I have crossed a threshold that I didn’t even know existed. It could be an age thing. I am about to turn 42. I’ve heard about these shifts from women in their forties and fifties. Maybe it’s because I’m loved and cherished in a really awesome way in my intimate relationship. Maybe it’s because I just got tired of fighting.
But it probably has mostly to do with the fact that I’ve been working diligently on it for some time now, developing practices, doing work around it, dialoging, journaling, meditating, and self-therapy, because I wanted out of the vicious and cruel body-loathing trap I’d been in for so long. Here’s what’s up:
I am finally in love with who I am.
It seems that for the most part, the war against my body has ended. The “enemy” has retreated. I have surrendered into the soft, safe place of radical, total self-acceptance. I have come home to myself, to finally find a resting place.
I’ve always been fond of who I am, “spirit-wise.” My soul, my personality, my gifts, yada, yada. Even my face, my hair. But there was so much hostility, quite frankly, toward my body.
I have spent the majority of my life, up til recently, hating parts of my body. Hiding parts of my body. Wishing, crunching, diet-pilling, loathing, comparing.
But this shift has opened me up enough to love my totality. And that means my body, too. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still like to be more fit, to release some weight, to be healthier. But this motivation to make changes is coming now from a place of love vs. loathing, a place of kindness vs. cruelty. Imagine the freedom that exists in that shift. I am just beginning to grasp it, myself.
In the meantime, I am cherishing my body, as is. It’s miraculous and magical functions, its shapes and lines, curves and even its bulges and fleshliness. It’s softness and generous areas, it is my home.
These days, I rarely find myself in cruel thoughts. If I do, they are fleeting and quick as I have learned how to shift my thoughts, to change directions. Mostly, these days, I am inhabiting my body fully. I am loving it and grateful for its relentless generosity and grace.
Bear in mind: Self-acceptance is not resignation. Like “Oh, this is just the way I am, I might as well give up trying to release weight, or get healthy…” Self-acceptance is not giving up.
Self-acceptance is taking off from a love-based launching pad.
It’s a foundation rooted in kindness instead of cruelty.
It’s rich, potent soil from which amazing things can grow, instead of the rocky, gritty, nutrient-deficient gravel of self-loathing.
All the work I’ve been doing to love myself is finally paying off. I am loving myself more fully, completely, entirely than I ever have before.
It’s a brave, new world.
I dare you to explore this brave, new world for yourself. You would not believe the energy that opens up, the new “white space” you’ll have in your soul, in your mind, new freedoms and fuel to express yourself, to do what you came here to do.
Stop wasting your time and energy hating your body.
Inhabit your body with a spirit of curiosity and inquiry: How can I love you better? How can I take care of you today? What are you trying to tell me? What do you need? What do you desire?
And you’ll discover, in this work, a sense of coming home after a long and exhausting trip. Relax into the body that is, in this moment.
It is what it is.
Can you love yourself enough to accept your body, right now, in this moment, as it is?
Coming home starts with one step, one decision, one choice. And then another, and then another… and eventually, you find yourself returned, whole and complete.
Author’s note: The journey never ends. Seems I’d just launched this blog and have been plagued by waves of melancholic body-image/self-esteem bullshit. Harsh and bitter body analysis. Bunch of bleh. Blaming it on full moon, hormones, lack of endorphins/exercise, whatever it is, it’s there. Ironic, eh? But I am making progress. This I know.