Why I don't strive for self-acceptance anymore

CC photo via Helga Weber on  Flickr

CC photo via Helga Weber on Flickr

I’ve been extra drawn to my yoga and meditation practice lately. The passing of an old friend made me realize how precious life is and step back to take inventory of my life. It’s been a week of soul searching, crying and important conversations with myself and my husband.

I teach self-acceptance, self-love, patience and presence, but the truth is I struggle in these areas.

I’ve grown so much, especially in overcoming my eating disorder, but I have more space to grow. I think often times we teach others the lessons we need to learn ourselves. 

I’ve become a professional at not letting negative thoughts control my life.

But they still exist. I’m unfairly hard on myself. When I look in the mirror, my mind points out everything that is wrong with me. My trained instinct is to shake it off, practice self-acceptance and move on with my day. I breathe deeply. I meditate. I practice heart openers. I channel compassion. I move on.

But I want more than that. 

Life is short, and I don’t want to waste my energy tearing myself down. It does no good. It’s a disservice to myself and even to others, because if my mind is focused on my thighs I can’t be present and share my light with you.

My mind is set: I’m graduating.

I’m graduating from self-acceptance and starting my degree in self-love.

When I look in the mirror, I want my first inclination to be to focus on things I like about myself rather than things I don’t like. Rather than instinctively turning toward self-acceptance, I wish to instinctively turn toward self-love. And when I’m with loved ones or teaching in the studio, I want to give my full energy and presence to them, devoting my energy to my purpose and passions. 

I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don’t have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?
— Shailene Woodley

Because the truth is that when I pass, people won’t remember me for my thighs, or any part of my body. We remember others for how they made us feel. And the only thing my insecurity makes you feel is insecure yourself. 

I hadn't seen Jay in a long time. He was a friend from high school I lost touch with. But I remember how he made me feel. I remember his hugs and I remember he made me feel safe, comfortable and loved. 

This is a big transition in my life and I can feel my insides shifting around, adjusting to this new chapter.

A chapter of love. Of truly embracing and loving all of me. Of moving past self-acceptance and opening myself up to radical self-love. And of sharing that love and light with others, giving them my full presence and knowing that it's a gift. I know it will take time but I also know I'll succeed. I can feel it. I want it. I’m ready. 

Where do you want to spend your energy? What deserves your time, your light and your love?

If you knew life would end tomorrow, would you do today differently today?

So … what’s stopping you from living that life now? After all, now is all we’ve got.