Finding Out Who I Am

Welcome to the I Love Me! Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the I Love Me! Carnival hosted by Amy at Anktangle. This carnival is all about love of self, challenging you to lift yourself up, just for being you.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from the other carnival participants.

Like many mothers and many people, really, I can be awfully hard on myself. Don’t get me wrong – there are things I do well and I know this, but I’m frequently compelled to focus on my imperfections rather than my strengths. Just when I was in a place of reflecting on the state of my life and finding myself to be especially lacking, I participated in a great discussion in which my friend Amanda led me to an “a-ha!” moment.

Amanda walked us through an exercise she had participated in during a recent class, encouraging myself and a few others to write down the names of a handful of people we admired. Then, she had us write down the qualities they possessed that we thought were particularly admirable. Of course the people most of us chose had several things in common with one another, which we noted. We listed the qualities that appeared multiple times and used these to come up with a brief list. As we went through this exercise, I found myself reflecting even more on how far I had to come in developing these noble qualities in myself.

Then came the conclusion of the exercise.

Amanda pointed out that we tend to notice, and appreciate, the ways that people are like us. She explained that the list we had each come up with was actually a list of qualities that characterized us. She instructed each of us to write our name at the top of an index card and then list these qualities beneath it. This, she said, was who we were.

At first, I thought, “Yeah, right.” Then, I actually gave the idea a chance, and I think there’s something to it. I have plenty of room to grow, to be sure, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this concept makes sense. If being slow to judge others didn’t matter to me at all, I probably wouldn’t be able to list off half a dozen people whose ability to reserve judgment I admire. So I’ve decided that I’ll take it! Here’s my list:

I am…



slow to judge


self-aware and grounded in my personal priorities

Certainly there are days when I forget to be some or all of these things, and certainly I have room for improvement in all of these areas and more, but I’m starting to accept and appreciate that, at my core, this is who I am. I’m really not so bad after all! The more I have embraced this idea, the more I’ve come to appreciate and nurture the good in myself. I see the places where I can do better, but slowly I’m learning to celebrate myself as I am, too.


Thank you for reading this post from the I Love Me! Carnival. Please take some time to read the contributions from the
other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the afternoon of October 28th with all the carnival links.)

  • The Art of Being Thoughtful – Becky at Old New Legacy likes that she is mostly thoughtful but wants to become more thoughtful. She shares a story that demonstrates that giving gifts doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • I love me (and running)! – Sheryl of Little Snowflakes writes about her new love of running and how it has helped her learn to love herself!
  • For the Love of Moe – Valerie at Momma in Progress shares her thoughts on a body forever changed, but forever loved.
  • Where I Find My Worth – Sarah at Parenting God’s Children shares how finding her worth in worldly things always falls short.
  • Oh Yeah, I’m Cool – Tree at Mom Grooves shares her very favorite gift and the thing she most wants to pass on to her daughter.
  • Loving – Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about some of the things she loves about herself – some easily, and some by choice for the sake of healing.
  • caught in a landslide – jaqbuncad of wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! shares a list of reasons why zie loves hir body.
  • I Love Me! – A Rampage of Appreciation! – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle stops waiting for anyone else to tell her she is wonderful and goes on a rampage of appreciation for herself!
  • Raising Healthy Daughters – In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Kate Wicker offers tips to pass on a healthy self-image to the young ladies in our care.
  • Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy – How does it feel to have a healthy pregnancy? Dionna at Code Name: Mama discovers that making positive choices can be empowering.
  • Filling Up Our Watering Cans – Nada at miniMOMist believes that practicing Sabbath is the same as being a gardener who lovingly tends to the flowers in her garden. She needs to fill up her watering can first.
  • Better Body by Baby – Jess from Mama ‘Roo and Family Too! shares how having her first baby makes her feel even more beautiful and confident about her body than ever before.
  • These Breasts Were Made for Nursing – Becoming a mother helped Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children to embrace her womanhood and improve her self image.
  • Yeah, I’m Pretty Cool – Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro writes about her own self love and how she hopes to foster the same self-respect in her children.
  • Who I’ve Become – The future is bright with That Mama Gretchen who shares her past and present perspective on body image and how she hopes to become a change agent with her daughter.
  • Ever-Evolving Me – Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about her innate drive to continue learning, growing, and evolving.
  • I love you for your mind – Lauren at Hobo Mama turns a dubious phrase on its head with a little self-loving slam poetry.
  • Stop Think of Love with Your Body – Amy of Peace 4 Parents shares an exercise to gradually transition from hating to loving your body – stretch marks, sags, imperfections, and all.
  • I Love Me! – Jenny @ I’m a full-time mummy shares the things that she loves about herself!
  • First, I’m Superwoman. Later, I’m SupperwomanPatti @ Jazzy Mama explains how she loves taking care of her amazing body. It birthed 4 children, after all!
  • Baby Strikes A Pose – Emma from Your Fonder Heart writes about her family’s decision not to let their 7 month old model, and uses the opportunity to think more deeply about girls (young and old) and how they determine their self-worth.
  • Love Your Tree – How do you picture the ways your body and mind change? Amy at Anktangle writes about how trees help her have perspective about her own growth over time.
  • Pumpkin Butt – Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes about how birth and pumpkins are the way to accepting her body
  • I do love me – Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the lessons about loving herself she wants to pass along to her daughter.
  • Appreciating Who I Am – Linni at An Unschooling Adventure describes the things she likes about herself and the way she appreciates who she is as a person.
  • I love me! : A journey – Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her journey on arriving at the point where she can say: I love me!
  • My Daughter Doesn’t Care So Why Should I? – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama calls herself on the carpet for the image of self love and beauty she portrays in front of her toddler.
  • Finding out who I am – Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares an exercise that helped her identify positive qualities she possesses, and how that has helped her learn to love herself.


