Hello beautiful people!
So it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything here, like I said in the beginning of this blog, sometimes it’s difficult to find a balance between life and this blog but I am working on it (yay!). So I’ve been feeling a little uninspired in terms of blog topics lately, there hasn’t really been anything that has sort of sparked the writing fire in my fingertips and couple that with a little writer’s block and it’s just, well, not good. But, I’ve been thinking about something lately that I am going to attempt to put on paper, and it’s about self-acceptance and living life without being controlled by labels.
So there have been a few events that have happened in my life recently that have made me wonder and ponder this idea of self acceptance. What exactly is self acceptance? Now, I am not going to feed you some definition from Wikipedia or from some fancy dictionary because self acceptance means something different for everyone. For me, self acceptance was and is about accepting myself as I am, without using labels to define aspects of myself. Just being able to look at myself in the mirror of life and being satisfied and content with the person looking back at me. For years I’ve struggled (and still sometimes struggle) with looking at myself and being able to be content with that person looking back because I’ve always felt like I needed to be more. I needed to be more perfect, I needed to be more beautiful, more outgoing, more intelligent, better at this or that, skinnier, all of these things, these labels that I believed were important. It’s taken years to be able to accept that I already am more, I am more than all of these things, these labels. I am more than perfect; I am perfectly imperfect. That I already am beautiful. That these flaws that I wanted to change in order to be more perfect and to feel more beautiful were already those things. That these flaws are what make me me, that they are what make me beautiful and more than that, unique. And that flaws can actually be powerful in all their imperfection. That sometimes being shy instead of outgoing is my strength because it’s made me more open minded, more compassionate and a more understanding human being because I’ve been able to sit back and observe the world as it is without needing to say anything. That I already am intelligent, even if it looks different to other people. That my body size is irrelevant as long as I am healthy and happy. Once I began to realize these things, I started to see a shift in the way I was seeing myself and the way I started to look at other people.
When you take the time to think about, labels mean absolutely nothing (Note: there are some labels that do mean something and can be quite powerful, I am not talking about those labels so chill out), they are things that people, throughout our lives have told us we need to be in order to be acceptable to them. It’s like being a robot and having someone rewire you, and completely change who you are into who they want you to be and then repeatedly try to convince you that this is who you actually are until you finally believe it. The funny thing is, is that we actually give power to these things we are told because we believe them to be our truths, I mean they must be because everyone else told us they are . Once I wrapped my brain around that and realized how ridiculous it was, the power of the label kind of dwindled and I was able to look at myself without needing to put a label on it. I became Melanie the person as she is, instead of Melanie the perfectionist that wasn’t quite perfect or Melanie the shy, unattractive, unintelligent girl. Now this journey to self-acceptance hasn’t happened overnight and I still struggle with it, I am only human. But once I started to recognize that no one has the power to tell me who I am and what my truth is, I was able to start looking at myself in a kinder light and in my own light. It’s kind of amazing how a change in perspective on things can, over time completely change the way we see ourselves.
Self-acceptance is literally a journey that you will take everyday of your life for the rest of your life because there will always be something that will make you question who you are. But I firmly believe that once you recognize that the power is always in your hands when it comes to what you believe to be true about yourself, that is half the battle. The second half of the battle is finding the strength within yourself to love yourself through that and that has been the hardest part for me. Recognizing what was labels and what wasn’t and letting go of the control they had on me, was actually the easy part. I never realized how much inner strength and courage it took to be able to show yourself some love, it’s so easy to find the things we dislike about ourselves (i.e. the labels), it’s much more difficult to find the things about ourselves that we love (i.e. our own truths). And that has been my struggle. There was a quote I read recently, I can’t remember from where or who said it, but it went something like this, self-acceptance is all about love. Once you have the capacity to love yourself, that love will spread to everyone else around you. And that is my goal. To see myself as I am, this human being that is glorious in all her imperfections, a being that doesn’t need to be improved or defined and that is capable of loving herself so that she can spread that love to everyone around her. And I hope that we all can find that at some point in our lives in our own time and on our own journeys.
Finally, in the words of my friend Daphne, you do you boo. Because in the end, that’s all that matters. -M
PS: Don’t be shy about sharing your views on self acceptance. We’d love to hear about your journeys, and any bits of wisdom you may have are always welcome. Let’s spread the love. xo