“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.” Stuart Smalley SNL

About 2 years ago, while working at en Ville I had the pleasure of meeting a young lady named Edwina, unfortunately I didn’t take advantage of getting to know her, of taking the time to stop and talk with her… it was always “good morning!” and “have a great night/weekend!”. It wasn’t until I left and we ‘friended’ each other on Facebook did I realize what an amazing being she truly is… and she is one of the big reasons I am blogging!

Her blog (I highly recommend reading it) is called “Project Love”, and her goal for the year 2011 is to love herself, day 1, Forgiving herself, ‘Today, forgiveness is freedom to start over..’

She’s written about guilty pleasures, living in chaos, opening yourself up to being vulnerable… she’s beautiful and inspiring and I love her!

She challenges me, earlier this week on Facebook I posted a quote from Les Mis “To love another person is to see the face of God” to which she asked, ” ‎…and what is it to love yourself?”, immediately the answer came to me like a soft whisper in my heart ” to recognize the GOD in YOU!” She makes me a better me!

Her blog yesterday felt like she wrote it just for me… “On Loving Yourself Despite Post Apocalyptic Messes”, allowing me to forgive my trespasses… as she forgives hers…

My whole life I have built up walls to protect me from facing my past, confronting my demons and healing. I have lived in secret shame of a horrifically messy house, by the time I was 16 I had eaten myself into obesity, my addictions were plenty, food, drugs and worse… so much worse… I was in abusive relationship after abusive relationship, emotionally, physically, mentally spiritually, sexually… Self-destruction was all I knew… However, to look at me one would never know! My own family (who I am sure this blog is going to shock them all to hell) couldn’t tell… I think they call it ‘fully functioning’… I was a steadily employed, hardworking, sweet, kind, caring, funny girl…

This pattern followed me all the way through my 30’s, I married a wonderful man, who despite his faults and mine (both of us had many), I sometimes wonder if I had been more in control of who I am, could we have saved our marriage? It wasn’t until November 2009, a year after we split up, and during my 10 days of H1N1, where I truly thought I was going to die, did I come to a small realization of who I had become… for over 25 years I have constantly hurt myself in one way or another and let very very few into my inner sanctum and none into who I really and truly was.

Those ten days I spent thinking, crying, wanting to die and simultaneously wanting to live! I made the decision to make changes in my life… I left my job and started my own company, I started eating healthy, I started working out, all big things! But it’s the small things that I have done since Nov ’09 that  have left the biggest impact on who I am today, and today I am on the road to loving myself for the first time in my entire life…

The little things, like…

  • doing my dishes every day
  • finally, after 15 years, sleeping in my bed and not on the sofa
  • actually looking at myself in the mirror, not glancing, trying to see beauty, in the past more than a glance would send me into a panic attack
  • being myself, and trying to squash the fear of rejection that had held me prisoner for so many years

Recently and I mean the past 2 months, I cleaned and organized my apartment. While I no longer have a dining room, (it’s now the Events by Lalita storage facility), I do have a home in which I am proud to let people enter, and yes, it is now a home. It’s my sanctuary, my abode of victory! (Those who knew me in Panama may not understand this last statement, but remember in Panama I had Eugenia come in twice a week and clean for me 🙂 )

The walls are slowly coming down, while, on occasion, I pass by a McDonalds on a bad day, I do still have the urge to gorge myself sick in the hopes that it will make me feel better, I keep driving… I call my mom and just talk to her about silliness until the golden arches are nothing but a yellow dot in my rear view mirror… I rarely drink  and only socially, I haven’t touched a narcotic in 10 years, and as for my other addictions, let’s just say, I say “no”. Yes, I still smoke, I still drink Diet Coke, but compared to those I have conquered, these are two small fish in the vast ocean of Lalita…

So my goal for 2011 and the rest of my life is the same as Edwina’s, to love myself! I am going to stop hating me, stop berating me, stop getting down on myself, and to quote Edwina, “Today I show myself unconditional love by continuing to love myself and appreciating my life(style?)” Thank you for being in my life Edwina.



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joanna
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 14:10:29

    What a wonderful post! All the best to you as you learn to not only accept, but also to embrace and love yourself, just the way you are.. Much love, J.


  2. Edwina
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 15:45:03

    Lalita! This is the most touching and beautiful thing anyone has ever written about me. I’ve read it over and over…and over again.

    Thank you for putting your soul out there for me. Just as I didn’t realize how my post would affect you, you probably wouldn’t expect that you have single handedly reaffirmed and validated my purpose for living (this is about to get very Marianne Williamson-ish) which is to let my own light shine in order to allow others to feel comfortable doing the same.

    And thank YOU for being YOU! It was your courage to post what you were going through on FB that led us to being friends. Your posts and quotes inspired me to give my voice a chance.

    With an open heart and a tear in my eye, the only thing left to say is Namaste.


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  6. aurelie
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 21:10:43

    gosh darn it i love u!!!!


  7. Vivek
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 13:47:28

    this is a wonderful post. you really have overcome some serious obstacles. and the being that you are becoming is beautiful and wonderful. I sure am proud to be your brother!!


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