It's taken me 34 years of living to get to this point. And what has all of it taught me, what's my number one piece of advice to share? Be gentle.
Whether it's my skin care, my exfoliators, my beauty tools ...whatever. Be gentle. Use gentle products, use natural products, be patient ...be gentle. Whether it's my makeup and always trying new looks but never looking quite like the ladies on Youtube, or the harsh products and primers. Be gentle, don't judge, be patient.
And it goes beyond the aesthetic of my body, the realm of gentle need.
There's a quote touring around social media sites, and I don't know who wrote it. For that, I apologize. But the jist of it is something like, "If you break a plate, and apologize afterward, is it still broken?" Of course it is.
I've had this epiphany today, after my twin five-year olds had a particularly rough (read that: NAUGHTY. Like pee on the couch, naughty. Don't get me started.) day today. And my temper peaked and I said some things out of anger. I broke their plates. And all of the hugs and kisses afterward won't change the fact that some piece inside of each of them was broken today.
If it's true for them, isn't also true for myself? By this age, I imagine most people are full of fractures, breaks and scars on the inside. Full of them. And what kind of salve is there to heal some of the soul-beatings we've accrued? I can't say for sure, but I'm sure of one thing.
It starts with gentleness. I might have to tattoo this to my forehead and both of my hands to remember, but "Gentle" is my new mantra. In the way that I respond to my kids, my husband, my friends ...and especially myself. Because I need a little tender loving care. We all do.
If you're out there floating in the ether of the web and feel that splintered ouchy-achey feeling in your chest; if you feel the years piling up behind you about to crash down on your head and pull you under ...do yourself a favor. Be gentle. Unplug that nasty critic in your mind who wants to judge your looks, your hair, your worth (we hired that mental bitch as teenagers to toughen us up to the inevitable snarky judgement from our peers. Life isn't high school and she's overstayed her usefulness). Do something nice for yourself. Give yourself a few extra minutes just to breath every now and then. Don't over schedule and obligate yourself to everything and everyone but what matters the most - you. Don't be in such a rush. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Make friends with yourself in a positive way. Treat yourself the same way you'd treat the most friendly, funny, interesting person you've ever met who wants TO BE YOUR FRIEND. And remember that every new day is another chance for you to do better than the day before. Be gentle. Live. Hope. You can't make the waves of life stop coming, but you can learn to be one kickass surfer.
Goodnight, everyone. xoxo