So I’ve recently reconnected with a woman I lost touch with a few years ago. I can’t understand how it happened either. She’s smart, open-minded, easy to talk to, funny, and interested in a lot of things which makes talking with her fun, inspiring and thought provoking. I really enjoyed her company but somehow, we drifted apart. I started feeling negative towards her. I began judging EVERYTHING she said or did. I ignored her. I shamed her body. I talked shit about her to anyone who would listen. That woman didn’t deserve it but I couldn’t see that. That woman was me.
Stop and take a moment and really think about how you speak to yourself and about yourself. What do you think when you look in the mirror? Do you shame the parts you don’t like? Do you wish for different eyes, thighs or bodies? Or do you shower yourself with love? How do you respond when you receive a compliment? Do you brush it aside? Do you retort with some reason for the basis of the compliment? Do you meekly say thank you? Or do you hold your head high and gracefully accept it?
What about your opinion of yourself? Do you typically start with the flaws? Do you focus on your flaws? Or do you confidently announce the ways that make you uniquely and awesomely you?
I know what I would do. But I am making a conscious decision to treat myself the same way I would treat my friends and family: with love, understanding and compassion.
This weekend I made a choice that upset me. My husband and I got a babysitter for the night and we went to our local watering hole and I had one too many beers. I felt like shit afterwards for two reasons: one, I had made a commitment to avoid intoxication for the year and I had betrayed my word and two, I physically, emotionally and mentally felt like shit the next morning. I berated myself all morning for my actions. It was ridiculous. Then I stopped, took a deep breath and said, “if Nichole or Amber or Krissy said this to me, what would I say to them?” After zero hesitation I knew I wouldn’t tell them the things I had been telling myself:”ya, you’re right, you do suck.” Or “you’re right, you shouldn’t have had those beers, what were you thinking?” Or “Dammit girl, you made a promise to yourself, how dare you break that? You’re THE worst.” NO. I would never say that to them.
I would probably be sympathetic yet reasonable.
“Sure, you made a commitment but sometimes we break those for silly reasons. It happens. It doesn’t make you a disloyal or bad person. Tomorrow is a new day to start fresh and with a clear head, so recommit yourself then. You had some fun, you let loose and after everything you’ve been through, a drunken night isn’t the worst thing you could’ve done. Be gentle with yourself.”
So I stopped the negative self-blathering and I talked to myself the same way I would to a friend. I talked to myself with love and you know what? I forgave myself and I stopped seeing it as such a bad choice.
Another way I’ve committed to my new best friend is to honour her. I look in the mirror now and I honour where she is at physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually/physically. Where I use to see a “muffin top” I now see womanly curves and softness. I see soft skin not marred by stretch marks despite giving birth. I see a perfect body: I have ten toes, ten fingers, all my limbs. They all work. That is perfection. Imagine how many people in the world would love to have their amputated leg or arm back? I’m so grateful now for the vessel my soul is residing in. I tell her she’s beautiful, even on the days where I know she doesn’t feel it. I tell her she’s on her own journey and to take gentle steps to get to where she wants to go. I’m done obsessing over the scale, the calories, the size of my hips. What we resist, persists. And the more I let these be the obstacles in the way of the lifestyle I want, the more it will persist and hold me back. So again, I’ve surrendered.
I also am doing yoga again. I’ve finally found a teacher that speaks to the trifecta of my unity. My mind, body and spirit soar when I experience her class/videos and I feel myself becoming stronger, more limber and more willing to try new poses I wouldn’t have attempted a few months ago. I am falling in love with my body and my soul is sighing with relief. She’s singing “finally” through her smiles, her gentleness, her surrendering.
I am gently re-evaluating my relationship with food as well. My best friend and I now see food as nourishing fuel as opposed to the previous “rewards” of garbage processed junk and sugars. I want to give my body the foods that will optimally help this temple run at its highest potential. I have been adding more plant-based meals into my diet without obsession or fervency. It’s been a gentle transition that doesn’t feel like one of the fad diets I had done so many times before. It just feels right. I am listening to my body and my body is communicating back; only this time, it’s with love and understanding.
I tell you all this because if you know me, you know I’ve hated my body (like many women) for years. I have yo-yo dieted, did the fad diets, bought the at home workout DVD’s, joined the gym to never go, obsessed over inches and pounds and so, if I am at peace, YOU can find peace too.
Start treating yourself as you would anyone you love in your life. It has the power to shift your perception, make implementing healthier choices easier and gives you a peace you’ll never know unless you love yourself fiercely.
Love yourself deeply, honestly, boldy and unapologetically. It’s time to stop treating ourselves like dirt and start treating ourselves like the stars we are.
United We Rise,