“I’m a grim and grumpy little Small and nobody loves me at all.”
“Oh Small,” said Large, “grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.”
From No Matter What, by Debi Gliori
When my youngest daughter was small, No Matter What by Debi Gliori was one of her favourite books. And even now that she’s much older, she (and I!) still love it. It’s the story of a small fox who needs reassurance that she is loved unconditionally.
We all have that voice inside us that cries out to be loved.
For too many years, I adapted myself to be what I thought others wanted so I would be loved. Various people in my life told me I was too loud, too outgoing, too emotional, too American (!), so I adapted. I changed aspects about my personality, to fit in, to be loved.
But it was never enough.
I never felt truly loved, unconditionally. Because if you love someone unconditionally, you love them warts and all. You don’t want to change them. You want to see them flourish. You accept them and their flaws as part of their humanity. You see them at their worst and you still love them. Even when they are grim and grumpy, you still love them, no matter what.
Once I decided to leave my marriage, I was afraid to tell my family as I thought they would stop loving me. But once I told my mom, it was ok. She truly loves me, no matter what. And she has turned into my biggest supporter. But that’s a story for another day.
For the past few months, my journey has been about falling in love with myself again, much as I loved myself when I was a kid. To not worry about what other people think or say about me. I am focusing on my life, creating a life lived with purpose and intention and full of love, light and laughter. Knowing that I’m not perfect, but I am me. And that’s enough.
The more that I open myself up to loving me, I realise that the true me was there all along. I don’t need to hide me anymore. I can let my light shine brightly. I can love me — No matter what.
“Small said, “But what about when we’re dead and gone, would you love me then, does love go on?”
Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, at the moon in the dark and the stars shining bright. “Small, look at the stars, how they shine and glow, but some of those stars died a long time ago. Still they shine in the evening skies, love, like starlight, never dies.”