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I was digging through some old notebooks and I came across this little essay I had written when I was going through my divorce. Things were very turbulent so I decided to go to a hermitage and observe silence for three days… and it’s hard to ignore your thoughts with no distractions! It was a starting point for my transformation- it’s where I began to realize being my best self and sharing my vulnerabilities rather than masking them gives others permission to do the same. How awesome would it be if we could all be honest, raw, open, and loving?
Here’s something I wrote during that time of meditation:

What would happen if I loved myself?

My first thought was nothing.
Nothing would happen. Mountains wouldn’t shift, wars wouldn’t stop, the sun would still rise and set, and I’d still be… me.
I’d still be me, but maybe I’d enjoy it more…

Ever since I can remember I’ve been filled with an intense self-loathing… not all the time in an ‘I should probably cease to live’ kind of way (usually), but more of a, ‘why do you do that? Why can’t you be better? Why do you look that way?’ sort of way.
This negative self-image and talk became really apparent to me recently as I’m becoming more aware of my programmed thoughts and behaviors- and do you know what I’ve discovered? I hate myself and I didn’t even know it. I wasn’t aware of how mean my inner dialogue has been for so long- denying my every questionable/non-mainstream thought, suppressing my deepest desires and repressing my bubbling emotions.

What would happen if I loved myself?

I’ve decided to find out. I’m going to begin with a big one. Loving my body. I’ve hated my body either in part or it’s entirety my whole life- most recently catching a glimpse of my ass in the mirror only to see (the horror!!) cellulite.

Immediately, I panicked. This relaxing trip I had embarked on needed to become more active, stat. I needed to find some weights and lift them until I couldn’t lift any more and then eat only enough to keep my body going – if I started now maybe I’d be perfect by summer…
WHAT?! Breathe.

What if I loved my body?

I don’t even know where to begin…
First, I would accept it. In it’s current condition. Not only how it looks but also how it feels and how I feel living within it. I would probably learn to listen – to it’s limitations (my body constantly tells me it’s tired and instead of naps I give it espresso…), to it’s weaknesses, it’s signals – hunger, thirst, what types of food to eat and when.
Maybe I would put lotion on it before it cracks open and bleeds. Maybe I would exercise it in ways that are the most restorative rather than depleting. Maybe I would check in with it daily – it is where I live, after all.
And maybe I would send it thanks. Thank you for powering through a long day. Thank you legs for the awesome run. Thank you ass for filling out those jeans.
We can always find things to hate about ourselves – but why focus on that when love is so much more energizing, healthy, and fun! So this will be a process – and I may avoid any rear-view mirror checks until I’m more fully on board, but I have to find out…

What would it be like if I loved myself?

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