One of my dear friends (and one of the most brilliant doctors that I am blessed to have in my life), Stephanie Morango, MD said something to me last year when I was struggling with the toxic fluid/excess weight on my body. She said, “It’s all about self-acceptance. Give people back their toxic energy; you don’t need their shit in you anymore. There is nothing for you to do, Amie. It’s how you learn how to use what you’ve got. Be okay with your weight and it will come off. When you’re in a new place, you’ll choose new things that will contribute to taking the weight off. Get to a place where you’re okay with your body where you feel safe to actually be in your body. How are you going to accept and release the weight? Acceptance is a state of being that you must cultivate. It’s a feeling. Be in the feeling, Amie.”
Hmmm, I thought.
She’s got a point.
And that’s what I’m sharing with you today.
It’s not something any of us were brought up learning how to do.
Well, maybe you were taught that if your parents were conscious enough to have self acceptance for themselves. But, most of us were not. And then we end up as adults and we don’t even know how to cultivate acceptance with our own bodies.
Sad, isn’t it?
It’s like we go through life on a roller coaster and we never stop for a minute to think, “Hey, do I have self-acceptance?”
As Stephanie said to me, “It’s a state of being that you must cultivate. It’s a feeling. Be in the feeling.” I was lost. I had no idea what the heck she was saying to me. I’ve been to dozens of healers and mediums and body workers and shamans and astrologers and yogis they’ve all told me so many things. All true and all helpful, which is mind-blowing in and of itself. But, what they told me used to go in one ear and out the other until I started writing down what they told me in my phone so that I could look at it again and again to finally try to understand what they were trying to get me to realize.
Somewhere along my journey of life, I got tripped up on thinking self-acceptance was the same thing as self esteem. I had lots of self esteem growing up but I was lacking self-acceptance. Something that many of us are lacking without even knowing it.
To my surprise, I soon discovered that self-acceptance is not the same as self esteem. How could I be so confident in life and speak in front of thousands of people and be on national TV without having any trouble at all, yet I didn’t accept myself. I was always trying to change something about myself to make me better, better, better. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom in my 30’s with my hormones and my health again- after 10 years of chronic illness, that I started to go deeper into myself to discover what was really going on in this mind of mine.
And here’s what I found.
According to Psychology Today, “When we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves–not just the positive, more ‘esteem-able’ parts. As such, self-acceptance is unconditional, free of any qualification. We can recognize our weaknesses, limitations, and foibles, but this awareness in no way interferes with our ability to fully accept ourselves”.
And so that’s what I had to do. I had to learn how to accept the parts of me that I wasn’t able to accept. I had to learn how to like myself more, instead of beating myself up for every single thing. I had to stop judging myself and learn how to cultivate more love within my body for myself. I had to look at all my scars and bumps and excess weight and see them as perfect and not broken.
In the article above, it talks about how we’re only able to accept ourselves as much as our parents accepted us because before the age of 8 when we’re a sponge absorbing everything we see and hear and feel, we’re in our subconscious mind and we take all of that with us into adulthood.
Something I’ve been working on the last few years is cultivating unconditional love. I had no idea what unconditional love was. No one ever talked to me about this. It was something that I discovered reading hundreds of mind/body books and realizing that when you accept yourself for who you are, you have unconditional love for yourself. Same goes for other people in your life. When you can love them for who they truly are- on a soul level- and it doesn’t matter what they look like or what they do to piss you off, you still love them unconditionally, that’s the name of the game. The wild thing is that so many of us focus on conditional love. I admit that I did and still sometimes I do this and I have to catch myself. I believe we do this because as kids, many of us are only loved conditionally when we do something ‘good’ that our parents approve of and so then we spend the rest of our life doing things to get approval from others as well as looking for conditions to make us feel lovable and this causes us to give only conditional love because then we’re only loving others based on things they do. This whole thing is so screwed up. But, the point isn’t to tell yourself that you’re screwed up. Everyone had a wonky childhood and everyone has gone through rough patches in their life. The goal is to learn how to love ourselves for the shape and size we are and for our personality and for the soul that we are. That’s what this is all about. It’s not about liking someone because they dress well or only liking someone if they can help you out in someway to get ahead. Those are conditions and when you need conditions to love someone or yourself, then everything gets thrown out of balance.
Love yourself for who you are, for what you are, for the fact that you are breathing right now, for your body that is working hard to keep you alive, for the home you’re living in, for the air that you can breathe and for the sun shining every single day. That’s how I’m learning how to love myself more and more beyond self esteem and cultivating more self-acceptance for my body and my story and my past and everything else. I’m learning how to love me for who I am and anyone that doesn’t love me for who I am can go find someone else to play with. The friends and family in my life are loving and love me unconditionally. I realized this when I blew up with 70 pounds of fluid from the progesterone cream toxicity. I couldn’t believe they still loved me and wanted to talk to me and hang out with me despite what I looked like. I was shocked. What does that have to say about me?
I was empty inside.
But, I’m learning how to fill her back up with self-compassion and lots of hugs.
I hope you are filling yourself back up, too.
Lots of love.