Self-acceptance gives us wings. Our wings enable us to soar to greater heights, no longer weighed down by thoughts of doubt and failure, we believe in ourselves enough that we are elevated, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. The evolution of knowing oneself cuts the ties of defeat.
During a recent visit to my local gym, a woman came to the gym to inquire about a membership. She sat for a long time talking with the owner. One of the things I heard her say was, “I hate my body so much that I have not looked at myself in the mirror for four years.” She continued, “I need to do this…I need to do this…” as if trying to convince herself. As I went to leave, I was struck with a compelling urge to tell her, “You can do this.” When I did, she started crying. “Oh, thank you, thank you. I needed to hear that. I needed that encouragement.”
On the drive home, I thought about my encounter and it suddenly struck me that when we move in the direction of caring for ourselves on any level, we own our own infinite power. When this woman walked into the gym just like myself, we began to own our power. Shutting off the rest of our lives, and the world, carving out time to get in touch with our own needs will do nothing less than help us grow in love, acceptance and come into the light of all that is good and strong and heroic about ourselves.
For years a friend lived in a marriage where she was told that the things she admired most about herself were not to be counted. She was told that her passions were merely “hobbies”, not noteworthy, although she excelled professionally at one of her passions. Day after day another human being who tried to rob her of everything that was beautiful inside of her eroded her sense of self worth and self-esteem. I could see it in her demeanor; the way she carried herself, the way she walked and the way she communicated with others.
For some, God gives us the tools of self-discovery, although sometimes it comes late in life. Still, there are others who never find it. What I have found is that God will open a door and say, “walk through it” and once we walk through it, he continues to give us bursts of insight about our past, present and future. It makes me sad to know that there are so many women in the world who will never discover their own true inner beauty and worth.
Exploring ourselves requires persistence, continuing on despite fear and some days of depressive self-reflection, identifying our mistakes, forgiving, forgetting and moving forward, learning to love oneself each new morning. It is a daily process of admitting that we have made mistakes or had bad experiences, but they will not defeat us or hold us back from being everything God created us to be.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Henry David Thoreau
I love to preach and my favorite audiences are women. I have found such tremendous vulnerability in women. Women tend to give all they have, opening themselves up emotionally, sharing from the heart. They need to feel cherished, need to feel special, need to be recognized for their own unique gifts. Women draw energy from other women. When I used to speak at women’s venues the energy was contagious.
I have always said that I wish I had all the wisdom of an older woman while I was young, as I believe women grow to love themselves the older we get. We grow softer, gentler, and kinder. We grow in wisdom and grace, and whether intentional or not, we learn from life’s mistakes.
If I could broadcast a message to all women it would be:
You Are Beautiful
You Are Talented
You Are Special in God’s Eyes
You Are Worthy
You Are Able
You Have All That You Need Within Yourself
Don’t Give Anyone the Power to Rob You of Your God-Given Joy
If You Have Self-Esteem/Self-Worth Issues, Get Help, Talk With Someone
Invest in Yourself
You Can Do Hard Things
You have a purpose
Self acceptance is a spiritual journey. We must learn to practice loving and accepting ourselves, submitting our imperfections to God, daily. He can change us from the inside-out. When we understand God’s deep and abiding, flawless love for us, we begin to practice better self-love and acceptance. This is a lifelong journey.