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Many people have opted to use a word to define their year.  It’s a concept that just intrigues me.  At first, I dismissed the idea.  It seemed too loose to me.  I need more structure than just one word.  However, as this month progresses, I have realized that I am defining my year under one word.

That word is LOVE.  This is the year I learn to love more, I just know it.

Last week, I was talking with a friend about beauty, make up and fashion.  There was a time that being beautiful meant so much to me.  More than loving myself, I wanted to be beautiful.  I was beautiful but during that time, I didn’t feel it.  I look back and am saddened by the lack of love I had for myself.  I let that lack of love dictate my life.

I stopped being beautiful.  I became a mother.  Mother’s just don’t have the time or energy to be beautiful.  They do, however, have time to love.  It was during those early years that I learned to love myself.  It was a long and hard road.  It still is.

The problem was that during those early years I wasn’t being honest.  You can’t love someone you don’t know.  I learned to pretend to love myself.  That’s better than being beautiful.  That’s better than not loving myself.  I didn’t have time or energy to do anything more.  Right?

I don’t know.  I just know that I was denying parts of myself.  Now, I am learning to open up those hidden parts of me.  To be honest.  That means learning to love a whole new part of me.

On top of that, I have so much more in my life than I did before.  I have a husband, a teenager and lots of family drama.  I’ve made goals this year to smooth those just a little.  I made goals to love them more without even knowing that was what I was doing.

Love manifests itself in a number of ways.  It’s hugs and kisses, glasses of water in the middle of the night, deciding to feed your family good food over junk food.  It’s cool washrags on the forehead and cleaning up vomit out of the carpet.  It’s biting your tongue because you know it’s better to be kind than right (some times it’s just the opposite).

Love is my word for 2013.  It’s my motto and my beacon.

What’s yours?