"Proud" Journal

My delightful and mischievous baby girl turned two years old yesterday. Where did the time go?!

The weeks (and months) after Bridget's birth were pretty difficult for me. The recovery was slow; the baby blues (too cute of a name for something so evil) were rough. I sobbed and wailed about being a failure as a mother and a wife. I sniffled and cried over feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of, "I can't do anything right." Anxiety kept me up at night; depression was my constant companion throughout the day.

I have a very dear friend who I have known for fifteen years. She lovingly and diligently checked in on me during my postpartum time. She would text me every couple of days, ask me how I was doing, and always, always ends her texts with, "Be kind to yourself."

Be kind to yourself.

And isn't that exactly what we should be doing? As women, as mothers, as sisters in the world? We should be more kind to ourselves by HONORING ourselves regularly. (To honor is to regard with great respect.) Are we honoring ourselves consciously by making a valiant decision to STOP thinking negative thoughts about ourselves? Are we interrupting those thoughts and replacing them with statements that honor ourselves, like, "I'm great the way I am," or, "I can do this because I'm awesome?"

We should be!  

A couple of years ago--while in the throes of a number of challenges--a dear friend encouraged me to keep a "PROUD journal." I remember I went to Target and selected the prettiest notebook to write my self-appreciations in, and then every day I would jot down the things I had done that I could be proud of. Some days the list was easy: I did a load of laundry, I put together a puzzle with Lilly, I took Cam to the park. Other days, my list was brutally honest and a telltale sign of the postpartum storm I was facing: I got up. I showed up.

Focus on all the good and what you do well, every day. Write down (are we forgetting how to use pen and paper?!) self-appreciations so you can read and say them frequently. Let those celebrations of self fill you up and carry you through bad days. Be proud of yourself. Be proud of who you are and all the good you are doing. You are beautiful and amazing.

Would you like to start keeping a Proud Journal? (Of course, right?! Right?!) If it is something you are interested in, if it is something you feel you would benefit from, if you'd like to give it a try...EMAIL ME! (leishmcd@gmail.com) I'll send you one in a confetti-filled package in the mail!
In her book, "Lighten UP," Chieko Okazaki wrote, "Someday we will all know who we are, because the Savior, who truly knows us, will look at us and we will see ourselves through his eyes...And when we see ourselves as He sees us, we will recognize our glory." So be kind to yourself because you are glorious! More glorious than the brightest sun and more significant than you are able to comprehend. You are EVERYTHING to God. And to your family and friends, too.

See? You've got lots to be proud of.      


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