I’ve found that I can not grow without first accepting who I am. When I fail to do this, there are inevitable conflicts that arise.
Let’s say, for example, that I want to lose some weight. Some part of me has already determined that I am not acceptable the way I am. Maybe this would be okay if my health was at stake, and I truly needed to lose weight to save my own life.
But that’s not my case right now.
I want it for other reasons. I’m not sure I even know what they all are. A couple pop into my mind. I believe I would be physically more comfortable shedding some pounds. My clothes would fit better. And I would look better.
Hold on, wait a minute. I need to ask myself an important question.
Who would I look better to? Who do I feel I need to please? What benefit is it to me to please someone else? What do I need from them, that would cause me to alter how I look at myself?
I have to stop and answer these vital questions.
If I am trying to lose weight for someone else, haven’t I already contaminated my purpose?
There’s more to it. If I am trying to lose weight and get on the scale every day and am disappointed with my results, a part of me refuses to accept me as I am. There is a sense of sadness and maybe anger.
I am forced to wonder; will I ever be able to accept me as I am? Is there some magic number on the scale that will satisfy me?
Let’s say for the sake of argument that there is a magic number and that I convince myself that I will always be happy with this number. The obvious challenge now is, how do I stay there? What amount of time and energy and commitment will it take to remain at this ‘ideal’ weight? This arbitrary number I’ve chosen, becomes my prison sentence.
So, I ask, what is it going to take to release this kind of thinking?
A companion question comes up. What is the comparison between remaining at this restrictive target weight and seeking and finding self-acceptance of who and what I am and, in this case, what I look like to myself?
Which is the far greater prize?
If I listen carefully, I hear my answer. ‘You are loved, just the way you are. You do not need to do anything to be worthy of love.’
The voice goes on to say, ‘Love is yours for the asking. You are acceptable just as you are. Once you know this as true for you, you can change anything in your life. You can change anything, not because of fear, but because of love. You can add more love into your life and shift whatever you choose, not because you feel you need to, but because you see new possibilities and hold new dreams.’
This is what I was waiting for. A way to release my fears and embrace self-acceptance, knowing it belongs to me.
I hope that you know it belongs to you too.
As you’ve been reading this, our focus has been on weight loss, but self-acceptance is so much more than this. It applies to every aspect of our lives, and the answer is always the same. ‘You are loved just the way you are.’
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