top of page
Search

Falling In Love With Yourself

Falling in Love with Yourself: The Art of Body Acceptance





For my entire life it feels that the world has told me to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty and behavior which has been confusing depending on what part of the world I happened to be in.


For some, I was too fat because western culture says that to be beautiful one must aspire to look like a twelve year-old boy, while in other cultures I needed more weight to show that I was "well off" with plenty of food to eat.


Many found my skin to be too dark while others thought it wasn't quite black enough. I have the skin of my Nigerian ancestors, but in my DNA resides the memory of my Native and Irish kin from whom I also descended.


And don't even get me started on hair!


Then there are the questions of personality. Was I too quick to anger or didn't I get angry enough? Was I speaking too loudly, too softly? Was I giving too much or too little?


One of the luxuries of growing older is you begin to care less and less about other people's opinions. However, I spend a great deal of time working with women who are younger than I am, and I see first hand the negative affect faulty perceptions can have on one's self esteem.


Add social media to the mix and it can be dehumanizing!


Years ago, I had someone tell me that I didn't practice self-love. I thought she was ridiculous because I took great care of myself lifting weights three days a week with a trainer, practicing yoga and meditating each morning, and dieting, and I had a standing appointment with my stylist, masseuse, and aesthetician. I was determined to whip myself into a shape that the world would find attractive. Yet, the program that ran behind this frenzy was critical and self-loathing. If I only I could be [you fill in the blank], then I would be good enough!


And that recording was on replay! I shudder to think what I would have done if my negative self talk was audible to others. Although I said I loved myself (and spent a whole lot of money trying to prove it), the messages in my head were not kind and the way I treated my body was violent!


More so, I failed to maintain healthy boundaries. I was so consumed with the disease to please that I constantly poured from an empty cup. I allowed people to take from me without ever giving anything in return and to use up my energy, resources, and time as if I had an endless supply.


My friend had been right all along, and I had been lying to myself!


I've since learned that not everyone deserves a front row seat to my life, and I'm the only one responsible for my energy! It's okay to shut the door on people and things when there is not an even exchange of energy!


I do know that many women, at one time or another, have struggled with low self-esteem and negative self-talk, and we have found ourselves seeking validation from others. But the truth is falling in love with ourselves and accepting ourselves just as we are is crucial and it requires us to turn inward.


When I speak to women in groups or in private coaching sessions, I often bring up social media because I see how easy it has made it for women to compare themselves to others. We often see flawless images of celebrities, influencers, and even our friends, and wonder why we can't look like them, be like them, but we forget that these images are carefully curated to send a particular message and that message is not always truthful!


So often we think self-care is about bubble-baths and face-masks, but it runs deeper than that. It means doing things that make us feel good about ourselves. This can include a social media detox, moving our body for the sheer joy of movement and not to reach a particular goal. It means shutting down that negative inner critic and keeping people who don't add value to our lives at arm's length distance. Most of all, it's learning to show ourselves that we are worthy right now without having to do or change a single thing!


If you're struggling to embrace all of you and to love yourself unconditionally, I challenge you to begin writing down the negative thoughts you have about yourself and replacing them with positive ones. For example, instead of saying "I hate my thighs," try saying "I am grateful for my strong legs that allow me to move and be active" or "I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"


I also want to encourage you to take inventory of the people who are in your inner circle. Do they speak life into you or do they make you feel bad about some aspect of your physical or spiritual body? Although it may not be easy to delete everyone from your life, I encourage you to take the negative ones in small doses and to surround yourself with people who uplift and support you, and who remind you of your worth!


Falling in love with yourself and accepting your body is a journey, and it won't happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a commitment to yourself, but you're worth it!


If you need a coach, know that I am always here. If you need a community of supportive women, we would love to have you as part of The North Star Community! From now until February 14th, you can join for free by simply emailing me at michelle@thenorthstarllc.com


And I can't wait to see you at Galentine's Day, February 10th, from 4:00- 7:00 pm, at 100 Taylor Street for a celebration of friendship and self-love.


Michelle



10 views0 comments
bottom of page