Like most of the best things in life, learning to love yourself takes time. Committing to self-acceptance and cultivating tenderness toward your own body are both fantastic initial steps. Acknowledging that the definition of beauty does encompass you can kick start the process. But don’t expect to rewire your brain overnight. Most self-loathing and negative body thoughts take time to eradicate, and patience is key.
And even after you’ve made tremendous strides, even after you feel that you’ve done the brunt of the work, even after you know that you’ve drastically improved your self-image, you will still struggle. Do not expect to love yourself completely and wholly every day of your life. It may sound like a worthy goal, but it’s actually a trap. Because if you hold yourself to that standard – the standard of consistent, unwavering, holistic self-love – you will fail. And when you catch yourself wishing your upper lip was less hairy or your thighs a bit slimmer, you may feel guilt or shame. Since the goal of striving for self-love is to abandon guilt and shame, this is counterproductive. You will have tough days, moments of frustration with your body and inner self. You will doubt.
Originally posted 2011-07-26 06:22:27.