Well, we are three weeks into this body series Be Good to Your "Self" project, where we are talking about what we love or appreciate about ourselves. The first week was Engage, where we talked about our best facial feature, the second week was Enjoy, where we talked about our best body feature. This week is along the theme of acceptance and appreciation, but it's about the thing we are pushing against, our flaws.
I know, how can talking about flaws be positive? Well, it's all about perspective. We can talk about positive things in negative ways and make the whole conversation negative, it's all about structure and wording. I have flaws, just like everyone else. I see them every time I look in the mirror. I know exactly where they are and my eyes go to that point every time I go in front of the mirror. It's like my sub-conscious is keeping tabs on them to make sure I'm reminded. "Is it still there? Oh yep, right where it was before." Yes, they are still there but you know what happens? I leave my place in front of the mirror and get on with my life.
Yes, life still goes on even though I have flaws and everyone can see them! I'll wait and let you process that for a second, go ahead, I'm patient.
Yes...we live, we breathe, we work, we play, we interact and are present in our lives everyday with our flaws in plain sight...and we do really well too. We are people in the workplace, spouses, parents, friends, loved ones, family members, members of society. Our flaws are our character, they can tell a story, share a journey, be lasting wounds from a hard fought battle and bring pride.
Which brings us to today's theme word: Embrace. One meaning of the word embrace means: accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically. (dictionary) That's pretty meaningful when you accept something willingly and with enthusiasm, it means you are doing so with an open and caring heart. I want us to use this same acceptance, this same enthusiasm in regards to our flaws. This flaw is a part of you, it makes up you, but it doesn't define you. You are more than your flaw. To be honest, the people that know and love you likely don't even notice the flaw that you are so focused on. They have embraced it, how about you do the same?
My flaw is something that I have struggled with all my life and I will likely struggle with it for the duration. I can't hide my flaw, it's on every part of my body. It's my weight. I've always been big, I've always been overweight. Even when I exercise consistently and strenuously I can get to a certain weight and size, but then I will plateau and then slowly creep back up again. I can never seem to break through and get lower than the sizes in the "teens" or keep it off consistently, or even permanently. I won't crash diet, I won't starve myself, I want to lose it healthfully so that I can successfully keep it off. I gained more weight with my pregnancy and I have been having a very tough time trying to lose it. Somehow it feels like the baby weight doesn't want to leave and is actually more difficult to burn off than the fat I had before the pregnancy. So bizarre and frustrating.
Why yes, I am 6 months postpartum and still wearing maternity clothes
But it's me, this is me. This is who I am, I am me, with some extra baggage. I'm a work in progress and am actively trying to reduce my weight. Now I know you are saying, "How can you embrace your weight when you are actively trying to get rid of it? Isn't that the opposite of embracing?" Actually, no. I am embracing me as the person with flaws that I am. For the first time in my life I am finally embracing that this is a flaw I will have all my life and it will never go away, this will be my constant struggle. And while I am trying to make my body more healthy should I hate myself and tear myself down for not "being there already"? Have you ever asked for something from someone and instead of being nice and kind to them, you were mean and nasty? Is that person more likely to help you if you are nice and kind or mean and nasty?
Kindness, especially to yourself, can go a long way. Being down on yourself does nothing but keep you sinking lower into the downward spiral of animosity towards your flaw. Now, some flaws can be changed (like my weight) and some can't be changed (like scars, for example). Those scars are constant reminders of your successful triumph over an obstacle that tried to keep you down. You are here, still kicking and living your life. These flaws, however small or large they may be, should be embraced, need to be embraced, because until they are you will never fully heal and move on. So come with me, lets move on together, lets embrace our flaws and let the healing begin.