I struggle with this concept and I think you do, too. Accepting ourselves has never been easy for either of us.
Oprah has been telling us for years that we are perfect the way we are. And like all of the rest of us, I think she is still convincing herself. And it’s confusing.
If I’m perfect the way I am, why don’t I have more answers?
If I’m perfect the way I am, why do I struggle with my weight? (Not to be slim and beautiful…but just to be healthy.)
If I’m perfect the way I am, why do I say silly or stupid things without meaning to be inappropriate and/or hurtful?
If I’m perfect the way I am, why can’t I make myself do the dishes, clean the front porch, change the sheets, and keep an all-round acceptably clean home?
If I’m perfect the way I am, why can’t I make myself do my yoga, walk 2000 more steps or at least do some stretching exercises? And why does my core strength ooze continually toward core weakness?
It has always been a mystery to me.
I think, though, that we shared an “aha” moment through the magic of our talk last week. Because we have spent so many years thinking we are each other, we don’t hide anything in our conversations. It is self-illumination in tandem. Somehow, my acceptance of you became acceptance of myself
Suddenly I realize that it’s okay to show my emotional weakness. And it’s perfectly fine to be sad, even when I’m not sure why. I’m absolutely positive that I’m not the only one who has moments of loneliness in the midst of loving friends and family. I know that it would be okay to say, “I’m feeling a bit inadequate here.”
Obviously, I could go on forever. And there is a lot of ground to cover in realizing that who I am (as opposed to packaging and operator error) is what is perfect.
I am a human being put on the earth for a purpose, who is allowed to have the full gamut of feelings. No joy or sorrow needs to be hidden in shame. No fear makes me unworthy. I’m allowed to question, to fail, to flail and to fumble as well as to soar.
Since our talk, I’m trying to stay committed to the concept of my own value. I’m working toward letting my children know when I am at sea and not forcing myself to be the rock among the waves of turmoil. I’m taking a deep breath when I need it and resting when I am tired. My face is softer with my acceptance of the person behind the matronly mask.
Mainly, I am reassuring myself that this vulnerable center that dwells within me deserves love and respect. I’m working to believe that I don’t need to earn my place, I hold my place through the grace of God* and the miracle of birth.
So I’ll go ahead and strive to be lean and healthy. I’ll continue my struggle to care more about my surroundings than what’s going on in my gerbil brain. I’ll want to learn Italian, be the best writer, and hate that my pants are still too tight.
And I’ll always love who you are, while I keep learning to love who I am.
*or should I say Louise?