[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF7HkpbLK9s] It has been over 3 years since those first moments, in the spring of 2012, when my inner and outer worlds began unraveling as I struggled to find ME in the midst of a pile that consisted of masks, faulty beliefs, shame, and repressed emotion. As I began this process, the inside of my heart and my head felt like a swirling cesspool of confusion, fear, and judgement. I am emerging now. I am pushing from beneath. I can breathe again. I can feel love taking over every one of those negative emotions...love of myself, love of those people who have given me their unconditional love through so many whacky moments, and love of people from my past who have hurt me/weren't "there" when I needed them, or who judged me. As love comes in and takes the place of all of that, I can feel my heart opening and my soul resting. I look back on my past, and put myself in the place of that little girl who felt so alone and abandoned. I lived in the land of confusion. I did not understand why. I wanted someone to make me feel important and loved and valued. I am beginning to feel the understanding deep within my core.....my parents, their parents, my ex-husband, others in my life who I loved deeply but did not reciprocate in the way that I could give.....they were all just doing their best. They continue to just do their best. And the way that they "were" towards me has nothing to do with my value. They were just doing their best. I am telling that little girl inside of me who is wounded and grieving that I love her. I truly truly love her. And she is worth every bit of love and respect that her deepest heart tells her she is worth. She got some very wrong and damaging messages as she grew up, but those were just the projections of people who were trying to deal with their own shame. It's o.k. This is the world we live in, and these are the hands we're given. Use them, and let's start trying to make it a place worth living in. That's the person that I want to be. Regardless of everyone else's choices, and beliefs about who I should or shouldn't be, I want to live with love...period. I want to love even when I feel like getting angry. I want to love myself enough to believe in myself when other people don't. I want to love myself enough to accept that who I am is enough....and wonderful.