Just As You Are

8 Sep

We all have things about ourselves we want to change. Maybe we want to lose weight, exercise more, eat better, read more often, learn more about world events, be stronger, become more patient – the list is endless. Maybe we’re working on what we want to change now, or maybe we’ve put it off because of other priorities. Whatever we’re doing, there’s a chance we may be critical of ourselves because we haven’t yet accomplished all we want to. We’re harder on ourselves than anyone else. We push and push, and when we don’t accomplish all we think we should, sometimes we’re critical. We may expect to be perfect even though we know we can’t be. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking undermines us as we go forward.

I recently got a letter from a relative who included an old picture of me they had found from many years ago. When I looked at it, I was surprised at how good I looked. I remembered when that picture was taken feeling homely and undesirable. Looking at the picture now, I see a very attractive and appealing person. But that’s not how I felt at the time. I was highly critical of my appearance, and looking back I can see I was mistaken. We expect so much of ourselves, always seeing the imperfections, and wanting to be more than we think we are. We spend a lot of time looking ahead, trying to fix this or that, hoping that one day we’ll achieve whatever will make us the way we think we should be.

But what if we accepted ourselves today? Just as we are. Nobody is perfect – we all know that, but somehow it seems we make exceptions to the rule with regard to ourselves. We know nobody is perfect, but somehow we think we should be. The truth is we’re fine exactly the way we are. We’re the right size for where we are now, we have everything we need for what we’re doing, and we’re doing the best we can for the moment. We can change things in time, but for now, we’re exactly where we need to be. There’s a lot of press about loving others and that’s important, but it’s also important that we love ourselves. We’re here, we’re living our lives, and we’re exactly as we should be now.

Today if you’re feeling like you aren’t enough, like you should be better somehow, stop and see how wonderful you are right now. You do many things well and some things very well. Recognize those, and remember today is the best day of your life because you’re living it. Be happy with who you are, and what you’ve done. Work on the things you want to change, but as you go forward don’t forget how far you’ve come already. You have a lot going for you. Embrace that and be confident. You really are all that.

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