25 thoughts on “Finding Out Who I Am

  1. Amy @ Anktangle

    That is such an interesting exercise, and one I’m definitely going to try. I particularly enjoyed hearing that it has allowed you room to celebrate the qualities you admire *in yourself*. I love it! Thank you for sharing this for the carnival. <3

    1. melissa Post author

      I think you’ll be glad you did! Thanks for giving this great prompt – we all need to take time to remember why we’re so worthy of love every now and again. I’m thankful that you organized such a great carnival!

  2. Rach

    From the little amount t I’ve garnered from your blog, I do agree! Nice idea, going to try it myself.
    On the flip side, they do say the things that you dislike in others are the things you dislike in yourself. Not sure I can agree with that one ;-)

    1. melissa Post author

      Every once in awhile, I see that one ring true with me. I think it’s more so the things I desire to change in myself because they’re out of step with our values and the way we truly want to live life. I definitely don’t think it’s always true, though! Thanks for the kindness, Rach!

  3. Emma

    Oh, this was such a lovely post! So many of us are as you describe: mothers who are quick to locate and define our shortcomings, imperfections, things we could have done better willdobetternexttime…

    It’s SO important to be able to identify our strengths and the things that make us awesome! Even if they live alongside the parts we plan to improve upon.

    I love reading your blog!

    1. melissa Post author

      Thank you, Emma. I’m glad you can relate, and really glad you enjoy reading! I definitely never plan to stop improving, but it’s a much gentler process when I can love myself as I work :)

  4. teresa

    I love that list. Those are wonderful qualities to have and that sounds like a really great exercise, and a great friend to lead you through it!
    I think it’s interesting and true that if we can accept these qualities in ourselves, it actually makes it more possible to nurture them. How can we do that if we don’t acknowledge they’re there.
    Yeah, you!!!!!
    I just love this carnival and reading everyone’s sweet posts.

    1. melissa Post author

      I loved it, too! So many great posts! I don’t think I know anyone who couldn’t use a little time to reflect on the good in them every once in awhile.

  5. Terri

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful exercise and the qualities you found in yourself. Certainly take them and a whole lot more. I would really like to do this exercise too.

    On another subject…I had to double take when I reached this blog page. I saw the photo and was like ‘That’s Melissa but the page is different, the name is different, what’s happening?!’ Then I read about your change and understood…congrats on changing your blog to suit you more. Wish you continued blogging joy!
    Terri recently posted..I Love Me ~ A Rampage of Appreciation!My Profile

    1. melissa Post author

      Thank you so much, Terri! I definitely think the exercise is worth the time, though I’m bummed that you all know the ending now. Hopefully it won’t skew your results.

      I’m really glad you worked out what was going on here, despite the confusion. I knew it would throw people off to change the theme, the name, AND the url all at once, but it felt like it was time. Thanks for your supportive feedback!

  6. tinsenpup

    Would it be weird of me to add thoughtful, positive, community spirited, supportive of others and talented writer/journalist to your list?

    I wanted to leave your giveaway to others, but I love your new blog. The name is lovely and the design is beautiful.
    tinsenpup recently posted..Two Deaths; Two BurialsMy Profile

    1. melissa Post author

      Actually, it would totally make my day. It did make my day, in fact. Thank you for the kind words and the continued support. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know you, if only virtually, and always enjoy reading what you have to say. You’re a gem!

    1. melissa Post author

      Hi, Clare. I’m so glad you found me, and that you enjoyed this enough to share it! Thank you for saying hello and letting me know :) I hope you find something new to appreciate about yourself!


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