I have a totally revolutionary question to pose. Wait for it.
What if you’re good enough — right here, right now, exactly as you are? What if there is no “better”, no “if only”, no “when I lose ten pounds”? What if there’s just you — the way you are rightthisminute?
Does that bum you out? I’m not gonna lie — it kinda had that effect on me initially. There’s something sad about letting go of that future dream of a “better” you. At times I think that forward vision is the only thing that’s kept me going.
But that’s exactly the point. When we live from an illusory dream of “better,” we’re missing the wonder of the flawed-yet-impossibly-perfect now.
I’ve realized recently that despite my tireless efforts at self-acceptance, self-improvement is always on my mind. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a better me, it becomes a problem if it means I’m living in the future.
Self-love does not come from a place of, “Oh, once I drop 20 pounds, launch a new career and start eating right, THEN I’ll be ok.”
Self-love means loving the you that exists right now right here in this exact moment of existence. No tomorrows, no next weeks, no imaginary future. Just now. As hard as it is to accept, now is all we’ve got. Life is a series of moments, and one day, there’ll be no more moments left.
Most of us would chortle in the face of the idea that we could possibly be good enough the way we are. Instead, we only imagine some future version of ourselves as worth accepting. “Once I change these 7,598 things about myself, THEN I’ll be good enough.” But self-acceptance is not conditional.
Self-acceptance is about accepting the flawed, current version of you in all her messy, absurd, overindulgent brilliance. Every little bit of her (or him).
If we wait and wait and wait for some elusive future dream of perfection before we embrace our uniqueness, that day will never come, and we’ll have wasted a lifetime of precious moments waiting for an imaginary tomorrow. Major downer.
Keep in mind, the world we live in is designed to perpetuate the belief that we’re not good enough. Consumerism is based on the idea that buying stuff will make us better, happier, shinier people. That’s rubbish, of course, but it keeps us believing that now is never good enough. It’s hard to be ok with what is when you’re being bombarded with BUY THIS AND BE BETTER!
Newsflash: the grass is never really greener. Just a different hue.
Pause a minute and take stock of who you are right now. Your stretch marks, your bad habits, your lack of self-discipline when it comes to Starbucks’ skinny peppermint mochas (ahem Hannah). Can you accept that person? Can you love that person? Can you own that person, flaws and all? Don’t be surprised if asking those questions leads to some serious discomfort — it made me wanna jump out of my skin. What pops up for you? Disbelief? A snort of sarcasm? Fear? Whatever it is, sit with it. Understand yourself.
I’m not saying we have to give up on our dreams of better — we just have to stop living exclusively from them. No more trading today for a dream of tomorrow. The truth is, we ARE good enough, all of us, right now. No matter what lies society tells, we’re ok just the way we are. There are no conditions to meet or standards to follow. It’s just you and me and our wild, unruly awesomeness in this moment.
Here’s what I propose — for you, and me, and all of us. Let’s make a concerted effort to be ok right where we are. No ifs, ands or once-I-start-working-out-like-a-maniac-and-starve-myself-and-get-a-victorias-secret-angel-butt(s). Just ok, right here, right now. If we want true, lasting happiness — that has to be enough.