I know you have done it. I do it too. You stand in front of the mirror peering at yourself and pick out all your little imperfections. "There are blackheads on my nose", "My hair is graying/or thinning", "My skin puckers on my arm here, I need to cover that up", "Holy cow, I've got a Costco sized muffin top!" You stare and stare and stare, picking yourself apart until all you see are shapes and blobs and flaws all over the place. You leave the mirror unhappy and grumpy, resolved to make changes and get rid of those imperfections so people can see the real you, the perfect you.
What I guess we don't realize is that what we see, right now, the person you see in the mirror is the real and perfectly you. It is so easy to peer at ourselves and compare our features to those that we idolize (models/movie stars) or aspire/train to be like (athletes). But that is like comparing apples to oranges, and wholly unfair. I'm not saying that you may never have a toned, sleek body like Lauren Fleshman, for example. However there is a reason why these people are famous and at the top of the game, it is for the most part, that they are genetically dispositioned that way. If we all looked like these people, then they wouldn't be special or stand out from the crowd for us to admire. It's not even something that they necessarily had done (plastic surgery, etc), it's what they were born with and learned to use and cultivate.
I don't know about you, but I tend to think to myself, "Oh...if I workout my arms really hard and eat a really strict diet, I can get rid of my saggy underarms and cellulite", or "if I wear this type of clothing I can hide (x body part) and feel better about going out in public with my fit friends", or "if I could get to this weight, I know I will be happier." I'm always saying I will be happier if I do/or get "x", but what if "x" never happens? Will I be unhappy all my life? Why would/should "x" have anything to do with my overall happiness in life?
These flaws that I see are just a part of me, part of what makes me, but it is only one small piece of the large, complicated puzzle that is who I am. Yet those small pieces are what I focus on, what I lament about and what I let run my whole self worth on. But I am more than those imperfections that I see. People may not even see those flaws that I tend to dwell on and rib myself about. So why waste all this energy being upset/concerned about somethings so small about me, when I can celebrate and be thankful for all the other great things about me?
Don't get me wrong, I will always have those imperfections, they are a part of me, and I will work to make small changes so that I don't let them run my psyche and make me feel like my self worth is only as good as my imperfections. Though what can be an imperfection to me, may be a desirable trait to someone else, we all have our own views about it. What I may admire on someone else's body (man, I wish I had that woman's toned arms!), may be her imperfection (oh I wish my arms didn't look so frail!).
So I am going to do something I've never done here before. I am going to do a post series, meaning several posts about the same subject in multiple parts. I want us to explore what we love about our "selves". We can easily mutter out a list of things about us that we wish we could change or do without, but we rarely talk about things that we love, admire and are proud of about our body, our "self".
So for the next four Wednesdays I will cover a theme to talk about. I will post pictures and admissions about this theme and I encourage you to follow along and post your own admissions. This will be a way for us to reveal our respect, love, honor and cultivation of our very best traits, seen and unseen. My hope is that this will help to open our eyes to see the big picture, that we are so much more than our imperfections, we are completely wonderful, extraordinary people, flaws and all.