Practicing self-love

I had a different post planned for today, but something was weighing heavily on my mind yesterday and I felt it was important to say this.

I was out on an early morning walk yesterday listening to a podcast.  It was a conversation between Rachel Hollis (the author and speaker) and Jamie Kerna Lima (the founder of “It cosmetics”) and they were discussing the topic of body image (something you’ve heard me talk about on here many times before).

Rachel shared that at a recent conference she spoke to an auditorium filled with women about self-love. And when she asked that room of 820 women to anonymously share how they felt about their bodies, 800 of the 820 women responded that they HATE their bodies.

Let me repeat that, 800 of the 820 women in that room responded that they HATE their bodies.  Not just dislike, but hate. 

My heart immediately sank as I heard this and tears came streaming down my face.  I felt so deflated and heartbroken.  I was so sad.  For us, for you, for my daughter and sister and mother.  For all of us women.  I felt a pit in my stomach that so many of us are STILL carrying around this heavy load of self-hate.  It’s everywhere.  We as a collective group are still living our lives, looking at ourselves in the mirror and hating what we see reflected back.

Please tell me how this is possible?  How are we STILL here?  How in 2019, with amazing examples of strong, successful, beautiful women all around us, in every shape, size, and color, are we still hating the way we look?  How is this self-sabotage still silently happening, all around us?  And more importantly, how can we change this?

Please tell me this isn’t the same narrative we’re creating for our daughters and all the women to come.  They deserve more.  We deserve more.  This narrative has to change.

And as I start to think about how we, as a collective group, are going to do that – the first thing that comes to mind is that we have to stop comparing ourselves to each other.

This digital age we live in has created this world of constant comparison.  And not just of comparison, but of unhealthy, unrealistic, unattainable comparison.

We compare our VERY REAL lives with every other woman’s highlight reel.

And I realize, I’m just as guilty.

When I started Grace in the Crumbs I wanted to use this platform for good.  To help women feel empowered to make more mindful choices and find more joy. But I’m realizing that maybe I haven’t always been as transparent on this platform as I could have been.  And that maybe in some ways, I’m even adding to this problem.

So, let me go ahead and try to change that by reminding you that what you see here on Instagram or my blog or Facebook or any other corner of social media of mine, or anyone else’s for that matter – is just a highlight reel.   It’s not the full story.

I promise you, we all (including ME!) wake up on Monday mornings with acne, and cellulite and varicose veins.  We all have pants that feel tighter than we’d wish or have more grey hair than we did the day before.  We all wake up tired with puffy eyes and hair that hasn’t been washed in days.  We all have kitchen sinks filled with dishes and bedroom floors covered with laundry that we told ourselves we were going to fold three days before.  We ALL have kids who yell, and marriages where we fight, and families who are dysfunctional.

And we are all STILL beautiful.

But that’s not to say that I don’t have my own, very real, insecurities.  When I was younger my height always bothered me.  I’m 6”1 today at 40, so you can imagine how tall I was as a young girl.  I was constantly teased and made fun of for my unusually tall height at such a young age.  And even today, in my own community at 40 years old, I still get jokes about my height (yes, even at 40 people are still human).  And I will tell you that every time a joke or comment is made of course it still makes me feel insecure.

But deep down I know that I am not my height. I am not my age. And I am not the number on my scale.   None of us are.

When I look in the mirror, I like what I see (which has taken years of practice to get to).  And not because I like what is reflected.  But rather because my self-worth is so much more than just that reflection.  That reflection is just one small part of me – and not even my best part.

My wish and hope for us all is that we can see ourselves, see our bodies, and see our reflections with grace and admiration for the WHOLE picture.  To see ALL of who we are, not just the tired eyes or the number on a scale.  To see ourselves through the same lens we see each other.  To allow our internal dialogue be the same voice and with the same grace that we speak to each other.

I am always blown away with how we as a collective group of women can support each other and lift each other up.  Always seeing the beauty in each other.  Seeing the beauty in those around us, and in our children.  Think about how amazing it would feel if we could only see ourselves through that same light.

 

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