I’ve always wondered what self-acceptance feels like. That great big love for yourself you always hear about in women’s magazines, and in the interviews of successful people who seem to have everything you wish for… and will never attain.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve yet to wake up in the morning feeling overwhelmed by self-love. I might wake up feeling love for my partner, my cat, or the world at large. But for myself…
“Love your neighbour as yourself”, Jesus said in what seemed simple enough instructions. Yet, many people, myself included, go through life treating themselves like their least favourite friend, not showing much patience or kindness and occasionally calling themselves names.
So a few days ago, as I was washing my face and pondering a difficult decision (to quit or not to quit my job), I was surprised to hear a gentle interior voice say to me: “you’re okay, really“.
This may seem like nothing to you, but it reminded me of something. I once had a boyfriend who was the coolest thing in the universe, with a cheeky smile and a punkrocker’s attitude to everything. Whenever he’d come across something great, not wanting to lose his cool by showing enthusiasm, he’d say “that’s okay, really”.
Just like him now, I’m not going for full-blown enthusiasm. My inner critic may not be going all BFF on me just yet, but at least we’re finally rooting for the same team. Of course it lasted only a few minutes. But it felt wonderful.
Now let me tell you something. If this happened to me, for no reason while I wasn’t even trying, it can happen to anybody. You better be prepared.
Some day, out of the blue…
You might look back upon your life so far and think you haven’t done too badly, overall.
You might be happy knowing you have done your best.
You might look into the mirror and no longer see the extra pounds or wrinkles (yes, the ones other people swear never existed but you just know are there).
You might see someone beautiful in their own, unique way.
You might look at the work you do and think, perhaps you’re doing enough.
You might no longer feel like a fraud, and let go of the fear of being found out.
IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND
You will shed the illusion of your own criticism like you take off a heavy winter coat.
You will feel lighter.
There will be a new breeze on your skin, which you never knew was there because of the big coat
You will feel so alive that you will wonder how to contain so much joy.
You will no longer feel the need to be or act different.
You will be at home in your own skin.
Even if the doubts return after a moment, you and I both will know that it IS possible be our own best friends.
And once we’ve done it once, there must be a way we can do it again.