I am LOVED
Hi! This is Coach MK and this is the Morning Mantra. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have a mantra, even though I don’t have a voice! YAYYY!
Today’s mantra is: “I am LOVED.” I am LOVED. And you are.
In June of 2015, I finally started to get some answers as to why my two year old son wasn’t anything like my daughter. And was still less responsive than the baby I had just given birth to. He didn’t look anyone in the eye. He didn’t make sounds other than screams of displeasure, especially when we weren’t eating his favorite foods or watching the one TV show that he had any attention for. It was at that time the psychiatrist, as she told me he had autism, started to lower my expectations and said, “Look you’ve got other kids to worry about here, you need to check your needs at the door. This kid may never look you in the eyes and tell you that he loves you. He might never do anything that you think is normal, and you need to put those expectations on the ground and focus on loving him, and what the actual meaning of that word is. And love never expects to be returned.”
If you’ve followed this podcast, if you’ve worked with me in any capacity, you know about my troubled history, [laughs] mistaking certain emotions or behavior patterns for actual love. And this sounded like a setup for disaster to me, and I wasn’t ready to accept it. I don’t know that I make good choices all of the time, but my choice to deal with this was to put my nose to the grindstone and say “What CAN I do? What can we do? What does he need? What do we have? How can we bridge this gap? What can we do?” and I didn’t not stop asking that question.
Around that same time, I had started working as a coach. I remember standing on a track and looking around at a whole bunch of adults thinking, “Gosh, no one has told any of these people in a really long time how amazing they are. They don’t see what I see, they don't see what’s possible. They came here and they signed up to train with me, and the whole idea of training is that we’re gonna change you. We’re gonna change your body, we’re gonna change your future, and we’re gonna make something really crazy happen together. And you don’t think you can do it.”
And that blew my mind and I made it a point to tell them every single day, as I beat ‘em up on that track, pushing them harder than they ever would have pushed themselves, making them do workouts so miserable that we still look back at the videos we recorded and laugh. And I would tell them, you are coached, you are loved, and you have no idea what you are capable of. And I said that to them because I really needed someone to say it to me. I really, as an adult, I was as much of a ragtag as the rest of them were. And I needed to believe that someday, I would be depriving my other two children of resources to make sure that the one child had his needs met, would any of my children be able to look me in the face and say “Mommy, I love you”? I wasn’t sure. It’s scary. Everything about this situation is scary. And I look back now, three years later, and I cannot believe how far we have come. My kids at the moment, God bless them, are happy and well adjusted. My son looks me in the face and he tells me every day how much he loves me, he’s waiting for me to crawl in bed and snuggle him right now because we’re having a sleepover tonight.
Love is a funny thing. You do things in the name of love, because of love, not really knowing what you’re gonna give in return. What you’re going to get in return. Love is a leap of faith. And that’s why I guess it is so hard for us to truly love ourselves. It is so hard to have faith that that love will be returned in some way. It’s easier to put our faith in other people, in untrustworthy causes and places, than it is in the own body that has failed us in so many ways, overtime, doing things that have caused us nothing but pain. But I tell you this, as surely as my non-verbal autistic two year old boy grew into a beautiful bright HGT flower that owns every room he walks into and makes friends everywhere we got and has been invited to more birthday parties than my other three kids combined, no one could have looked into the future and seen what he was capable of. And he was staring down a medical diagnosis.
You have no idea what your limits are. You haven’t been thinking big enough. And you haven’t had me pushing you, providing for you, and closing those gaps the same way I did for my boy. Now I don’t know that any single step I took is what brought him here, brought him closer to me, that’s the grace of God. But if God is graceful and He is merciful and He has brought me to you for some reason, then maybe, just maybe, we can do something a little less drastic and a little more awesome than closing the gap between an autistic boy and his mother. Maybe you’re not that far from who you think you could be, from who you want to be, from the potential you know is inside you. I am LOVED. That’s your mantra for today, because you are, fiercely, deeply, and ferociously. But the power that I have in me, I’m gonna put it right back in you.
I’m gonna do it every day that there’s breath in my body. There will be love in your life. You are coached, you are loved, believe it, you are, and you’re winning at life.
Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her Marathon Selection Guide!