I love that word!
Love defines true happiness and defies all darkness.
It strengthens and uplifts. It’s encouraging. It enlivens and refreshes!
To love we must accept weakness, hope for the best, and share our gifts. It’s not easy to truly love, but it’s rewarding!
What does love mean to you?
Please leave some comments for me either here or on my Facebook Color Me Crazy.
I love sunsets, sand between my toes, the smell of the rain. I especially love to run and feel free! I love the summer and the sun! My husband is my true love and loving my son has been a whole new depth of love. I love so much… today I will talk about my weakness in love– loving myself. I do love myself in theory, like I know I have purpose, talents, and accomplishments. I just find myself being my own worst critic. Why are we sometimes so harsh on ourselves? I always want to reach the top level… I miss the fact that I’ve already reached so high and grown so far. Can I share a quote my new friend Becky Ray shared on Facebook? This quote made me stop dead in my tracks, so to speak and I felt it in my heart.
“You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit Back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grow. Be proud of this!”
What grief has softened you? The grief of losing a loved one, the heartache of illness, job loss, divorce, abuse, etc.? We can all relate to this quote for we all have felt defeat, loss, and suffering. Let me share my story with you!
I currently face a chronic illness, diagnosed at age 16. So for 18 years I have been struggling with health issues that have slowly intensified. For example, the fun photo of me and my sister-in-law running the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon was a blast. I ran a decent time and enjoyed it! I felt full of energy and life. I had the classic runner’s high! I even ran back a mile or so to cheer on some other runners after finishing and we all hiked Bryce Canyon afterwards! But this picture doesn’t tell the whole story. The night before the race I had a long, hard, and exhausting asthma attack from the strong laundry detergent in the hotel room. Somehow it triggered me and I slipped into full blown attack, gasping for air. I was forced to sleep in the front of the car with my dear husband. I was up most of the night taking several breathing treatments and praying for the attack to lighten. I was on the verge of going to the ER as I could hardly think clearly anymore. My eyes closed shut due to a lack of energy to keep them open. My sweet husband Dan supported me, even carried me to the car, set up my treatment, and encouraged me all night. I woke after 2 hours of rest determined to race… and I did!!! It was a defining and special moment for me. I proved to myself that the illness did not own me. I could still overcome it!
I have many stories like this one. To give you the full picture, I ran track at a Collegiate level for four years. I was in such good shape, I hardly got fatigued, I ran up the stairs full of energy, I set records, both personal and professional. I traveled and ran at many new and exciting places! I met some of my greatest friends who have inspired me with their heart and strength to run harder. In fact, a dear friend of mine just ran in the Olympic trials even while battling a huge personal trial. She ran hard… I am so proud of her! Running Track and Cross Country was a fun and fulfilling phase in my life. I achieved a lot and I loved it! I was once nominated by my college coaches as the most inspirational runner for finishing workouts alone after the attack passed. I ran through the attacks until one day, I no longer could. My body simply would not allow it. Slowly, I begun to tell myself I was weak. I lied to myself that I had given up or somehow had done something to get this sick. I thought I had decided to be ill or somehow willed it… this is not true. The truth was, I could not fight it physically even if I tried. I was ill, and while I believe in the power to be healed, I could not change it. I could only have faith, and fight it emotionally.
Since that race I have pulled back from my passion to run, although I still walk! The illness intensified, so I responded. I thank my past for the strength and insight it’s lent me. I do however feel like I should be stronger. Since I out ran my illness for so long… I feel disappointed I let it catch up to me. I struggle to get back to running, for more reasons than just asthma. Each time I try, I crash, my legs often get heavy and numb after, the fatigue hits with full force, and the asthma episodes increase. I almost can predict the outcome now when I run. It’s become a mental as well as physical barrier now. I feel weak, because I use to run a mile in less than 5 mins and now I struggle with courage to endure. I was convinced that I was not enduring my trials as well as I have previously done. The battle carried on, & I wondered if I have lost. I use to have heart, strength, will power, training, and pain tolerance that got me through. I once believed in myself to overcome anything. I still do believe, It just feels exhausting and I wonder when it will end. I liken it to the last stretch of a marathon, it feels never-ending, long and tiring. Where is the finish line? I don’t know any runner who has not felt this before! Like finishing those hard, long races, I feel I should will away my illness and make it disappear. I should be strong enough to be healed. Have you felt similar emotions?
While those thoughts made their presence, they are not true. I still have the courage, faith, and heart to overcome. Without knowing it I’ve trained against monumental barriers and it’s made me stronger, like a small tree growing from a consistently harsh wind. The tree may feel weak, wonder how long it must suffer, and wonder if it can succeed, all the while it has grown into something rooted with strength, determination, and longevity. We are, perhaps stronger than we think we are! Could this be true?! Could I be the same girl who weathered all those attacks, raced those impossible races and be even stronger today than yesterday? I may not see it, because I am not racing, but who says I haven’t been rooted in stronger soil?! I am full of faith and courage… I am a runner at heart and I will never lose hope to race again! And when I do it will feel DANG good!!!
I am proud of my growth. Although I no longer have a tangible race I am winning, I am enduring this war of endurance and showing my courage. I will not quit! I don’t need to be a collegiate athlete to know I am strong, to know I am good, to know I am not flawed. I am proud of myself. The more often I tell myself this and believe in myself, the stronger my willpower becomes. I marvel in my life! I marvel in my trials. My love of self is growing and I will be ready to love deeper and fuller!
You are not flawed
Give yourself the benefit of the doubt!
Learn to think positive and uplifting thoughts about yourself.
You can have more power and share more love by learning to love yourself more deeply!
Me and my sister Rachelle smelling the flowers!
You’ve overcome more than you know!
Here’s a favorite scripture of mine to give you courage! It’s in the New Testament, John 14:27. Christ speaks about comfort and peace.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”