Can we accept ourselves for who we are?

SPRING 08 #2 272Being vulnerable and getting alterations for a special occasions in life is important at times. When we look in a mirror we will see things from a certain point of view. Yet on a normal day to day basis, how do we view our self? How do others view us? What if our stomach is poochy, thighs too wide, and our arms are flabby? Do we actually care one way or the other? I realize as I have matured I am not as concerned about what others think. What if I need to go out in public without make-up, or if I am not dressed a certain way, does it matter? Of course I realize I need to dress respectfully and appropriately while working in my professional field.

The way we look or dress is not the sum total of our value; after all, we know we are not to judge a book by its cover. Yet appearances can and do have an influence on our opinions. We also know the true value of one cannot be seen on the outward appearance. How does our personal appearance affect our own  opinion? Do we judge ourselves harshly or pridefully as we look in the mirror? In truth, how many people can actually accept who they are as they appear right now?”

When I was a baby I didn’t think about how other babies looked or what they were wearing. On a hot summer day both male and female babies were only wearing diapers. It was not until I grew older and entered grade school that my perspective was changed dramatically. Sometime during that process there seemed to be an unspoken rule that we were all supposed to wear certain clothing, style our hair a particular way, and only wear shoes that were a distinct brand. If we were not fortunate enough to be able to conform or perform, or if we didn’t have finances to purchase the latest fashions, we were considered outcasts.

Those were painful days for many as they attempted to be educated; not only in the academic world of reading, writing and arithmetic, but also in the school of hard knocks. All of those negative experiences had a powerful influence on our personal point of view and self-esteem, knowingly or unknowingly.

We are all created to be unique, individual and a ‘One of a kind master piece’. Human beings are amazingly built with the ability to grow, adapt, and increase their knowledge in many areas of life, all while developing from childhood into adults. As we pass through many stages of development it is incredible to see skills and talents begin to manifest.

When we go through this process we may be tempted to compare ourselves with those around us. Are we doing well? Are we keeping up with the status quo? What if we couldn’t cut it and didn’t get that coveted A in our classwork? Even when we work really hard and did our best, what if it is not good enough? Does it really matter, does anyone care?

How many times are we frustrated, angry or fearful, thinking we must be like, do like, or have something like someone else? Is it time that we accept ourselves as we are right now? As we go to the heart of the matter in many areas of our life, we may find we are unhappy because we think we should be different.

Are we ready to embrace and accept who we are by giving ourselves grace? We know we all have room for improvement. We all have the opportunity to grow and ameliorate our lives. We can make better choices that will help provide the kind of quality of life we desire in our future. Can we accept ourselves now as we travel along this journey? We are all moving and changing on a daily basis. It is good to know with change comes transition. This is a continual part of life in each of our unique and individual paths along the way.

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