Body Positivity Starts With Body Acceptance…

There is no money in you loving yourself. There is no money in you loving what you see in the mirror.

We are taught our whole lives that we are not good enough or that there’s always something we need to change in order for us to be good enough or even lovable.

This can be dressed up with many sexy terms- “beach body ready”, “Self-improvement”, “ but however they (or we) tries to dress it up the meaning stays the same- without change (IE BUYING THIS) we are not worthy of Self-Love today.

In fact, I’ll go one step further- for most Self-Love is actually a step too far. It’s something that can ever be achieved. It’s some unattainable unicorn goal that’s too high for mere mortals to reach for. So, they sell smaller packages- body confidence. Independence, self-growth <<< These things, we are told are attainable, but still not today, its takes hard work and more change.

Acceptance however doesn’t really get a look in.
Acceptance is lazy
Acceptance is unmotivated
Acceptance is undriven
Acceptance is unambitious
Acceptance is settling
Acceptance is aiming too low.

Surely Acceptance couldn’t ever be a good thing?

As humans, we have this beautiful ability to grow. As we learn and grow change happens- It’s a beautiful process and as unstoppable as the sea! We are imperfect and every one of us has points that we fail on, that we can better about ourselves, that we can learn more about and then grow beautifully.

BUT THIS IS THE POINT THAT WE ARE MISSING OUT ON. Change in itself is not a bad thing.

Striving for change without self-acceptance in place is hard. Its gruelling- it’s an unhappy place to be because we won’t be happy or express love for ourselves until we “get there” until we change, until we are close to perfect.

Change with self-acceptance already is place is completely different. That possibility to grow, expand and create is already within us. When we concentrate on self-love, acceptance and seeing how deserving of love we already are *Right Now* that change will happen organically. That change, determination, motivation and ambition will be as natural as night and Day! It will be freeing, easy and so natural! Change will feel good because you will already have that kind voice inside you that knows everything is already enough, even if you change your mind or what you are working on doesn’t go as planned.

Not only is Self-Love achievable, but it’s completely within your grasp. I like to think of acceptance as a stepping stone to positivity and then to self-love. It’s your first step on an amazing journey.

Body Acceptance

Many women start in a place of hate when it comes to their bodies.  Asking a woman to name one thing that they love about their body will normally get an awkward response, you can see the struggle. Switch to asking them what they hate and you see almost relief on their faces. Most can rattle off a whole list and some will even enjoy it.

With summer around the corner we’ll now be bombarded with images, adverts and social media posts about being “bikini ready”, “summer ready”, “befores and afters”, magic pills, miracle diets and so so so much more!
To accept your body how she is right now *today* may feel impossible- maybe even rebellious!

Body acceptance can be really hard especially after so many years of being in the mindset that you constantly have to improve your body (or hide parts away) in order for you to be attractive, to be healthy or even to have her out in public!

Accepting your body doesn’t mean you’ll never want to lose weight, workout or eat healthy. It just means that you recognise that you are allowed to feel beautiful, eat like you love yourself, wear what you want to wear, do what you want to do (swimming anyone?) and enjoy your body TODAY. It also means that you’ll know that you deserve love regardless of what your body looks like. Your body works so hard for you every day, if you can’t show her some love *at the very least* could you show her some appreciation and accept her today?

Mind Acceptance

 We all have quirks, personality traits and annoying habits that we’d like to get rid of or change. We all think, say and do things that prove (to us and everyone else) that we are imperfect every day. We are imperfect beings and we know that everyone on this planet right now is imperfect.

So why do we beat ourselves up about this? Why do we pour hate on ourselves for being imperfect and fight our imperfections so ungracefully?

If we were to write out our inner voice onto paper when we are being harsh to ourselves for the many things that we can’t even change- the wording and names we call ourselves would be shameful. It would be hard to write and harder to read.

And yet we say those words to our beautiful, vulnerable mind Every. Damn. Day.
And when you add mental illness into the mix that voice can become unbearable.

What do we see in the media, society, social media- even in self-help books/shows, the very places that are trying to help us?

Self-help = Change yourself

Therapy= Change yourself

Media= Change yourself

Be more positive, more confident, less fearful, less dependant, less anxious. This is all great advice but again it’s teaching us that we NEED to change in order to be lovable. “Be more, be less” is not promoting change with acceptance first. Which means we feel like we can’t love ourselves or accept the way our minds work until the change is done. And as we learnt before the change is NEVER done. We are constantly changing with growth and we need to do this WHILE loving ourselves. There’s no time to wait until after because there is no after.

Every single negative thing your mind is getting you to do or telling you is because she is trying to protect you. Every single thing.

Your mind (whether you have mental health issues or not) loves you and has two main goals:

1) To protect you from physical harm (danger or death)

2) To protect you from mental harm (hurt or emotional pain)

And she will do whatever it takes to protect you from these two things simply because she loves you so much.

To do this she will use distraction, busyness, blocking and addiction. she protects you because she loves you.

Accepting this can literally be life changing-

“I’m doing/blocking/eating/saying this because my body & mind are trying to protect me. I can now forgive myself for this because I know it’s my mind’s way of showing love and it worked in the past”

Your brain may work differently to other people. the ways she is trying to protect you may be frustrating- but know she is doing it through love. She loves you and is activity trying to protect you today- can you accept her and show her understanding rather than hate.

The Self-Love Village ~ Miriam MacMillan

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