Self-love. The struggle is real.
If you were to sneak inside my head for a week, my internal dialogue would include a lot of what you’d expect. A never-ending to-do list, constant reminders, and yeah, residual mommy brain that persists even though my son is now three years old. What you might not expect the inner voice of a self-described “champion of women” to include are the same critical thoughts I try to quiet in the minds of our clients. While my work is built around seeing the best in other women, I still struggle to do the same for myself. I’d be a big ol’ liar if I said I was Positive Piper all the time. Pull back the curtain of my psyche and you’ll find the same fragile spots like everyone else.
So what then? Chalk all this self-doubt up to a universal quality of women? Like a birthright, we must learn to accept? Ack, no thanks. There has to be another way.
How “enough” can lead to so much more.
A few months ago while driving past a pet shop, I spotted a store vehicle parked outside. The words “Unconditional love” had been painted on the side of the truck with pictures of a pooch. Since I was driving past, I didn’t have much context for the company’s marketing slogan, but I didn’t really need it. I knew what they were getting at. The relationship of pets and their people, people and their pets, well it often times means love without limits. I know a few people would give everything they have to take care of their dog if needed.
This got me thinking, “Why don’t we treat ourselves the same way?” Our self worth is subject to our variant moods and impossible to satisfy standards. In other words, it’s conditional. “I’d like myself more if…my pores were smaller, my boobs were fuller, my skin softer, my teeth whiter, my nose smaller, my legs tanner….” If we wrote down all the insecurities our clients have voiced over the years, the list would stretch down our stairs and out the door.
What if we simply said I am enough? Period. Not, “I’d love myself if” or “I love myself, but….” Adding those little words, but, if, except – effectively punts the benefits of self-acceptance beyond our reach. From this place of love comes the RGS–real good shit. What I mean is, when you stop focusing on the fixes and upgrades you think you need, you free up room for so much more. And I don’t mean in the superficial sense. I mean more peace. More courage. More confidence.
Letting go of judgment can make all the difference, (according to Oprah).
While I’m not a qualified expert in this area (and I tend to be wary of most people who claim to be) there’s one woman who’s earned the right to speak on this subject.
Oprah Winfrey wrote, “Say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks. Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.
This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the storyline that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”
Like I said at the beginning, I’m no Zen master with an impenetrable wall of self-esteem. But I’m working on it. So, while you might think all this is all still a load of BS, why not try it out? You might be surprised.
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