The scale doesn’t typically stay the same. Weight can fluctuate in varying degrees. Sometimes I look in the mirror and scrutinize myself about what I want to change and what doesn’t seem good enough. Sometimes, it’s the unhealthy opposite of that. If i’ve made any headway in my journey to being healthy, I look in the mirror with pride about how I’m coming along, as if I’m a better person because I lost a few pounds or inches.
I’m not saying that hard work and discipline shouldn’t be celebrated. I think that those are amazing traits to have and to take pride in. However, the number on the scale shouldn’t determine our level of self-worthiness. Losing or gaining 5 pounds doesn’t make us any more or any less valuable.
I was talking to a friend of mine, and she was talking about making a mental switch in terms of working out. We tend to work out because we want to fix ourselves. We want to fix our abs, our untoned arms, and the whole 9 yards. But, rather than doing something healthy like working out in an unhealthy way (self-loathing), maybe we need to shift our thinking to working out because we LOVE ourselves. We LOVE and RESPECT our bodies so we want to do things that make us feel better. That sounds more appealing to me than shaming myself about what I need to change, which in so many ways, is translated into not being good enough, or worthy enough.
I’ve decided that from now on, when I’m preparing to work out, I’m not going to put myself in ‘beast mode.’ I’m simply going to love my body where it is and do something for the love of it.
I’ve been in a pretty pensive mood lately. I have so much going on in this head of mine. I’ve been thinking about the relationships I’ve had over the last few years, where they currently are, and what I’ve learned from them. The common thread that I am seeing is the act of “letting go.” I’m not saying “letting go” in the sense that I’ve let people go (in some instances, I have), but I suppose this has more of a dual meaning for me. I’m learning to let go of people, yes, but I’ve learned to also let go of people so I can be free to be myself.
What do I mean by letting go of people? I am very “maternal” by nature. I love to help and nurture, but sometimes to a flaw. Sometimes people need to be “let go” so that they can learn and experience certain things for themselves. My Mommee always said that a fool has to learn everything for themselves. So I have always practiced asking questions because I would rather learn from someone else’s experience (for some things) if it means I will avoid potentially hazardous pitfalls. Of course there are things that can’t be learned through another person; first hand experience can be very necessary. Playing the balancing act between 2nd hand and experiential learning has served me very well. But what I have been realizing is that everyone doesn’t operate that way. I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just different. You might be thinking “Duh, of course everyone is different,” but subconsciously, we want to relate to each other on some level hoping that we are not necessarily the same, but similar. I digress. As much as I want to open my arms and heart to help people, sometimes not helping is the best help, not just for the individual, but for myself. This is where “letting go of people so I can be free to be myself” comes in. As I am letting go and not assuming responsibility for anyone’s choices, I am freeing myself to presently live in my own experience.
Let me tell you a little story. I had a friend that I consistently fell into altercations with. For this intent and purpose, let’s call her Taylor. Taylor and I got into a very unhealthy cycle of her asking me questions, and me responding as honestly as I possibly could with love. It turned into world war 3. Every. Single. Time. What I’ve learned from that experience is that through letting go, I’ve released myself of the responsibility of how Taylor reacted to my answers. I released myself from the thought process of “why is she so mad…” “i was trying to be honest…” “I was just trying to help…” because honestly, none of that was or is my problem. All that mattered/matters is that I am acting upon my intentions of being a true friend and I am being true to who I am through living according to my personal convictions.
I am not saying that people should be cold. I am learning that when I am weeping with those who are weeping, or rejoicing for those who are rejoicing, I am simply being there with them but not assuming responsibility for their “stuff.” I can cry with a friend who is hurting or smile with a friend who just received a promotion, but their situation is not mine to carry. (Just to cover my bases, I am not saying that people shouldn’t help others because being self-absorbed is not healthy either). Sometimes, I do get a little tempted to jump back into my old pattern of thinking, but then I have to remind myself:
-I am not responsible of the decisions of others.
-I am not responsible for whether someone likes me or not.
-I am not responsible for the thriving or the struggle of others.
By releasing these unassigned responsibilities, I have been freeing myself to live in my own journey. This is what is known as Self-Care. Now, I can focus on now. I can be there for myself, I can show up for me.
I remember when I was in high school, I was walking back to my seat from our break and a boy looked at me and said “You’re ugly.” I replied with “So?” Sometimes I think back to this moment and wish that I said something a little more story worthy, or maybe something that made him fully aware that he was a complete idiot. This was such a small situation in the grand scheme of my life, but for some reason, this experience stuck with me. Every time I thought of this boy, I felt a sense of contempt; maybe it’s because I couldn’t understand why he would randomly say something like that to me.
The older I get, the more I am realizing that what I think and how I feel about myself is the most important thing. Self-awareness and self-love should be at the forefront so that I could love and care for others with the same awareness and love. Do I know that I’m beautiful? Do I know that I am talented, special, and amazing? Now I do. I don’t always operate from this realization, but I know it to be true.
I’m sure you’ve all had at least one experience when someone made you feel undesirable, unintelligent, and many other “un” adjectives. Maybe you’ve gotten one of the “nicer” insults like, “You have a cute face,” or “if you weren’t/didn’t…you’d be pretty.” You might remember who said it by their first and last name, what you were wearing, or the hard day you had up until that moment that broke you. But the most important thing is that you become unabashedly aware of your own beauty and self-worth. Do things to celebrate your life and learn to be in love with you. Then, learn to accept the love of others.
…and try not to take yourself too seriously.
This video below struck a cord with me because I know that so many women can relate to this. These women have no idea of their beauty and worth. If you have about 6 minutes, have a look. xo