I've recently been on a journey. A very multi-faceted journey, with my self. A lot of change, do-overs, reflection, repentance, forgiveness... I could go on and on... It's been a couple years full of big losses. I lost a baby, I lost my marriage, I lost my future plans, I lost my (day) job, and ultimately I lost my self. What's been the biggest challenge in healing from those losses has been how little any of them had to do with me. I had zero say, zero control, and little involvement in those precious things being taken from me. With the exception of my self. Losing my self was all me. I lost me all by my self.
Life has felt much like an uphill climb in severe wind; lot's of resistance, lot's of challenge, lot's of tears. I do, however, feel like I'm nearing the other side of that season. And as a very wise person once told me; "Make it count. Otherwise, it's just useless pain so make it count." I'm not sure exactly how to do that but I'm starting to have some ideas and it feels really good to give all of that pain some purpose.
I say this humbly... Often I hear people tell me that they don't know how I do it. Referring to being a single mom... I don't either some days but I do it anyway, somehow. I do know this: Women are really strong. We are really soft and really strong. We are protective, we are fierce, we are selfless. There is a lioness that lives inside us that is a force to be reckoned with if tested. It will survive us through terrible and incredible things. The difference between me and some women is that I have had to discover that part of me where other women have not. Some women have not had reach down inside the depths of their being and pull out untapped resources to help them conquer or just survive extreme circumstances. That's a good thing. I know that if they had to, they likely would find, within themselves, the very same strengths that I have found to get me from glory to glory or even just minute to minute.
All of this to say, regardless of the hand life has dealt us, I think every women needs to know their value, their beauty, their unique footprint that is necessary to this world. When I photograph mothers with their kids, my heart is full. Because I love my kids so incredibly much, I know the gift it is to have documentation of that love. We all know how thankless the job of mother is. We do so much planning, thinking, strategizing, organizing, facilitating.... to make a single day happen. And it's all in the quiet of our heads and hearts. Our kids have no clue what we do to make their world go round. But, we don't do it for the thank you. Moments like this one I captured of Meg and her sweet baby girl, are what I live for in this job. I see this image and I see how lovely Meg is. I don't know the story she carries in her heart. I don't what she has survived or conquered. I do know that she's beautiful and full of love. And then my next thought is, "I hope Meg sees what I see. I hope she sees how lovely she is."
I know how hard it is to see ourselves as lovely. I battle this as well. Life circumstances or even the day's circumstances sometimes communicate a different message to us about who we are and what we're worth. It's my hope that with all that I've overcome and continue to learn as a result, I will be able to use my camera and a 1 hour session to show you mothers and maybe even remind you fathers of the precious beauty that mommas hold. We are life givers. We are worth a little positive thinking and even celebrating.
If you've forgotten that you are precious, if you've forgotten that there is still beauty left inside you that is worth being seen, l'd love to remind you. Throw on a dress, grab your kids and come to the mountains with me. Or come to the beach or the park down the street... Just come with me anywhere and let's document what's true: You are lovely and lovable. You are soft and strong. You are fierce and beautiful.