Loving my dinged up life-battered Self – Part 2

Image from www.95percent.com.my

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 
~ Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Are you just a bit mean to yourself sometimes?

I’m not talking about the sort of mean where you treat yourself in obviously bad ways.  I’m talking about that sneaky kind of mean you might not even realise was mean to begin with – the sort of mean where you are just waiting to be different to how you are right now so that you can love yourself a bit more.

Until a few days ago that was me.

It’s a big realisation, to find that part of you is holding their breath, waiting to return to how you were at some time in the past.  It’s also kind of funny, because, well… you know! You can’t ever go back.  The past no longer exists.  All we ever have is the present.

So how have I been doing this?  I’ve been expecting my current circumstances to be temporary.

Let me explain this a little better – maybe some of you will even relate.

Here’s me, in early 2005:

Things were going well for me, back then. I had a corporate communications business, but I was also in the thick of things spiritually – doing readings, running workshops, and working from my own offices.

I look at that picture of me, and I still feel her, that younger Nicole, sitting inside me. But I have changed so much since then.

By late 2005 a bacterial infection that almost killed me in 2000 came back.  It had been in my brain the first time round.  This time it was not just my brain but my heart. I wound up all my businesses, I cancelled all my events, I packed my life in boxes, and I went home with a miserable prognosis. I almost croaked it.

But I didn’t die. I began to stubbornly climb my way back to health.  It took a long time. I learned a lot. I was forced to grow.  More health problems came and went. It wasn’t easy. Drugs bloated me. Life battered me.  Each day I would look in the mirror and barely recognise myself. I used everything I could get my hands on – meditation, diet, herbs, energy medicine, conventional medicine.  You name it – I tried it!

Every so often I’d look at this earlier picture of me and think, I’ll get back there soon.  I’ll get back to normal. I held that picture in my head and worked towards it.

Then in November 2009 I had a heart attack, brought about by a virus.  My heart was vulnerable, after all it had already been through. I was totally floored.  But I didn’t die, although I came close. More drugs.  Limited exercise.  I just couldn’t get back to where I was with any sort of speed.

November 2010 I got a paralysis tick in my ear.  It triggered cardiomyopathy. Yeah, yeah – another near-croaking event. I spent months in bed, or with such limited mobility that I might as well have been in bed. I puffed up with fluid. I had a moonman face and a Michelin man body from all the steroids and the weight I gained.

But I stubbornly held that damned 2005 picture of me in my head.

Gotta get back there.  Gotta get back to being me.

Image of the Michelin man from frankophilia.com

I’m sorry, but that’s just mean.

Not me comparing myself to a creature made from fat white tyres. What’s mean is me expecting myself to be who I was pre all-this-other-stuff! And the idea that somehow I was less me for looking different to how I did before? Pffffh. That’s just stupid.

So, that picture of me has to come down. It’s not who I am, although I hold her in my heart. I’ve been split open since then, on so many levels. Not just from illness – I’m also changed by the psychic work I do, by the spiritual commitment I make to walk this path. It’s changed me. I’m wiser. I’m softer. I’m much more real.

Finally, I really truly love myself just as I am. I look at my face in the mirror and know that this is me. I can’t ever be that 2005 girl again. I actually don’t want to be. It’s good to stand where I am, and look through these wiser eyes. I had to earn this wisdom, but I’d pay that price again and again to be where I am right now.

It makes me a little sad too.  That’s the truth, but it’s not about physical appearance. I was so much more carefree then, so much greener and ignorant of just how big life can be, and how small I am at the face of it all. Banging up against the hard and rough edges of life has taken off a little bit of shiny and replaced it with grit.

This is just a skin suit – this body I’m in, and it’s getting pretty dinged up and battered by Life. But isn’t that kind of the point? I’m a Soul, in a human body that will change and grow and fade and fail. Why be so hung up about the vehicle when I’m here for the journey?

I think scars are like battle wounds – beautiful, in a way. They show what you’ve been through and how strong you are for coming out of it.
~ Demi Lovato

So, this is me, as I am right now. More joyful. More scarred. Stretched bigger.

More real.

I don’t need you to love me.  I need ME to love me.  And I need YOU to love YOU.  I’ll take real any day.  Real has a beauty to it that takes my breath away.

52 thoughts on “Loving my dinged up life-battered Self – Part 2

  1. Nicole – thank you ever so much. Loving oneself is such a simple message but one we so easily forget. I try so hard to ensure others love me yet I struggle to love myself. From now on I am going to (try at least) love myself more and not worry what others think of me after all it is none of my business. Thank you, thank you and million times thank you.

  2. I know you don’t need it, but what the hell – I LOVE YOU PRECIOUS FRIEND – always have, always will. And the world is such a richer place for having you here.

