My good friend Trish from over at Love, Laughter & Insanity has asked us all to make a list of what we find beautiful about ourselves. What we love about our bodies and our inner selves. I joked with her yesterday when she hinted that she had a personal bloggy topic she was posting and was nervous about whether we would participate and comment. Me, being the ever-loving goofball that I am, immediately responding (without any knowledge of the post’s content) and told her she was doing the right thing and to keep her chin up. When she laughed and said the post was more about finding the same unqualified love for ourselves, I half-kidded that I was much better at spotting it in my friends. And while I’m sure those that know me well are guffawing at the idea that I could be shy about my many stellar qualities, let me say this: yes, I have a lot of confidence, but I find it’s much easier to brag about myself to my inner circle. Spouting the same things I love about myself to those I don’t know well? My hands are slowly backing away from my keyboard just thinking about it.
But! Trish is right. Sometimes they need to be spoken (er…typed?) out loud. Sometimes you need to really own what you love about yourself so that others who maybe have a hard time with self-love and/or self-advocacy might find the courage to do the same. It’s not easy. It’s not always easy speaking up. And if even a loudmouth can say that, imagine how those a little more timid must feel sometimes. The mirror is not always our friend. Hell, the world that just announced a size-10 model was a plus-size model, that world is not always our friend. And the bad things always seem easier to find.
So I’m pushing back against that. I’m telling you a few things I really, honestly love about myself. My outside and my inside. Without qualifications.
I love that my body is strong and has curves.
I have laugh lines starting to creep out from around my eyes, and I love that all the world can see how much I love to laugh.
I will stand up and advocate for those who can’t or don’t know how to self-advocate.
I apologize to my children when I mess up; mommies are people too, and it takes a certain strength to admit when you’re wrong.
Ain’t nobody better at reading picture books and doing voices. Seriously, the Book-Reading Award? Right here.
I am great at hugs and giving comfort.
I love fiercely. If you’re my people, there isn’t a truer friend you could have in your corner.
I’m creative, both in an artsy way and (perhaps more so) in a thinking-around-corners way.
I’m a velocireader. It’s improved both my memory and my imagination. Although my imagination maybe shouldn’t be sharpened any further – it’s delightful and magical but has dark corners.
I am a fantastic listener and I give world-class advice.
I am a wonderful, but flawed, mom who is terrifically close with her girls, who leads them on adventures, teaches them the importance of both magic and self-advocacy, and reminds them every day that not everyone gets to be smart AND beautiful AND privileged like us.
No matter how many times my running program is interrupted, I get back out there and start again.
I am not afraid to sing or dance in front of people – even though I’m lousy at both. Having fun is way more important!
There you go. There are a few things that silence even my inner critic. It’s hard to trumpet your strengths without worrying you sound like a braggart, but I agree whole-heartedly with Trish – it’s an important exercise from time to time.
Please share in her experiment and speak up about all the things you love about yourself. What a fantastic way to start the day!