[Noun; ~ Pronunciation: /ak-sep-tuh ns/]
- Definition: Realising that all you ever need to be is already inside you. And that whatever you look like on the outside doesn’t need to be judged by anyone but yourself. You are okay, if not much more than that, the way you are.
“Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons”
– Jessica Lange –
As I was staring at myself in the mirror I thought: “Why!? Why did I ever think I was ugly?”
I was doing a sports routine and as usual when I work out I like to look at myself in the mirror. Not because I think that after three squats I should be able to see a significant difference (which, of course, I do think), but because I want to see if I do the exercises right. And last night a random thought popped into my head when I was looking at myself, prior to the one I mentioned above: “I look good.”
Before I knew it, I caught myself laughing out loud, because all at once I didn’t understand it any more: why in the Universe’s name did I ever tell myself I was ugly? Why did I believe, with my entire being, so many things were wrong with my looks? What had always made a lot of sense to me (“I am ugly”) suddenly didn’t any more.
Of course, I only believed I was ugly because others said I was. They told me, repeatedly, my skin tone was wrong, my nose was off (okay that one is on me), my teeth were wonky, my legs were fat and so on. Fact is: who cares about what others think? They don’t have to live your life in your body, so why does their opinion matter so much? Acceptance regarding your own life can’t come from others, it should come from yourself. You need to accept you, in your full glory.
Yesterday I finally realised that. I finally accepted my looks! I understood that I am healthy. And sure, I may not be the most beautiful woman on the planet, but I don’t need to be (imagine all those guys – and some girls – constantly hitting on you, because they feel you owe them something since you’re so gorgeous). I need to be happy inside my own skin. And yesterday, I was. Today, I am still. Everything works, everything is complete (albeit aching, but that’s because I hadn’t worked out in weeks). Every bit of my body is doing what it should be doing, so why should I complain?
A little time ago I bought that mug you see in the picture to use for my morning tea. I am not a morning person and I thought it would be funny to sit eating my breakfast, all tired and cranky, and then read the happy words: “You are just lovely.” Do you get the joke? A grumpy, gnarling Sam (I really do growl at people sometimes – especially during the mornings), who then reads she’s just lovely. Hilarious, right!? (It does work, as it always makes me snort in appreciation of the joke).
If you don’t like the way you look, try working out more, getting a new hair cut, a spray tan (I must try that sometime) or buying different clothes. Anything you think that will make you love your outside more. But don’t ever doubt your looks because somebody else doesn’t appreciate you. Ironically, acceptance of the outer you starts on the inside. YOUR inside.
It took me about thirty years to get here, but now I know I am and look okay. I am just lovely. And so are you.