On Self-Love

Today is my birthday, and I have been bedridden for the better part of the day. This last month has been full of excitement, we have celebrated about half a dozen birthdays in the family, we have had numerous family gatherings, hosted visitors, activities, and thrown an insanely large and fun party (hence the insane amount of pics above). I kept pushing through it all, huffing and puffing until my immune gave up. 
At the very end of last year, I remember reflecting upon my biggest lesson for the 2015 year, "when faced with adversity we either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong." Lately, I have been working on how to put my preferences first instead of last. I am not sure when it happened exactly, but sometime after becoming a mother I began putting my self last most of the times. While it is a natural inclination to always want  to put your children first, it somehow escalated to no only putting other people's preffernces first, but also to the point were I felt striped of my own voice. Like I was no longer in control of my life. 
I suppose we never are fully in control of our lives, but as I reach my 33rd year of life I feel an intense need to connect with the core of who I am. There is a me longing to be. I am longing to have the courage to love my self, to respect and voice my opinions and preferences, to become more self aware. Most of all I long for peace... yes peace around me, but also peace within me. Finally I have realized that I won't find it unless I stop being at war with my self. So cheers to self-love, because unless we truly love our selves first, we can't genuinely love others from a full and generous heart. I say this to whomever is reading this far as much as I say this to myself. Self-love is not an act of selfishness, if done well it can be a step towards true generosity and love.