Sunday, May 4, 2014

Love ourselves unconditionally

Last week on Facebook I wrote what I felt was a controversial topic: loving ourselves no matter what our size and shape. Today, I'm going to add to this. Love  ourselves no matter our ages.

We've earned those crows feet and laugh lines, every bump, wrinkle, bulge and gray hair. A long lifetime of raising children, dealing with death of loved ones, aging parents, divorces. All of these have taken their toll on us, and many of us have dealt with some of these numerous times.

As a child, I was a nervous little thing. You see, there were serious issues going on around me, unstable conditions at times. My fears were very real and life was chaotic. It was no wonder food became a comfort. Yet at another time, years later, when a husband walked out on me, leaving me for another, food would no longer matter, and my appetite would suffer.

I'm in my fifties now, living in a culture obsessed with beauty, stick figure barbie doll actresses and models. Diet ads and fads abound. And I'm tired of it all, I tell you. Tired of hiding behind huge, baggy, loose clothing thinking I'm the world's worst human being because I enjoy an ice cream cone, piece of cake or candy bar. Tired of thinking I can seriously lose ten or fifteen pounds to be the "ideal" weight, perhaps the weight I was as a young girl. No, I've earned my love handles, you see. In the real world I live in, my size should not matter. I don't care if you're size 2 or size 22, you are a beautiful woman of God.

How long should it take us to stop the obsession, to give permission to love ourselves right where we are, how we look, at any age, regardless of dress sizes? Why can't we buy clothing that accentuates our good points without worry of hiding the bad? Why can't we eat that brownie without guilt in front of another who is giving us "the look", the one which says, "oh my gosh, I can't believe she's going to eat that."

I've known ladies of all sizes. My own mother was particularly overweight most of her life. A beautiful woman nonetheless. In her older years, food hasn't held the appeal it once did, and she's lost an incredible amount of weight. This was nothing she felt she HAD to do, it was just one of those things I suppose.

I hate something. Why is it that when we see someone who's lost weight, we say: "you look so good?" I say to this: "What did I look like before, crap?" Why can't we learn to compliment our sisters at any size, any age?

Think about it. Don't you enjoy hearing someone say your hair looks particularly good today, or that top looks great on you? If you can't come up with one nice thing to say sometime, then tell a person they have a great smile. A smile is one of the single most beautiful face lifts any woman can have. It lights up the countenance, erasing frown lines and worry. 

You are beautiful, girl. So put that outfit on, get that haircut or style you've always wanted. Wear the sequins, the baubles, get the tattoo. Do it for you, not for anyone else. And to this, I add: pick up that paintbrush, the pen and paper, the crochet hook or some other artistic outlet. Enjoy your life, live it to the fullest. And by all means, love, love, love yourself unconditionally.

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