and being the prettiest girl at the party didn't translate into developing a healthy self-esteem
and so her death less than 24 hours ago is, to me, something of a tragedy -- because much as we tried to express love to her in "healthy ways", her history was "complicated" and her acceptance of herself greatly compromised, in large part as a result of that "history"
this is perhaps why so much of my career has been about helping women deal with the effects of sexual abuse or the personal battles "within" that arise from a "conditional acceptance" of themselves
literally, a wobbly self-esteem that needs to be constantly "propped up"
we live in a society in which too many people are torn down and made to feel "less than" and my DIVA mother, for all the accolades and attention she got for being pretty . . . never found the core strength within herself to "own that"
and be happy with herself, without a constant booster shot of attention to help mask her pain . . . I spent a lot of time talking to my mother over the past few years, trying to help her see this "truth" but her anger and her sense of victimization blinded her to unicorns and forgiveness
however, just because I failed with my mother doesn't mean that unicorns and glitter can't work for others
we all need love and just as much as we need to feel it, we need, also, the freedom to "express it"
the people you love, need to know you love them
and to feel strong enough to tell them you love them, you have to first feel "worthy enough" to do so
which means to express love in a positive way, you need to first love yourself
my mother was never able to find that love for herself which meant that all of her expressions of love were distorted to some degree because she was looking for others to love her
so she might THEN love herself
I don't need to tell you that this never really works
as such, she was torn between trying to be loving and needing help to fill some hole within herself, born of feeling "unlovable"
I am sure she is not the only woman to have felt this way :(
I try to be fully conscious of this (easier said, of course, than done) and to find the power within myself to express love to others
in as balanced a way as possible
to love one must, first, feel love "within themselves" . . . a truth we often forget
my mother was an amazing woman but I don't believe she ever loved herself
and therefore I don't think she could ever really love anyone else
I accept this and know she tried and give her credit for trying
and I must also give myself credit for developing in the ways in which I have with this parental love at the root of my "development"
love yourself so that you may love others
because, without it . . . life is even more #complicated