    • I am getting closer to what I would like to say to you. I do not want to teach you to suck eggs, but- that very beautiful woman of 2005 is you, is still you- it is the not needing to look like that now which is the attachment you need to let go of, and nothing more. And mourning while letting go of an attachment is OK too- even for gurus!!

      • LOL – Oh Clare… I love you!!! The day I become a ‘guru’ please come around and hit me on the head with a very big frypan. I hold no truck with ‘gurus’. I’d much rather be a friend. Much love to you, and thanks for your wise words xoxo

  3. Nicely written, and definitely something I needed to read today. Thanks.

    And you look awesome in your “now” pictures. 🙂

  4. I hope you truly see how beautiful you are Nicole. You take my breath away too 🙂
    This was a theme for some of the people at the retreat as you would know, others can see how stunning they are (inside and out) but they themselves cannot. I hope your blog brushes away any remaining cobwebs. I will be kind to myself today too. Thankyou. I love you! xxx

  5. THERE YOU ARE!!! You are beautiful nicole, what an earthy, wise woman you are. When I first googled your name to find your website and I saw your picture, I couldn’t help but feel that it wasn’t you….. I mean it was you but not you now (does that even make sense) I am in awe of you, I am intrigued by you. There is something about you Nicole…… What an amazingly, beautiful soul you are. Thank you for sharing your words and for putting a face to these beautiful words. arohanui.

  6. You are still beautiful, Nicole. You still look great. Thank you. This post really spoke to me. It’s exactly where I’m at. Well, not everything you’ve been through, but the part about accepting what I am now. Older, different from who I was. The past is just that. Thanks again. Joanna 🙂

  7. Hi Nicole
    That resonated with me thank you for sharing you r journey. I know that i am a much softer, patient and so much more gentle with myself since my NDE experience last year. Yes I do need me to love me so I can step into my light and share my gifts with the world. I know this journey for me has been about self-love- I sometimes wonder or really know that I was given this journey to break free of where I was I wasn’t being true to myself.
    In gratitude – as i wrote these words i got a flash that it is time for me to write and share my story it will empower me and others…….. thank you souls sista for awakening me again
    love and blessingxxoo

  8. You are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. It reminds me too.. Getting older I see myself changing, I’m not feeling as beautiful as I once was. Not liking to be in photos unless my hair is done or make up on.. Cause in fact I can look ugly. But after reading your story I’ll try to see myself for who I am .. The real me. Thanks again beautiful Nicole. Jo xx ps. My journey brings me to Mullumbimby! I’ll be around this area for the next ten days or so if you’d like to meet for a coffee xx

  9. Whew! yes loving who we are right here right now amidst the swirl of life and all it’s influences is a challenging quest….but I’m in for it as it’s debilitating and exhausting trying to fight against the flow of life as I’ve discovered along the way.

    You know I think your mega awesome…and I look forward to the day I can see that in myself…and I feel it’s closer than I think.

    I’m off to my fav coffee shop (you know the one) to journal how I can be kind to myself right now!

    Big hugs…and I love that bubbles pic of you…fun…fun..fun..fun..whooooo..ooooh. oooh!

  10. I think you are adorable – just the way you are — you are just wiser now — made so by some tough stuff, but from what you share in the blog, you are as beautiful inside as out–I did get some good advice from this blog–I am not going to wait to be a better me either–I am not that bad as I am right now

    • Nicole, you are beautiful….I don’t see you any differently than when I first met you in 2005…beautiful, intelligent & so gifted. I didn’t realise how mean I was being to myself until a little fairy you know very well, pointed it out to me…lol….now I catch myself out quite often. My new affirmation: I love & accept myself as I am. We are all perfect as we are. So I’m off to do more inner child work today! I am blessed to have you as my mentor….thank you. Much love & big hugs xoxoxo

  11. Nicole this is a beautiful post, thank you so much – and you are beautiful too, now, as you are – you can see the happiness, peace, contentment shining through in your face. Thank you for sharing so honestly & earnestly. Tears in my eyes…

  12. Thank you for our treasure bag Nicole. Sabine went to bed with the crustal under her pillow, it’s Saschas turn tonight and Jesses tomorrow. Have a beautiful day. Nx

  13. Love this post,love YOU!Don’t we all look back and wish to be that person again!I know i do.But we all change with what life dishes out to us it’s only now i’ve come to realize that every event is a lesson for us to grow and be wiser.I am getting comfortable in my skin!Thank you for your wisdom.xxxxx

  14. I love your photo Nicole. I’ve done a course with you and had readings with you but have never met you in person. Now i have a face to put with the person – i’m excited about that. I find loving myself really difficult but i thnk it would be the one thing i’d regret at the end of my life not to have mastered. It’s so easy to follow the same old pattern and the years just fly by. Time for serious action. Thanks Nicole xxx

