February the 13th is International Self Love Day, which I think is gorgeous; a beautiful message that reminds us to love thyself first and foremost, before Valentines Day rocks around, and we spoil the other people in our life.
My new bloggy friend and fellow coach, Kirri White, inspired this post today. She recently contacted me with her desire to spread the Self Love message with a series of posts, and I was more than happy to jump on board.
‘Self Love’ is a never-ending journey for me. Some days I feel as though the very concept is a guiding force in my life, and others, I feel disconnected from the sheer power of it. It’s an experiment- a beautiful one- and an important one.
Yesterday, I guest posted over at Wild Sister, with somewhat of a definition of how I’d describe self love at this point in my life: letting go, and giving yourself what you need. You can read more about that here.
But for this particularly project, I decided to write a letter to the girl I was five years ago, who I still love very much to this day. I think that in itself would come as a surprise to her, because I remember her never being pleased with who she was, how she showed up in the word, or how she looked. Travel back in time with me…
Dear 21 Year Old Tara,
Photo courtesy of Soph from Owl vs Dove. Circa 2007-ish
I wish you knew that you’re a total babe just the way you are.
I know you feel awkward and a little like you just don’t fit in, especially when you don’t have volleyball and drugs to hide behind, but would you believe me if I promised you that one day, you’d support and nourish and celebrate every morsel of your being that you’re currently trying to keep hidden from the world?
I also wish I could tell you that the tears would all make sense one day. That every time you pack your bags (which you will) to run away, you truly will find more of you. Don’t listen to those around you who berate you for hitting the road. You’re going exactly where you need to go, and sooner than you think, you won’t have to look any further. Travel will become a thing of vibrant discovery, not just a band-aid that covers up your wounds.
You’re not going to want to hear this, but even though you think drugs, alcohol and late nights fulfill you, inspire you and connect you to your friends, they don’t. I know that’s hard to hear, because it’s a world thats tricked you into loving it, but Ta’s, you’re exhausted. You don’t need to exercise for 30+ hours a week and work double shifts in between binged benders. You need to rest and leave the city. You cry too often to be happy darlin.
I want you to set your sights on snow-capped mountains, because trust me, they’ll heal you, and next year, you’ll be happier than ever.
Also, you don’t have to wait. Taking action is a strength of yours, and it always will be. If your gut says ‘leave him’, then listen. If it says ‘this isn’t good enough anymore’, then do what it takes. Your intuition has never failed you.
You’ve always labelled yourself as ‘shy’, but soon you’ll be speaking in front of hundreds of people and connecting with women you admire.
You think you can’t dance without drugs, but woman, you’re wrong.
You think something’s wrong with you, because he won’t stick around. He’s a beautiful experience for you to learn more about yourself and your boundaries. Soon, you’ll meet a man and there will be no doubt about whether he loves you. There will be challenges, and this relationship will show you how much you need to love yourself first and foremost.
You think no one understands you, but you just haven’t found your tribe yet. Keep journalling- your writing will come in handy one day.
In a few weeks, I’ll be 26, and I can’t even tell you how happy we are. We’ve been drug free for well over 12 months. We live at the beach with a beautiful man (who we managed to marry!), and we spend most of our time laughing, writing, cooking and helping other women go through what you’re experiencing now.
And before I go…
Adventurous and brave.
And, you’re okay.
You’re happy and vibrant at 26, and stepping away from the Party has been so, so worth it.
I love you,
26 year old Tara x
Over to you, sweet potato. With this Self Love storm whizzing around us, how is it that YOU define it? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
PS. Registration for The Party Girls Guide to Peace closes in a matter of days! Don’t miss the opportunity join a community and learn the tools that will support you on your own mission in embodying self love. Say yes, here.