13 September 2011

Love Yourself Enough

I found a quote the other day:

"Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God." 
~Mary Manin Morrissey~

It brought back a memory from my childhood. When I was about 10 or 12 my grandmother bought me these great sheets.  I didn't know anything about thread counts back then, but they were beautiful sheets.  Pink and flowery and so, so soft.  I loved those sheets.  Seems weird for a 10 or 12 year old to love sheets, but I just thought these were the nicest sheets I had ever seen.  And I didn't want to use them, lest they get ruined.  I don't know what I needed to save them for, but I really thought they needed to be saved.  Until I was older, until a special time came along.  Whatever.  

So  I never put them on my bed.  I left them in the box in my closet.  And I'd look at them, and I'd touch them, but I never put them on my bed.  They were twin size sheets, because back then I had a twin sized bed. Over time they somehow got pushed to the back of my closet and I forgot about them.  

And then I moved out of my parents house when I was 19.  And I didn't take my twin sized bed, by then I had a full sized bed.  As I was cleaning out my closet while moving, I found those sheets.  And then I realized I would never use them because I no longer had a twin sized bed.  And it made me sad.  Really sad.  Why had I never used these sheets?  What did I think I needed to save them for? 

I realized I had learned the lesson that somehow some things were more special than others.  My mom had all kinds of special tableware.  Linens, silver, china, all things that we were not allowed to touch unless it was a holiday and we were having company.  We had special towels and soaps we put out for "company".  The subtle, unspoken message was that "company" was more special than we were.  I'm sure it was how my mother was raised as well, so she didn't give us that message intentionally, it's just what she knew.  What she had lived in her own childhood.  

But after seeing those sheets, I realized how stupid that is.  How sad it is.  To think that we subtly tell our children that they aren't as special as the "company", so they aren't good enough to waste the towels, or the china or the sheets on.  I decided I would not send that message to my children.   

None of us know when it is our last day, and what are we waiting for?  Put the sheets on the bed, burn the pretty candles, use the pretty soap, chip the good china.  It's just stuff.  And if you like it, don't save it, use it.  What are you saving it for?  You are worth the good stuff.  

"A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life."
~Andrew Matthews~