4.3
July 22, 2021

Self-Love in Action: Learning to Accept Ourselves as we Are.

 

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Have you ever really felt yourself?

That feeling of just owning it, being the bomb, not seeing your flaws or imperfections for once?

Maybe you’re rocking a hot outfit, or having a good hair day. I assume there are days where we all feel like we have it going on. (Feeling bougie-if you will.) You are flaunting yourself down the street and people are taking notice at how light and flowy you are.

I am learning that this can’t be bought in a store. This is self-love in action. This is cleared energy and a knowing that everything will be okay. It’s all those mantras and self-affirmations finally clicking.

A few years ago, I went to school to be a makeup artist and learned about using this magnifying mirror to better be able to see the makeup I was applying. I feel like this is a gift everyone should receive at 30, so that we can be forever humbled.

Every day I look at this thing while I apply my mascara, as it really helps my failing eyesight, but it also lets me see my whole face, flaws and all. I get to look closely into my green eyes and am shown any new wrinkles or dark spots.

For years, I felt not pretty enough, not tall enough, not skinny enough. I let how I felt about myself hold me back from jobs and trying new things like traveling. I wouldn’t show up to events for fear that I didn’t look good enough, I wasn’t smart enough, and I would make a fool of myself. I was scared of what people thought, and it permeated my entire being. I had no peace when I was concerned with what others were thinking of me.

I am learning to embrace all parts of me, bumps and all. I am learning to accept myself as I am. Life is too short to not wear the shorts or the swimsuit.

Have you ever heard the term, “fake it till you make it?”

I learned this early in my recovery program and it means to just act as if you have already arrived. Show up. Show up happy if you can, and if you can’t, try to share about what is going on with you. We can’t fix what we don’t acknowledge.

I think this mirror is a good metaphor for life. We can look deeply into our flaws and defects of character—we may not be able to remove all of them, but we can be willing to try to get better. We aren’t closed off to the possibilities of things in our lives improving; we can be walking the path even if we haven’t quite reached the destination, because where is the destination really?

I’ve always felt like a small fish in a big pond. I wanted to be noticed or at least I thought I wanted to be noticed, but then my insecurities would take over. I think more and more nowadays, I just like to blend in. I don’t want to have to try so hard. I don’t want to worry so much about what others think of me because what I learned a long time ago is people are more concerned with themselves than others. I want to be authentic to my core values and it has taken a while to perfect that recipe.

Thoughts that flow through my head:

“Not too much, but enough of this or that. I want a firm body and to be toned. I don’t want to jiggle when I wave goodbye. I want to be stylish, but not try too hard. ‘Don’t over-accessorize,’ they say. I want to be natural, but not too granola. I want you to like me, but not too much—that will push me away. I need my space.”

Learning how to be authentic to myself started with listening to that still, small voice inside. My inner voice, gut instinct, or higher consciousness. I had to learn that fear was just noise and how to walk through it.

Learning that I usually have nervousness or anxiety around trying new things gave me tools to use to overcome it. I can breathe, write about how I am feeling, talk to someone about the feelings I am having, and when all else fails, I just do it anyway. I walk through the fear. Most of the things I am worried about don’t happen and I end up being glad I tried.

We don’t always feel ready, but the point of this article is that life won’t wait for us. It keeps moving whether we are coming or not. I want to do the things my heart desires and not be waiting on the sidelines because I am too scared or don’t think I’m pretty or skinny enough. Let’s take a deep, hard look at those ideals in our minds that are holding us back. How can we overcome the fear or insecurities we have and start living this one precious life of ours?

I don’t have a lot of people in my life, but the ones who are there now are hand chosen. There are no show-offs. No one is rushing off to get botox or the newest Jimmy Choos. We are chill. There isn’t any competition. No one is trying to outdo the others.

My relationships feel authentic to me. I think it’s because I have become authentic to myself. The vibe I’m putting out is what I am receiving back. I am finding my people because I am finding myself. Finally.

I recently read a book by Shannon Kaiser called, The Self Love Experiment.

Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom I received:

“Learning to love yourself is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the world. Because when you love yourself that’s one less person in hate, and one less person in pain. When you love yourself, you not only uplift yourself but you help to uplift the entire world.”

She goes on the say, “Part of self-love is learning how to speak your voice and be who you are unapologetically.”

“I release any fear that tells me I should have already arrived somewhere other than this present moment.”

“Enjoy the space between where you are and where you are going.”

“Self-Love is not about how you look or what you do; it’s about how you live.”

I hope they help you as much as they helped me.

I have my days where I’m up and days where I’m down. Being introspective and learning to not beat myself up and to show myself kindness and compassion regardless of where I fall has been the greatest keep to finding my inner beauty.

Keep shining, friends.

~

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