Right now can you make an unconditional relationship with yourself just at the height you are, the weight you are, with the intelligence you have, and your current burden of pain, can you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?”   Pema Chodron

Everyone has a journey. Our experiences differ, and our upbringings may be different, but we all matter. My life has truly been a magical journey, a colourful thread of experiences woven together to create a beautiful picture. Threads of spirituality, pain, joy, sadness, un-forgiveness, forgiveness, happiness, anger, disappointment, peace, love, faith, friendship, fulfilment, relationships, rejection, regrets, confidence and much more. God has interwoven my colourful threads of experience to help me develop a deeper, closer relationship with Him, and I am eternally grateful for this. One of my challenges growing up was my emotional attachment to rejection. It wasn’t like someone boldly told me, “You are rejected!” – but somehow my subconscious mind was programmed to play this message.

I rarely take photographs, and I don’t particularly like selfies. Excessive selfies gives the impression that the person taking the selfie is self-absorbed and self-obsessing. As an introvert, I attributed my not wanting any photographs of myself to my reserved nature. I soon discovered that my uneasiness had nothing to do with it. When I looked at recent photographs of myself, I noticed a change – and for a split second, I couldn’t recognise the image glaring at me. My facial features are much the same – apart from looking plump and moving up two dress sizes, nothing external has drastically changed. After engaging with my thought process and delving deeper, my discomfort had nothing to do with my outward appearance. My emotional, mental and spiritual state had transitioned from the old me into the “new me”. The changes were internal, and I was ok with that; however, I was unsure how to totally detach myself from the old and embrace the new. I have grown content with being me, and I no longer have that longing or desire to be someone else. Celebrating this new dimension was quite overwhelming at first, but the more I looked in the mirror the easier it was to look past the physical changes. Maturity has settled in, and a closer friendship with wisdom is paramount.

What you see at the bottom of the tree is quite different from the view from the top of the same tree. My perspective has changed and my heart opened to receive and continue my journey to discovering the deeper meaning of life and how to daily surrender my will to align it with God’s will. I embraced who God is helping me to become. My soul screams out loud, echoing my new mantra: “I matter, I matter, I know that I matter.” Sometimes I want to look at my pic and see that 18-year-old again, but I know that season has passed and this is who I am now – all woman. I am reminded of the importance of being fully present and embracing the moment. My presence matters, my views, my being matters – and I am eternally grateful. It hasn’t always been this way because of my sense of inadequacy and rejection. Now my heart has opened up and accepted God’s unconditional love, and the transformation is incredible. I don’t need validation to be complete anymore.

Loving who you are means more than just repeating a few positive affirmations in the morning. It’s a journey of unravelling and peeling off all the layers of dead skin that have clogged up throughout the years. The end result reveals a glowing, renewed and fresh outlook to living and thriving.

What wisdom has taught me in this season is to embrace the journey as you climb the tree of life. Wherever or whatever stage you’re at, know that YOU MATTER.

My son brought home a flowerpot with flowers planted in it about a month ago and asked if he could water and take care of it. I noticed that for the first couple of days he was excited about his new responsibility. I also noticed that he would pick up the flowerpot to check if the flowers had begun to blossom. He watered it and placed it near the kitchen window to get some air and sunshine. After a couple of days, I noticed that he was no longer interested in looking after the flower and had left the flowerpot on top of the fridge. The flower was slowly becoming lifeless and dull. He’d forgotten about it. He was more interested in other activities.

On a Saturday morning, I walked into the kitchen and glanced across the room. I saw the flowerpot on top of the fridge. I noticed that the flower looked lifeless. I immediately thought to myself, “It’s dying anyway, there is no point watering it.” I left it and carried on walking by. My husband walked into the kitchen shortly afterwards, and I noticed that he immediately went and watered the flower. He even positioned it near the window to expose it to the sunshine. His actions and my actions got me thinking – and wisdom dropped a thought in my soul.

We all have a story to tell. Our life’s story is filled with chapters of our magical journey. When we are overlooked by others, written off, told that we cannot amount to anything, God walks by, picks us up, revives us, renews us, and gives us everything we need to blossom again. He shouts “YOU MATTER!” into our soul and affirms that we are wonderfully and fearfully made….

How wonderful is the feeling of knowing that God loves you so much that he would not walk past you without attending to you. We matter to him. Our struggles, our hurts, our pain, our happiness, our achievements, and everything concerning us, concerns him. So I repeat: You Rock, and You Matter. The true essence of your worth lies deep within you and has little to do with your exterior. Embrace your journey. Life is short.

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