For so long I have struggled with judgment. And for so long I was convinced that it was all society’s fault – they way the looked, pointed and laughed. Until now.
The judgement… it starts with me. In judging myself, I am giving others permission to do the same. The parts of me that I have struggled so long to accept are what make me most vulnerable to any and all judgment.
A very wise woman once told me, “Practice is progress.” This practice, my practice of turning my own judgement into self-love, it is a lifetime practice. There’s no lying, it isn’t easy. When I get frustrated with my body, I judge and I question. Why? How? Since it’s always easier to place the blame on others, I have always used society as an easy way out. But it always begins with us.
Acceptance. Such a simple word, really. But the act of accepting – it can be downright difficult. SO difficult that I often find myself avoiding acceptance. Not just self acceptance, either. Sometimes it is difficult to accept a situation or another person.
Practice, practice, practice. Tired of hearing that word yet? Word choice is important. If I were to call this, turning my own judgment into love, anything negative, my practice of acceptance would be that much harder.
Now, I am not totally letting society off the hook, they are partially to blame with these high standards of what ‘perfect’ is. Perfectly imperfect is what I prefer. But in casting myself in a positive light, that light shines through to others. It’s contagious and people can’t help but see that bright light rather then the dark clouds of struggle and self-judgment.
For example, a few weeks ago, a friend and I were biking to a party in the park… Now to some people, my bike looks like a kids bike. But I love it. As my first ever road bike, I have ridden everywhere on it and it works. When I am riding, I don’t ever think to myself, “You look ridiculous on this thing. It’s so tiny…” Never. So as we were riding, a gentleman on his bike riding behind us started to laugh. When I turned around to see what he was laughing at and noticed that it was indeed me, he said, “Girl, your seat is so short! That’s a small bike!”
My friend just ignored him. I was about to do the same when my conscience told me, “No.” So I slowed down until I was riding next to him, “Sir, why is that funny?” And he repeated exactly what he said before. So I responded with my question again, this time a little louder and more stern. At that point he looked at me and said, “I’m sorry.” Just like that.
By removing my own negative views of my ‘little’ road bike I was able to step into my power and stand up for myself. The more I find myself removing any and all judgments that I make regarding my body or the way I have to do things a little bit differently, the easier I find it to stand up for myself and the less I have to actually do so.
Remove your judgment and replace it with acceptance.
With acceptance comes perseverance. With perseverance comes growth. With growth comes more love.
Accept. Persevere. Grow.
And remember: DIFFERENT IS BEAUTIFUL.