I'm sure you've noticed that I often talk about loving yourself as you are. The beliefs you have about yourself will shape the way you view and function in this world. (For more of my thoughts about beliefs about yourself, click here.) In the midst of my saying, "Treat yourself kindly," I hope I'm not being misunderstood.
I do not advocate giving up, being lazy, or not taking care of yourself.
Doing less when you really could do more in the guise of being nice to yourself, is just as destructive as being hard on yourself because it is a lie. Honesty is first and foremost of importance when dealing with self.
The reason why I talk so much about accepting and loving yourself is because in order to truly improve and become the kind of person you want to be, acceptance and non-judgement is the place to start. Let me just say that again: it's only a place to start.
The world would tell you this process is linear and goes this way: fix (a), (b), and (c) about yourself and THEN you will love yourself. Do not be deceived by this lie! It's more of a circle really. Love yourself as much as you can, then you will have an easier and happier time changing (a), (b), and (c), which will increase your ability to love yourself and so on.
(We have this sign hanging right by our front door.)
I am under no delusions that I'm done progressing. Not at all. I could make a long, long list of all the things I'm working on and trying to improve. But I am also under no delusions that I am capable of changing my worth or my being-worth-loving by anything I do. That is already an innate part of who I am as a child of God.
Infinite worth + (or -) my efforts = infinite worth. I always did like math. :)
Realizing this and BELIEVING this is only a place to start.
I'm sure there's someone out there who's thinking, "Okay, that sounds fine and all, but what if I can't get to that place? Am I doomed to not only be flawed but also to not ever love myself?" To that person, I would say this: ask yourself, "How would I treat myself if I believed that I was of infinite worth? How would I treat my body if I really thought it was a gift?" Do what you would do if this were true, being open to the possibility that it is true, and I guarantee you'll find yourself increasing your ability to believe it.
This applies to all sorts of self-improvements, but for the sake of this blog, I will stick to how it applies to you and your body. Love yourself as much as you can. Put effort into the way you treat your body. Do it for the sake of health, for having energy, feeling happy, and living longer. Looking like your best self will be part of the benefits too. Your ability to love yourself will increase. I will share specific ways I've learned to treat my body well. You? Get yourself ready to start.
Image: Jon_Marshall on Flickr