The Sling Diaries, VOL. IV: Everything Shines - Confidence

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Confidence is something that grew as I aged. It wound itself from inside to the surface and back in again, layer upon layer, leaving traces of itself in new found strengths. Time taught me that what I think of myself, is far more important than what other people think of me.

I think as women confidence grows, with every birthday, every scar, every leap of faith, every kind word spoken to us, and most greatly, with every birth.

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I've struggled with confidence my whole life. It was never something I could fully grasp with my hands alone, it was something that was cultivated by my mother. You see, I've always been a little "different" besides the obvious color of my skin. Which still challenges me day by day, to stand behind it with my head held high, and to stop making qualifications for who I am.

I dream big, I dive straight into the deep without fear or second thought, I speak my mind. The reality is that living this way always set me apart while growing up, kids look at you differently when you don't follow the pack. Paving your own road takes a certain strength and determination, a confidence within yourself that builds you up when others set out to tear you down. Despite my sometimes crippling fear and constant questioning, "you think this is ok?" I've done many things in my life and pursued passions with every ounce of my being. Whatever arena I've walked into physical or mental, I went, because something in my soul said to, despite people's harsh words and strange looks that told me otherwise. I would do it anyways because I had a steadfast foundation. My faith and my Mother, she filled the holes left by society...but those looks, those words, they would eat away at my confidence, like a termite to a tree.

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I lived this way my whole life, hiding the fact that, confidence, was not something that organically dwelled within me. Then I found out I was pregnant with you, I watched as  my belly grew heavy with life. There were moments of fear and longings for my old body, the one I had just finally started to accept and love. If I only knew the strength my body was about to show me I carried all along.

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Giving birth to you has humbled me, and instilled a confidence within me I didn't know could exist. The struggle to accept and love this new body has been a graceful experience.  Yes, there have been tears, and moments of mourning spent staring in the mirror. Then one day I took pause, I looked at my body, this time with kind eyes and a forgiving heart, I smiled, smiled because I  realized that I am blessed to be "marked a mother." I earned every bit of it. My breasts may not be as far north as the used to be and my stomach may be soft, but the confidence that came along with it all, to love my body anyways, despite what society deems beautiful is unmatched. I created life! I created you! Every lock of hair, every pudgy roll, every toe. You, my love, are my greatest accomplishment. Everything pales compared to you, and no one, no harsh word spoken against this new frame can take away the majesty of what I've done, what any mother has done.

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I am overwhelmed with the gifts you’ve given me by entering this world. The confidence I now have in myself is priceless. My wish, my dream, my mission in life is to give this to you. A knowing, a confidence instilled within yourself, that moves aside all self doubt, and fear.

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The confidence to get up and do "it" anyways, no matter what standards society places upon you.

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By being confident in myself, I hope to show you how to be confident enough to trust in your own instincts. To Believe in your own ideas, and to let them take you to new heights. To know that when one door closes another will open.

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To love your fellow man despite all their downfalls, to learn to humble yourself. To always put one foot in front of the other, even as fear nips at your heels. To stand up for what's right. To be a voice for those who have none.

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And if you need me...

If you need me to fill in the gaps left by someones words that left you feeling empty.

If you need me to hold you up when your legs can’t take you any farther.

If you need me to wrap my arms around you when your heart is broken.

If you need me to stand up for you when you’re afraid to stand for yourself.

If you need me to trust you so you can trust in yourself.

I will.

Know, that I always will. So that you’ll know that confidence comes from within.

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I'll be confident in mothering you.

So you’ll know.

 

Love always and forever,

Mama

 

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I'm wearing Elly in the simple linen in plum. Follow along with the sling diaries here.