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  • Writer's pictureAnjum Madan


Of the three words I chose, this one is the hardest for me: love. I have heard it said that you cannot love someone else unless you love yourself first. However, to me that isn’t true. I give love freely – sometimes too freely. But loving myself, that is a whole other story.

Since this is a place where I am honest, both with myself and with anyone who is reading this, let me be frank. I don’t like myself very much. Loving is even further away. There is no real reason for this dislike. I know I am a good person – that I have a good heart – that I don’t hurt people on purpose – sometimes it happens, but it is either unintentional or after I have been pushed further than I can take. Yet if I know that I am a good person, why do I dislike myself?

What I am learning to do, is to give myself a little grace. In times when I would usually judge myself harshly, I am giving myself a little wiggle room. I am far from perfect at it, it is a process. I am also building in grace into my goals – often time I set really high standards for myself. One example of this is the 100-day project. I decided to start it this April – as a part of coming back to my creativity. I set myself the goal of hand-lettering a quote for 100 days. However, I was honest enough to realize that doing it 100 days consecutively may not be realistic at this time. So, I decided that if I skipped a day, I would keep going. I would start again. What I didn’t realize was that not all of them would be ideal for posting on Instagram. So although I have completed the 100 quotes, I’m only on day 69 on Instagram. My goal now is to complete it before the end of the year. That feels realistic – 2 more a week. And then I will set myself another challenge.

Because that is what it is all about, right – setting yourself a goal – achieving it (despite any twists and turns along the way) – and then taking the time to recognize yourself for achieving it.

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.”

– Maxwell Maltz

It is scary to put the hand-break down. But just like driving a car, you don’t move from parked to 100km/h right away. You take a look around – make sure it is safe to move, and then slowly move forward, gradually building up speed. So here I am, taking myself out of park, and slowly looking around to see if it is safe to move forward. I hope reading these words gives you the courage to know that you are not alone learning how to drive. We are all in this together and can help each other slowly move forward.

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