Emotionally, I was at a very dark place in my life after my second divorce. I had broken up my children’s happy home with my first divorce, then put us all through an emotionally abusive situation with the second marriage. We also endured the loss of my mother during this time. I felt lost, alone and unsure of how to move forward for the first time in my life.
***Disclosure -The links in this post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a link.***
Learning to forgive me
The hardest lesson I had to learn, no I can’t say it was the hardest lesson to learn, I always knew it, so I have to say it was the hardest thing to put into practice for myself. I always knew that in order to love others, you first must love yourself. So it only stands to reason that if I was going to love myself again, then I had to learn how to forgive myself for all the wrong choices that I was blaming myself for making.
The problem was that I was afraid my children blamed me for all that we had been through. I feared they would grow up hating me for their messed up childhood. I didn’t know if they could forgive me, in fact, I didn’t know if I even felt like they should forgive me. So I couldn’t forgive myself.
Finding kindness again
My personality had always been loving, kind and compassionate. I had always liked myself and not in a conceited way, I was just comfortable and happy with who I was, until my second marriage. I missed the old me. I wanted her back, but I didn’t know how to find “her”. But when I least expected it, someone else in my life needed that old version of me too, and to her surprise, I needed her just as much.
A lifelong, childhood friend happened to be going through a divorce at the same time. For her, it was the end of a 20+ year marriage. She had married straight out of high school to a military man and was stationed overseas right away. They had been back in the states for many years, he was out of the service by this time, she and I had been friends, but not the everyday type of friends. But now, with both of us going through divorces at the same time we became a lot closer.
Her kindness saved me from myself
All of our other friends were happily married, we were the two divorcees, now single moms struggling to get by. We would vent to each other, complain about men in general and became each other’s “go-to-person” when we were really down and needed someone to just say they understood. We would go to each other’s homes for coffee or just to visit. The more I was around her, the more I realized just how much she enjoyed always doing little things for other people.
Baking was her stress reliever, and she was very good at cooking and baking. She would bake pies, brownies or a cake and we would take these wonderful goodies to people that she was thinking of, or just someone she wanted to do something nice for that day. As I would sit there wallowing in my self-pity, this lady was constantly thinking of ways to cheer up other people. She amazed me day after day. I have to admit, it was contagious because it wasn’t long before I was actually enjoying these acts of kindness as much as she was as we did them together.
She taught me to love me again
This friend of mine was oozing with kindness for others! She soon had me laughing and enjoying my life again, I had started to forget about hating myself and blaming myself for the miserable mess I had made of my life. But I started to notice that she didn’t save much of that kindness for herself. She was so hard on herself, she didn’t like herself much, she blamed herself just like I had been doing to myself! So I started bringing it to her attention. I started reminding her of her own self-worth.
She is the kindest and most giving woman I have ever known in my life! She is filled with compassion, understanding, and forgiveness for everyone that crosses her path in life. She literally is not happy unless she is doing something for someone else. But some of her family and those closest to her seem to always take this for granted. She never takes enough time for herself, she doesn’t feel as if she deserves it. Yes, this amazing woman, for whatever reason, does not feel she is worthy of the same kindness that she is so willing to pour out consistently everywhere she goes in life.
Types of Kindness
I recently read a blog about happiness and kindness, it’s called Made You Smile Back. It’s a great blog with a lot of uplifting posts and information. In one of the posts the author wrote about 4 different types of kindness with the following illustration. You can read the full post here. I encourage you to read it! Lots of helpful information!
If you notice, Self-Kindness is at the TOP! You really need to learn to be kind to yourself first! When you are kind to yourself and make time for yourself it becomes so much easier to be kind to others. Then you will find that you spread kindness and do for others with a happy and grateful heart!!
My precious friend Lydia
My precious friend has done so much for me over the years, but most of all, she helped me find myself again. She corrects me, bakes for me, encourages me, sometimes fusses at me (only when I really deserve it), and most important of all, she prays for me and just loves me through it all.
I had built up this wall, determined to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again. So I tried to act like this tough, cold-hearted ice queen, Lydia was the first and main one to always call me out, and say to my face that I’m really soft and not near as cold as I like to pretend to be. She always calls it as it really is. She doesn’t let me get by with anything! We all need THAT person in our lives! I try to do the same for her, but I’m constantly working on getting her to see her own self-worth and making her learn to be kinder to herself. I’ve seen a little progress lately! And she definitely deserves it!
Are you kind to yourself?
Do you acknowledge your own self-worth? Do you really love you? Learn to respect, love and be kind to YOU! You are worth it!! If you can’t do it for yourself, then you can’t expect anyone else to either.
Leave me a comment, tell me what makes your person so special! Better yet, what do you like about yourself?
Subscribe to my blog as I’m about to start discussing more ways to take care of YOU! and you will not want to miss it!!
Until next time,