A little over a decade ago, I got home from shopping, sometime around my birthday, and I was frustrated. I was a teenager, struggling with body image. I looked in the mirror, and hated what I saw. I remember saying to my mom, “I’m just not happy with my body.” We talked about it, and I decided that I was going to make a change.
I’m not sure if it was just after that, but over the next 5 years or so, I went to work to make a change. I tried diets and exercise routines. I checked my body fat, weighed myself habitually, and looked constantly for ways to feel better about myself. My weight went up and down, I felt better sometimes, and much worse other times. I was proud of my dedication, but never proud of the results for very long.
See, I did all of this under the context of needing to fix myself. The context of, “I’m not good enough now, so I need to make this change in order to be acceptable.” It’s not like that was the script going on in my head, but that was the underlying belief behind almost every choice I made.
About 5 or 6 years later, I found myself in a yoga teacher training. And all of the sudden, I didn’t hate my body anymore. (I literally don’t even know what happened, but I started to somehow accept myself, via the beauty of yoga, and studying it’s teachings!). And all of the sudden, I didn’t feel ugly anymore. I didn’t look in the mirror and hate myself - AND, if I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, it didn’t destroy me. And what’s more is, I lost the weight I had been so concerned about…without trying at all. And what’s more is, my stomach problems completely disappeared.
I could go on about the benefits of this acceptance, but let’s get to the point. When I was acting from a place of this is broken and not good enough, I must fix it in order to be ok, it didn’t work. In fact, it often left me even more broken. But when I finally stood in the realm of I am whole, and beautiful, and always improving, it worked with very little effort. And, even when I wasn’t specifically losing weight or getting more fit (or whatever), I was still not broken.
I learned this about 6 years ago. I understand it, and I use it in my life, daily. Acceptance. Acceptance does not mean complacency. Rather, acceptance means love. AND, you can accept something, and it not be okay with you, and that’s how you make a change. AND, if acceptance means love, love can create what you want. Acceptance AND growth are this magical duo, that work together to create beauty, peace, contentment.
But of course, as life would have it, in the last week and a half, I discovered a new layer of it. I hit a new knot of tangled up “not good enough”s and “this is broken, I need to fix it”s.
See, historically in my life, when someone has said to me, “accept yourself, you’re beautiful!”, or “be where you are, don’t be so hard on yourself,” my reaction was a polite smile, and an internal eye roll and mutter, hah! Hell no, I’m not accepting this!
Now, before I go against that Jessie eye roll, let me just also voice that, I am incredibly grateful for this response. In many ways, it does mark my determination, and my drive to go further and be my best self in my life. However, there’s a line that I cross over sometimes. And that line is when desire to be better becomes, “you are broken”. That’s when I’m operating in the negative, not the positive. That’s when results are scarce, and emotions are devastating.
In the last week, I found this Mr. Fix It tendency, everywhere. It’s way more subtle than it used to be, as it’s no longer as blunt as, “I don’t like myself, I must fix it.” It’s more like,
“I don’t like not knowing about this part of my future, so I must decide it now” (not logical nor a good idea),
or “It hurts me that you are unhappy, so I’m gonna fix it” (not from love, from fear),
or “I’m scared you might hurt me, so I’m gonna make sure you don’t” (<—as if I can make someone do anything…).
Anyway, I’m sharing these not to say, I’m a terrible person, because that would also be me trying to fix it (trust me, I tried that route :D). But rather, to share that, these are behavioral patterns that are coming from fear. Fear of things not being okay. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not knowing.
Faith is about trusting that you will be okay no matter what happens. Faith is not about trusting that everything will go perfectly, or that you won’t get hurt. So it’s time for faith to get even deeper into my being.
So here I am, telling you the thing that used to trigger me into a self-hate-filled reaction.
BE WHERE YOU ARE.
ACCEPT YOURSELF FOR EVERYTHING YOU ARE, AND EVERYTHING YOU ARE NOT, RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT.
AND THIS ONE.
AND THIS ONE.
With the understanding that change is inevitable, and unfavorable circumstances are inevitable - we come to acceptance of what is. We come to a place of LOVE, for all things/people/happenings. We come to see the purpose in every step. And in that way, we get to live in gratitude. We get to live in acceptance of all moments, even the yucky ones.
This week, I aim to find peace when I actually want to call in Mr. Fix It. I’m willing to not be where I want to be at this moment, in order to create what I need in the long run.
Join me. Xo
PS - my recent video speaks to this a bit. Take a look if you'd like some inspiration for your self-discovery, self-acceptance. <3