With crampons attached to our hiking shoes, we headed up to a snowy and peaceful plateau for a winter walk on Sunday.
The sky was the brightest of blues, the snow crunched under our feet, the mountains around us felt close enough to touch. In every single way it was perfect.
I had my camera at hand... we were ready to enjoy our day.
The scenery around us was simply breathtaking. Though there were quite a few people around, the plateau was vast so we didn't feel like we were constantly bumping into people or in a line of hiking traffic. And the sound... the sound of silence.
It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a winter walk this much.
And you could tell. Because I was snapping away to record the beautiful scenes around us and to record my memories. Our mountain companions on every side of us. Capturing the glistening of the crisp snow under our feet. And, of course, our happy faces, enjoying every moment in this Winter Wonderland.
I even snapped a few selfies of me, on my own... quite a rarity. But that tells you how happy I was feeling.
When we returned home I looked through my photos to see which I could share with friends and family on Facebook, later. And to delete the ones that looked a bit wonky... it's not always easy taking a photo when the sun is shining so brightly (not that I'm complaining!)
And I came across the couple of selfies I took of myself, including the one I share here.
But rather than admire the mountains standing majestic behind me. Rather than zooming in on the sheer and utter joy on my face. Rather than see and feel the warmth that the sun had poured onto us... I could only see one thing.
And I couldn't, no matter how hard I tried, see beyond my yellow teeth.
There I was surrounded by magnificent beauty in a moment of utter joy, captured forever... and all I could see was yellow teeth.
It all seems quite ridiculous now, don't you think? That in amongst all that amazing scenery, all the joy I was experiencing, that I found one 'negative' and that consumed every morsel of my attention.
It might sound ridiculous but it's not. Because it's what we all regularly do when we look in the mirror every day.
And what made it worse... I caught myself doing it. I had fallen into my own trap and I couldn't shake my laser-focus. Even after, week-in-week-out, practising self-love and encouraging you to do the same, I still struggled to reframe my thoughts. I still struggled to quiet the nasty little demeaning voice in my head. I still struggled to let go of the focus of my perceived imperfection.
And that's why I wanted to share this with you today. I wanted to share with you that self-love is a journey. It's not something that can dramatically change you overnight. It's a beautiful journey but it's a journey we have to choose to travel on. And sometimes we stray a little from the path, but it's in those moments of distraction that we can re-find our focus.
Does the journey ever end? Do we finally reach a place where we can full-hearted and honestly say that we love everything that makes us, us? I would love to think so but I honestly don't know because I am still traveling that journey with you.