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A Drop In the Ocean

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

- Carl Jung -

These past few days, there’s been a change stirring in my soul, like I’m waking up again from a sleep of disbelief and lost worth.

It’s so easy to be kind to others, and so much harder to turn that kindness towards myself. I can see the beauty in passing strangers, share words of encouragement and affection with a friend, but I shy away whenever it comes to recognizing my own strength or talent or light. Like I don’t deserve those words. I’ve spent so long pretending it doesn’t matter—that these words are meant for someone else, someone other than me—I’ve begun to believe it, letting it sink deep into my soul, corroding my very sense of self.

Little by little, I’m breaking that dangerous spell of believing I’m something less than I am.

This world is messy and flawed and complicated; it’s brave and raw and strong—it’s the very definition of what it is to be human. If I can see the strength and beauty and light in this world—and I’m a part of the world—then surely I can begin to see the strength and beauty and light in my own soul.

There’s a little over three months left of this year. For the past year and a half, I’ve kept a memory jar—small snippets of gratitude, moments to remember, profound lines of poetry and song lyrics, and secret wishes written on pieces of paper and placed in an empty ice bucket in the wine rack—to be opened on my favorite day: New Year’s Eve. It’s a day of pure pampering and self-appreciation, where I gather all of my favorite things (books, movies, sushi, my dogs) and celebrate the memories of the past year—every joy and every heartache—before letting it go and looking forward to the next.

These next three months, I’m changing things up.

I’m turning that kindness inward.

Every morning, I’m beginning the day with a love letter to myself—a short phrase of encouragement, a reminder that I’m important, too. Even now, as I write this vow, I’m struggling against the idea, the very selfishness of this practice. The self-loathing and judgment is so deeply ingrained in me, sometimes it’s all I can hear—who are you to call yourself special? that voice wants to scream. Who do you think you are?

No one. I’m no one. But I’m someone, too.

And that self-condemning voice has been so loud for far too long.

There are no limits here—beauty and wonder and love, they never run out. And loving yourself—being kind to yourself—is only a drop in a boundless ocean, a ripple effect on an endless sea.

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