woman in a mirror

 Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen

I have been doing a lot of work on self-love. I just came out of a self love boot camp—six glorious days to myself—when my kids and husband were out of town visiting his family. Every day was an opportunity to nourish my frazzled, depleted soul, and I responded to the task admirably.

It seems what’s really up for me as I mother, as how comfortable I am in my own skin translates directly to how well my children feel in theirs. I have always struggled with the sense of not being enough, in essence, not being truly lovable. But somehow, finally, that is shifting. Partly it’s because Niki is doing an amazing woman’s group here in Lyons, and has been gently, but with firmness, encouraging all involved to give voice to what what we need to claim as our own. I am claiming enoughness, and in that seemingly humble statement lies a great deal of love.

Writing the self-love card was difficult, but reading now, what we came up with, I am surprised by its prescience. “This is the card of restoration. Peeling away the veils that obstruct self love brings lightness and joy. A new power emerges, a trust in your own voice.” I feel that trust, palpably. It’s becoming an unshakable conviction.

Today, as we waited for our Thai takeout in Lyons, I got my daughter a half-calf soft serve cone. I felt like I was on a spontaneous date. Oriah was all clean and bathed, wearing a striped dress, her wild hair held back in a ribbon. She ate her vanilla cone slowly and with evident delight, letting her tongue furrow in the milky, pillowy, goodness. She refused, with great sternness, to share. When I zoomed in for a lick, she turned her back to me. I “knocked, knocked” on her back, which got a laugh but no capitulation. We had fun together, me watching her eat her ice cream, her enjoying her joy being witnessed. We fell in love with each other all over again.

Oriah knows I’m not perfect, but in her infinite generosity she turns again and again toward the love, the source of her nourishment.

roses growing through a fence

And I know I’m not perfect. But I have become more accepting of my cracks, of how the light gets in. The chinks let me see where I need to do my work, how I can come back home to myself, to my enoughness, instead of getting stuck in the crevasse of my fear of always missing out. (I recently read that social media has an acronym for it—FOMO, stands for fear of missing out.)

But when you’re enough, there’s nothing to miss out on. Wherever you go, there you are. Soft serve as a vehicle for self-realization—don’t knock it till you try it.