Acceptance of myself is my new-found freedom and it is blissful! I love finding bits of freedom in my life! For too many years I lived in a place of self-criticism and other self-destructive behaviors including (but not limited to) constantly comparing myself to other women. I would not stop at just who physically looked better than me, I would continue by noticing who laughed more than me, who was looking like they had it all together, and who was having more fun than me. It was a stifling, torturous, exhausting, and miserable place to exist. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I was stuck in this place most of my adult years until I found the freedom of acceptance. Acceptance of myself and all of my strengths and challenges. I would like to share a quick story about a recent experience to give you an example of what this freedom looks like.
My family just returned from my annual company picnic at an amusement park. This was year number eleven of the trip and by far my most amazing trip ever! The amazing part was not my children acting like complete angels, (because we know that is not happening!) it was the freedom I experienced within my mind and body. This was the first year where I did not care what I wore, what I looked like, or what I would say when chatting with upper management. This was a win, but my biggest accomplishment was that I agreed to take the kids to the water park and wear…a bathing suit! For me, acceptance in its purest form is to be okay with being half-naked and NOT perfect in front of the other people I work with and NOT care what they think! I am not 100% perfect in my acceptance practice yet so there were a few times my inner mean girl would let me know that my thighs were rubbing together and I had weird tan lines on my legs. When she would pop in I would simply ignore her and focus on what I have determined is most important…the experience I am having with my family. Let’s face it, when we are at the end of our life reflecting back on our best years will anyone remember what my thighs looked like? Will anyone remember my tan lines? No. We will remember how we felt being together, the laughter, and the kids being small and splashing in the pool.
How did I gain this freedom to enjoy my life? It starts with acceptance and letting go of the idea of perfection. I do not have a clear definition of what perfection meant to me, but I am pretty sure it included a body I would never have, a level of energy that no one can achieve and the unrealistic idea that other people are without struggles. Have you ever said to yourself, “I will do that next year when I lose a few pounds.” Not to be morbid, but what if next year never comes? We have to live now. We have to experience life while we are able-bodied and healthy. I am enjoying a level of acceptance that lives in my heart and helps me to get out of my head.
My path to personal freedom started with a seminar that I took a few months back that was a weekend of intense introspection. I decided to book this seminar at the advice of a friend who realized that I was stuck in a negative place. I took the leap of faith and I booked time in my schedule to work on myself. I had no idea what the seminar was going to entail but I knew I had to do something to get out of my funk and it was the best gift I could have given myself. I laughed, danced cried (a lot) and walked on fire and broke a board with my bare hands. If you want to learn what I did email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to share!
Be kind to yourself today!