that I had the softest hugs of anyone she’s ever known. It made me wonder why I chose to restrain myself in this act of affection with people— because I knew that the volume of my love was not reflected in those soft little hugs. I’ve realized now, that it was a defense mechanism I had developed years ago.

My shields are all down today, and when I embrace people, I do so with my whole heart.

These changes all came from speaking to myself with kindness.

Does your heart need a little TLC?

It’s time to start talking to yourself the way you’d want others to talk about you at your funeral— with the upmost love and respect.

Use my affirmations and add your own. Print them out and stick that sheet of paper on your bathroom mirror, or refrigerator, or the back of your toddlers shirt. I don’t care where you put it, just get it in writing and get it up in your face somewhere.

And then read it, EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Shout them, whisper them, sing them— just make sure to say them aloud.

Words hold so much power. They can move us to tears, lead men & women into war, and ignite change.

If your heart is struggling, do this, and watch it transform.

This world needs more love— and it starts with showing love to ourselves.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    November 29, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Beautiful affirmations, and much needed in the stage of motherhood when we’re raising young children. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Andi
      November 30, 2016 at 3:35 am

      Completely agree, Emily. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in teaching them and forget that our actions towards ourselves are being seen by our children.

  • Reply
    Catherine
    November 29, 2016 at 1:31 am

    PPD is so hard, but thanks for sharing your inspiration with all of us.

    • Reply
      Andi
      November 30, 2016 at 3:35 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Catherine. It’s definitely a journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but I find comfort in the knowledge that I can use my experiences to help others.

  • Reply
    Angel
    November 29, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Aww! Thank you for sharing. Postpartum can be so tough!

    • Reply
      Andi
      November 30, 2016 at 3:36 am

      It can, Angel! But the more we talk about it, the easier it gets. Thanks for reading <3

  • Reply
    Patricia
    November 29, 2016 at 3:04 am

    A very wise post, Andi. It has taken me over 60 years to learn this lesson. It is how we drowned out the tapes of old that continually whisper in our heads that we are not good enough. Positive messages liberate the best in us! Keep writing and sharing!

    • Reply
      Andi
      November 30, 2016 at 3:37 am

      Thank you so much, Patricia. It’s a lesson I am still learning, but I feel like I’m taking steps in the right direction, so that’s a start.

  • Reply
    Samantha
    November 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Such an inspiring post. This really hit close to home.

    • Reply
      Andi
      November 30, 2016 at 3:38 am

      Thank you, Samantha. And if you ever need to talk, I’m here!

  • Reply
    Aimee
    November 30, 2016 at 1:33 am

    I love everything about this. I’m so glad to hear you are letting your light shine for the world (and for the nourishment of yourself!)

    • Reply
      Andi
      November 30, 2016 at 3:39 am

      Thank you, friend! It’s been a journey and I’m still walking it, but it feels so good to finally start loving myself.

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    November 30, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Thank you for this…postpartum depression is a beast, and I’m sorry you had to experience it as well. I love the idea of positive affirmations to oneself! It does help!

    • Reply
      Andi
      December 6, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you, Lindsey. I like that you used the word “beast” because it really truly is. And yes! It’s crazy how something so simple can make such a positive difference

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