"Sometimes I like to pull an inspirational card for the day. I shuffle the cards and hope for a card that says, "Romance," "Abundance" or "Answered Prayer." Sometimes I do receive one of those cards, but most times I pull a card that is about increasing my self-love. One card that especially pulls on my heart strings is the "Self-acceptance" card. I usually nod and begrudgingly remember that this attribute is important for me to embody.
Self-acceptance encompasses so many layers for me that it has felt impossible for me to achieve. Mainly because I haven"t known what true, healthy self-acceptance feels like. In fact, it has been a journey of trial and error when it comes to self-love, self-acceptance, self-confidence and self-worth. One area that has been particularly difficult and even elusive is body acceptance. Each time I look at the "Self-acceptance" card, I am reminded of it because there is a lovely nude angel depicted on the card.
I have taken some necessary steps to begin developing body acceptance:
Dress for my body type
Peruse media that is size inclusive
Shop at retail stores that are size inclusive
Remember the parts of my body that I love
Have gratitude for my body and its strength, health and resilience, and
Spend time with people that accept me as I am
When I remind myself of these steps, I hear within, "These are all great and important, but how do I relax into my body and say yes to the parts that I am embarrassed by?" The inner guidance that usually shows itself is, "Surrender." Then the petulant inner teenager retorts, "Ok, how? I want to be like the sexy, skinny, exotic women that I see around me and on TV." Again the answer gently repeats, "Surrender."
What that means to me is: surrender to what the body is and is not. Surrender because you are not meant to look or be like those women. You are meant to be you, perfectly imperfect. What you see on TV and on social media, for the most part, isn"t real. It is altered, filtered, distorted and augmented through surgical procedures and/or digital intervention. Surrender to the fact that the women you see in the media are setting an unrealistic, nearly unreachable standard of beauty in order to make money and gain fame. You are not those women. You have a different path to walk and a different message to convey. Surrender.
So each time I pull the "Self-acceptance" card nowadays, I remember to surrender what I think my body should be and continue to work on loving it for what it already is."