Thankful for Love

 In Weekly Forum Discussion, Writer in Residence

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip


What are you grateful for? I am grateful for the ones who loved me when I couldn’t love myself….to be honest, I wouldn’t be here without them.

I had days where I couldn’t get out of bed. He said I would be nothing. I believed him, so I became nothing.

I even stopped speaking. I became quiet. Nothing I said mattered anyway, so why speak.

At work, I longed for my bed. It became my new safe space. I pulled the covers over my head and cried or slept. It wasn’t a restful sleep. It was a stomach in knots, how will I live, no energy kind of sleep.

My life was one big blurry mess. Now he was gone. How would I make it without his guidance?

Well, I fell to pieces. I was lost. I had no hope. I was in total despair. My children stepped in as did many friends and family.

I was given unconditional love, something I never got from my marriage.

A friend called each morning. His calls started my day. I felt so alone and these acts of love reminded me I was not alone.

Another friend suggested a show I should watch. It was too exhausting to watch television. My friend would call me up afterwards to discuss the show. I realized after the first conversation that I needed to pay attention!

A turning point came during a conversation with a friend. I believed I wasn’t good at anything. I still remember what she said to me, “Are you good at brushing your teeth?”

I didn’t know how to respond. My dentist did compliment me at every visit. He said I was excellent at brushing my teeth. I knew he didn’t compliment everyone. I heard him lecture others about their brushing. “Yes, I am good at brushing my teeth.”

She told me to hold on to that and I did. Each day that I felt I was nothing I remembered I was good at one thing. I slowly improved at my own pace. I began greeting people. Eventually, I was able to look people in the eye.

These acts of love got me through the darkest period of my life. I wouldn’t change a moment. I learned a lot on my journey.

Now I smile with joy. I am so thankful for everyone who loved me during the darkness. Their love helped me step back into life.

I went for a walk today. I am already missing the summer. I love all the colors of fall, the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. I realize I have the energy for my walk, life is good, I am happy and I truly have people who love me no matter what.

I love my walks. I call them my power walks. I think a lot! I am able to process and find solutions. Once I clear out my thoughts, I open my mind and heart to others. I think of someone with each step. I send love their way. A thank you for all the love I was given.

On my journey, I discovered a new love… self-love. It was really tough loving myself. I had someone else’s image of me burned in my brain.

Today I love the unique woman I am. I love me and I have to look out for her. I am so thankful for everyone who loved me when I couldn’t love myself. I am a happy, full of life lady with lots of love to share.

I rise each day surrounded by love. I live alone. The love is there…it is sent from the hearts of others. I am okay. I am grateful for love.



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