The Difference Between Self-Love and Self-Acceptance
A distinction between self-love and self-acceptance:
#selflove is trending, for good reason: we deserve to feel safe, nurtured, and adored in our own arms. We're entitled to butterflies in our stomachs when we behold ourselves in all of our glory (and I'd encourage you to take time to do so regularly. #alwaysbefeelinyourself).
But if you're constantly pinching yourself in the mirror to focus on what doesn't measure up, self love can feel 45648 miles away.
I get that. Scrunching my belly fat into a bagel around my bellybutton (the closest thing I had to a morning ritual for years) wasn't exactly conducive to showering myself with love notes celebrating my celestial being; it actually made me want to hide, eat a real bagel, and try again tomorrow.
We're also in an era of self-love as commodity, which can make us like failures. Either we can't afford the kits that promise to get us there, or we're saying all the affirmations and that bagel belly is still blankly staring back at us, daring us to love it, and perhaps it's just another $57 cream away.
I urge my clients instead to strive for a more indifferent position. It's not a lightswitch; most of us can't go from, "fuck this belly," to, "I love everything about myself" with a few mantras.
Neutral is more attainable. Name it ("this is my stomach"), and move on.
When we see that it's...just a belly and detach our feelings, we begin to allow it to simply be. We start to see that regardless of size or shape, it doesn't have anything to do with our dopeness.
We realize we're endowed with so much more than a body. A belly or an underarm jiggle shouldn't disqualify us from anything, whether that's the foods we eat or the activities in which we choose to engage or the relationships in which we invest.
We begin, finally, to accept ourselves, and to extend ourselves compassion.
When we separate our appearance from our sense of self worth, we begin to accept that we're worth our own time and we're entitled to our own exploration. We allow ourselves to find what feels good for us.
Is that a warm, fuzzy feeling? Not always.
But it's a powerful one which permits us to move through the world like we belong here (because, spoiler: you do, no matter what size jeans you put on today).