I’m a pretty easy going lady and I truly appreciate thoughtful gestures. This year, for Valentines Day I asked my husband to create a playlist for me – something he used to do years ago and had a real talent for.
As I was cooking dinner for the two of us on Valentines Day he went upstairs and I began to hear music coming from the speakers. He followed through! He created an awesome playlist full of thoughtful songs, the artists lyrics conveying the words that he sometimes struggles to express.
We were nearing the end of the playlist and I heard an upbeat song start up, fiddle and drums playing… clearly a country song from the 90’s… what I listened to as a little girl. The song that came on, All of this Love by Pam Tillis – and quickly tears filled my eyes.
As a little girl, Pam Tillis was my FAVORITE singer and hearing this song transported me back to my pale pink bedroom, in an old farm house in Guilderland NY listening to her tape on my hot pink cassette player over and over and over again.
I was 9 years old again.
My 33 year old eyes filled with tears as I felt the little girl in me… the girl who is still very much alive in me. I listened to the song and was floored at what it was conveying to me. The lyrics…
“Can’t wait to see what you’ll do… with all of this love that I’m saving for you”
The song was perfect. I was stunned. How could he know? My husband… did he call my mother and ask her what song I used to listen to repeatedly? Did she know? Could she have remembered? How did he know that this was the song I related to so much as a little girl?
And I took the words to heart… all of this love that I’m saving for you… words that he feels toward me, and words I’m learning to live toward myself.
The part of that song that hit me so hard was the realization of who I used to be, the emotion that was triggered so strong. I remembered 9 year old Sarah. I remembered how hard she struggled, what she felt like as a kid, the things she feared and the things that she loved. I remembered how this song used to pull me back and remind me that things were okay.
And as I sit here typing, I realize the theme that I am being faced with – yet again.
That I need to love myself.
It sounds silly. It sound cliche. It sounds daunting even…
And it doesn’t mean a shopping spree or a spa day or an amazing piece of chocolate and some wine.
It means I am being reminded of who I am and realizing that whether I’m looking at 33 year old Sarah or 9 year old Sarah… I’m a beautiful creature who is worthy of true, sincere, unconditional love. And this is the kind of love that has to come from within. Love that is outside of me is strong, but can’t possibly hold a candle to the love I feel when I see who I truly am and love that person.
For the past few months my criticism has been heightened… and so quickly I see it lashing out at my poor children, my husband and even the driver that forgot to yield to me today… and realize silently that it is just a mirror of my internal state.
It’s okay… I’ve only forgotten what I am remembering through my husbands sweet playlist, through Pam’s beautiful song, through the 9 year old Sarah (Benjamin!) who used to repeat that song just like I’m doing right now.
Love thyself means you are worthy of every kind of love, at all times, on all days. Love thyself means it is okay to feel what you feel in your heart. It’s okay to be raw and tired, it’s okay to cry and yell sometimes, it’s okay to dance and sing, to eat chocolate and forget to wear makeup and question and be afraid and to be proud and full of passion and everything in between.
It’s all okay.
It’s all going to be okay.
The same message I took from this song over 20 years ago still holds true.