My journey to loving myself has been a long, but beautiful one. I think, in many ways, I simply didn't know that I DIDN'T love myself. I was always so busy taking care of others and DOING: doing my heart work as a mom, as an entrepreneur, and as a perfectionist, I never stopped to realize I was always pouring out and never filling up.
Until my cup was empty.
Or rather, my cup was constantly filled with wine as a means of self-medicating through trauma, anxiety, and depression. I was functioning until suddenly, I wasn't. My inability to take care of myself, to show up for myself, rendered me unable to be present in the lives of my treasured children, or in my own world. My 'I just need a glass of wine', turned into many. My shame over drinking meant I was hiding it. And hiding it, meant I was drinking more. And more. Drop by drop, my passion drained. And I lost the ability to be me.
Choosing to stop drinking, choosing recovery, and choosing ME have made all the difference. At the beginning of 2019, I realized that I was entirely untethered from the woman I wanted to be and that I needed to find a way to ANCHOR myself back to me. So 'anchored' became my word for that year and sobriety was my path. The significance of the anchor on this piece, and the ability to wear it near my heart is a reminder of the work I've done and continue to do each and every day. It is a reminder that I cannot pour from an empty cup and I must continue to do the work to stay anchored to me and the people that matter.
The North Star and the Heart also resonate deeply for me as I have always worked to follow my heart and lead with love and compassion, even in my most challenging times, and will continue to make this a priority as I continue to embrace my journey.
Recently I was asked if I could point to my greatest accomplishment - and, amazingly, as I approach my 50th birthday, I can: my children love each other. My deepest wish as I began my journey into motherhood was to raise my son and daughter to be friends, protect each other, care for each other, and to be good citizens of the world. At 16 and 18, I am not nearly done parenting, but their love and friendship for each other is strong and my heart is full. Through the challenges I have faced, I have (hopefully) taught them to know that the 'right' decision is often hard, that hope and beauty are frequently wrapped in challenges and it is never too late to start over.
- Danielle Smith (@daniellesmithtv)