Who says we can only love certain parts of our body?
Who says I can love some parts of my body because they are soft and giggly, but I shouldn’t love other parts because they are soft and giggly?
Who says I can only love parts of my body if they are skinny, flat, round, or muscular?
Who says I am too skinny, too voluptuous, too muscular, not muscular enough?
Who says I must have a certain face, certain skills, certain possessions to be allowed to experience happiness on a daily basis, on a moment by moment basis?
Who says I can only love myself when I achieve perfection, when I have no sins, when I operate at peak productive deficiency?
Who made these rules? And why do we subscribe to them?
Why do we allow them to dictate whether we’re happy or sad, feel good or bad about ourselves?
I cant think of any good reason. Can you?
Ultimately even if society made these rules, we each have the control to make our own rules.
I do know this: Life is short. We never know when our time might be up.
People who are faced with their own death usually realize with crystal clarity that rules that stifle our happiness are ridiculous and silly.
So why wait for the end of your life to realize that you wasted so much time worrying about your appearance or perfection in any area of your life? Why not decide today to love yourself and be happy. When you do this you are better able to love others and experience a rich life.
We have two basic choices when it comes to self acceptance: to accept ourselves unconditionally or to only accept parts of ourselves . Both choices are yours to make. But one of these will give you a good quality of life and the other will limit you and your happiness.
This is not to say that you won’t have times of challenge with regards to your self image, but that after you passed through those challenging emotions you are left with a simple choice.
Would you like to feel happy and good about yourself, or not?
So how do we choose unconditional self acceptance?
What are the action steps? Let’s take a look at that now.
Unconditional Self Acceptance
Whatever self-acceptance challenges you might have you CAN learn to love all of yourself. Try these simple steps.
- Decide that you want to make your own rules about loving yourself. Contemplate the ridiculous notion of following societies rules about self acceptance.
- Decide that you are going to love yourself and all parts of your body unconditionally. You might want to write this down in a journal to cement it in your mind set. Consider not only how your judge your physical body, but also your thoughts and your actions. Realize with a sense of compassion that you are simply a human soul that is learning as you go, making mistakes and changing course. Sometimes making the same mistakes continuously. If you decide to love yourself unconditionally you have a better chance at making better choices going forward. Regarding productivity, we put way too much emphasis on this. Try this new belief: “I do what I can do each day with as much love as possible. That is enough.”
- Establish a set of mantras that you are going to affirm in your mind on a frequent basis. Here are some examples: (write these and your own down in a journal
- I love myself unconditionally
- I love you (fill in your name here)
- I am good and perfect just the way I am.
- I deserve love no matter what (No conditions!)
- Use these mantras at least three times a day for 5 minutes each:
- Upon waking
- Mid day
- Before sleep
- Use these mantras when faced with challenging situations. Examples:
- You look in the mirror and see something about yourself that you don’t like. Say to yourself “I love you (fill in your name.)” Repeat this several times with a true feeling of love.
- You’re working out and you suddenly have the thought that this isn’t making any difference. Say to yourself “I love you (your name)” summoning up true feelings of love in your heart. Repeat mentally continually. (This actually has the side benefit of making your workout much easier! Don’t believe me, try it for yourself!)
- You miss a deadline, you fall short of your to-do list, you’re running late, etc. Say to yourself: “I do what I can do each day with as much love as possible. That is enough. I love you (your name.)”
- Set up reminders:
- Visual reminders such as sticky notes or a bracelet.
- Alarm reminders on your smart phone or computer.
Repeat the steps for at least a whole month until it becomes a new habit.
The idea is to be kind to yourself. The idea is to recognize the love that your body gives to you on a daily basis and then giving it back in return. Everyone of your trillions of cells serves you tirelessly 24 /7, around the clock, year in and year out.
Recognize the service of your cells for what it is: they love you. And they want you to be happy. Nothing will make your little cells happier than if you are happy. And nothing will make you happier than accepting and loving yourself unconditionally.
So I’ll say it again:
I do know this: Life is short. Love is the only thing that really matters.
Decide to be happy.
Decide to love yourself.
Establish your own rules to make this happen.
Anything less is just silly.