I write a great deal about life lessons, self-improvement, personal and spiritual growth. Lately though, it has occurred to me that I am always trying to change something about myself. I’m forever quitting sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy, coffee or other habits; depending on my motives. I am currently working through a dedicated 40 straight days of kundalini exercise, that looks down upon taking a day off for life. If I miss a day, I have to restart the count!
All these self-improvement desires and rules I set for myself tend to lead to a lot of ”shoulding” myself. Every day I say: “I should do this or should do that… Don’t do this or don’t do that.” When I eat sugar or have a glass of wine; should I feel bad about it? When I don’t have time or I just plain don’t feel like doing yoga, well, that leads to me feeling like I am letting myself down. Not a great feeling!
This cycle of setting my standards high (and sometimes impractical) has started to make me think. “When is it okay to just love myself exactly as I am?” Yes, I do these things to be healthier and happier, but when I let myself down, I feel bad about it and this does not make me feel happy at all! It has the opposite effect, and this makes me want to eat my feelings and a lot of cake.
This cycle of high expectations turns into failing perfectionism, not self-improvement. It turns into a twisted way to psychologically torture myself into feeling weak for failing at all these self-imposed rules. Gahhhhhhh!
Guess what?! Turns out that I am very much imperfect. How about you?
This got me thinking. When is it okay to accept and love myself just as I am? Imperfectly perfect. So what if I carry a few extra pounds? I still love my curves (my husband does too), my personality, and my smile. I am healthy enough to walk my dog, kayak, camp, and adventure without pain. Is my weight and sugar habit really as big of a problem as I seem to think it is?
What do my subconscious and body feel, when I cannot let myself love me just as I am? This cannot be healthy either, can it? I know that humans have layers of consciousness and deep down we know if we love ourselves or not. Yes, I know that taking care of your body, mind, and spirit is self-love. However, I also am beginning to see that having unrealistic expectations can have the opposite effect.
What if I tried something super drastic like loving myself enough to allow for the imperfections and what makes me, me?! I know that I love others who are not perfect, and I do not expect anybody to be picture-perfect! To me this proves it is very much possible to love someone just as they are. So can I love myself just as I am also? I have decided to give it a shot.
After trying to change some of the habits in my life and failing at some of them, I just started to wonder. “Maybe this is just who I am?” Is it really so awful if I have cake and coffee for breakfast once in a while?! I mean, come on man! That is the best part of being an adult! If I don’t eat cake every day, which of course, I do not. Then what is the problem?
I believe the point of life is to enjoy the way we choose to live it! Why do I ‘should myself’ or feel as if I am letting myself down for enjoying some sweetness in life?! Does a number on the scale and the fact I did not meditate today, change who I am inside? NO! It does not. Does anybody else care that I did not measure up to my own lofty standards? I doubt it.
Today I am choosing to love myself as I am! I am just me; Perfectly imperfect.
Sending you love and blessings,
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister