She told me I looked good. Was it because I finally shaved my legs for the second time this year? Was it because I microplaned all the dead skin off my feet? Was it because I decided to stop protesting razors and have bare underarms for the first time in over half a year? Perhaps, it was because I felt good, healthy, wiser. Today, I showered for me. I dressed for me. I put on nice shoes and pearls for no reason but for me. I decided to love me.

Every woman should feel this way. Every man should feel this way. Every human should feel this way. We should build each other up so we can feel this way, to nourish the love that is sometimes deeply embedded inside us, struggling for its full expression. I made it a point to focus on self-care this year and I found my aspects of fullness.

From the Upanishads, the first of the principle is the “Isha.” Here is the opening prayer, known as The Perfect Prayer, translated by Easwaran:

All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.

In the past, I found myself depriving myself of things because I felt guilty for having things. This wasn’t a very peaceful existence and definitely not the healthiest way to live in this world. I am practicing to rejoice in gratitude when I have things and rejoice when I am able to give those things to others.

I find myself alone more often, quiet more often, sitting still more often, meditating more often. When my balance is off, I worry less. I look ahead, do what I know and ask for help in the things I am unfamiliar with. I’m currently a little unsure of what my short-term purpose is: if the things I have always desired are really meant for me, if I’m meant to live in the city I call home.

Angie, I’ve been contemplating a lot of things lately. It makes me more reserved for the time being. I know you know my full expression and wish to see it every day, but for now, this is me. I am not sad. I am just practicing to be grateful for the things that I have. It warms my heart that I have you.