  15. I haven’t really ever been able to really relate to the ‘2005’ picture and now I know why – it wasn’t the person I had ‘met’ on the phone! Oh sure elements where there but something was missing… but that amazingly wise wonderful woman we see at the end of the blog-post with all that depth (hard won for sure), and beguiling softness (that covers a titanium core) – now that’s the woman I ‘met’ and can relate to!
    Thank you for your honesty – I think we all have those photos that haunt us – I’m looking at one now…. but that woman I’m looking at in the mirror she knows stuff that would have blown the other girls mind (hmmm that’s right it did…)
    Aging is such a wacko process
    I’m going to keep reading yours and the ‘skin horses’ words over and over.
    You guys make so much sense
    XXX

  16. A beautiful story Nicole of the steps we should all be taking; Self-awareness, Self-reflection, Self-acceptance, Self-development all done in LOVE then enables us to Learn, Open, Value, Evolve. The power in your blog is the story itself. Sharing theory provides a shell, providing the story/experience fills the void, gives context and reality for everyone on the same journey. Big hugs and love Julia

  17. I learned a long, long time ago: Real beauty is the light that shines through. You’ve got it, Baby Girl! I have a small confession to make. As I was blog surfing I saw the picture of the Michelin Man, I just had to click on your post. When I was super young, maybe two or three years, I had a big ol’ crush on the Michelin Man |8-O

  18. YAY!! for you Nicole.. I was meant to meet the old you back in 2005.. lol I’m sure she was awesome but when I did get to meet you it wasnt till 2012 and I fell in love with your awesomeness now and I’m so much better off now after our brief meeting. Thankyou for sharing and reminding me to Love me too!! {{HUGS}} xxxxx <3 ~ <3 ~ <3

  19. Thank you for the courage to share Nicole and the acceptance of who you are. When you said the other day this IS my life, I knew what you mean’t. It is sad that we live in a world where image is so important. Recently my step son tried to sell me products to stop the ageing process. I said to him. ” I have earned every single one of these wrinkles and they all have taught me so much in life. They are here to stay so get use to it because my beauty shines from the inside to the out.” To love oneself totally is a gift. You inspire me so much I just love to read your words of wisom each day. xxx

  20. I can certainly relate to this post as with all the other comments before me. It is so refreshing to be real and honest and in the moment. I too have my 2005 photo on everything. I love the way I look in it – I love the energy of that Lucy. I have been trying to get back to that look for 7 years too. I am not sure that I have the I love myself today photo yet. It is not far away.
    I really love and appreciate this post. And I especially like to see your photos, it does give a face to the Nicole I have known for the past year. Lots of Love xxx

  21. What an important lesson you’ve learned, and one that can be very difficult to accept. I can see that this post has already reassured lots of people, myself included; to be able to accept the reality of today is a wonderfully freeing thing. I loved the Velveteen Rabbit quote, and I agree with everyone else that your recent photos are beautiful. I do think it’s difficult, especially for women perhaps, to accept the ageing process because of the huge media pressure to look young and fresh, but I think I know what you mean about being more real now, with a bit of grit replacing the shiny. One of the delights of getting older is that you find the structure beneath the veneer, and a new appeal that goes beyond the superficial. Every decade I’ve entered has been better than the last because it’s come with a greater understanding and depth of experience. I’m glad that you said you still hold the girl of 2005 in your heart, I think that’s as it should be, we need to love who we were as well as who we are, because who we are came from who we were.

  22. Fabulous post, Nicole. You have been through sooooo’ much and look how far you’ve come. We can never go back and we can only be more REAL and accept and LOVE ourselves. I love you and love how you are sharing with us your beautiful, blissed out gorgeous wisdom. I’m learning to like myself more and more each day…baby steps X

  23. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story… my next ‘barefoot’ dance (tomorrow) will be dedicated to you, in honour of your gumboot dance through life, you gorgeous, courageous being. Blessings to you. xx

  24. Thank you Nicole. The only one I can really love is myself. Maybe my eyes don’t show me who I really am. Is it the one from 2005 or 2012? I know I am more.
    I ‘m loving the mirored me more than before.

  25. Dear Nlcole,
    Not having had the pleasure of meeting you yet, I was delighted to see your 2005 face and your 2012 face – both as beautiful as each other in their own way. It is strange when you listen to or read a person’s words and you have not seen them physically – you still reached me but how wonderful it is to have a face to all that inspiration and outpouring of love. Thank you – that has changed my whole perspective seeing the whole picture.
    Love and blessings,
    Joan

  26. One of the most beautiful women of our time (in my opinion that is!) once said “The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters” Audrey Hepburn.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so let the beholder be you. That is what I am learning as I get older and have had this reiterated from your wonderful post today Nicole.

    As always, thank you xo

  27. I know that you are right, but i couldn’t yet love myself. I love you for all you are doing for me and each one of those reading your blog. You teach us a lot and offer all kinds of support. Thank you Nicole

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