I Love Me

I love me…
The words are trapped in my mouth as I see my reflection.
I choke on the thought that I could actually love myself.
That I could speak those words out loud and birth them into the universe.
That I could conjure up the belief that I am lovable and let, “I love me”, flow from my lips.
The words are like thick paste swirling over my tongue.
The thought hard to swallow and even harder to regurgitate and say, “I love me.”
So I mouth them… I Love Me.

Mouth them slowly…watch my lips form the words, almost afraid to look at my reflection in the mirror.
It is wrong to love me.
I have convinced myself because my life has been tainted that loving me is not an option.
I had self-love stolen for me in an instance when I thought I could love so instead of loving me,
I hated me and my mind constantly, reminded me that I was unworthy of love.
Because who could ever love me, when I reeked of self-hate, which permeated my inner self?
And the stench of my hung-over past oozed from my pores like leprosy
and infected anyone that came near me with my inner negativity.
Yet I whisper them… I Love Me.
And still my conscious is not so convinced or even mildly persuaded.
How could I believe that I was lovable when my soul bore graffiti like a New York subway with words unmentionable? And the question rings out again, “Do you love yourself?”
The question clouded by memories that I have fought to forget, yet they hover over my conscious reminding me that I am unworthy of self-love.
So I attempt to meet the question with more deceit.
Lying to myself sadly is commonplace.
The outward mask of who I am once concealed my fear and pain and frustration.
I lied to myself for so long, that for a brief second I believed those lies
and could not face the truth of my self sabotaging behavior.  As I look beyond my exterior and gaze into my interior, I can no longer conceal my truth.
I do not recognize this decoy staring back at me. She is my social doppelganger.
The woman that smiles and pretends that in her outward beauty she is confident
yet inwardly she and I both know she is broken.
I cannot lie to her because her eyes-my eyes-are the window to my soul.
And she is on display. Surface attributes faded away. There are no adornments here.
Broken, afraid, bruised, discouraged, confused, lonely.
Raw. Exposed. Open. Honest.
Just me and my reflection.
So I say them out loud… I Love Me
The words foreign to my ears.
My voice I do not recognize.
A voice of strength and courage. “I am lovable. You are lovable, Hannah.”
And I fight through the tears to believe that I am worthy of loving myself.
Facing the reality of who I am now reflecting who I will become.
So this time I smile as I say the words.
Disregarding the tears that fall silently on my face, because in one word
~ acceptance~
I can see that I am lovable.
Allowing acceptance of my imperfections, knowing that imperfections
Makes life interesting,
Makes life worth living,
Makes life worth loving,
Makes me worth loving.
Recognizing that no one can love me better than I can love myself.
Because I can see that I have been given beauty for my bruises.
That my brokenness created pieces of a puzzle for others to be delivered.
That my storms only allowed my destiny to be irrigated until fruition.
That my pain was only to reveal my divine purpose.
That my tests were clearly for my testimony,
That my weakness allowed Him to be strong.
That the scars that crisscross and form calluses over my soul were only to make me stronger.
My flaws are a sign of triumph.
My pain now a symbol of victory.
“Do you love yourself?”
The answer this time not shadowed by lies but spotlighted by the truth.

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