When I started the Resolve to Love Challenge, we talked about the fact that the body is not going to be around for very long and therefore, it just might be a waste of time to fret about how it looks. We then talked about how important it is to be grateful for the health with which we are blessed, no matter what our bodies look like. Our March challenge calls for us to claim our beauty – our true beauty. The beauty of our spirits, our personalities, our love.
This time, we are going to actually sit down and make a list. Go ahead, grab a pencil and sheet of paper, or open your word processing software. I’ll wait.
Did you do it? I hope you did, cuz I’m going to ask you a favor at the end of this post that will require you to complete this challenge.
You are going to list all the things you love about your inner self. Please note that I said INNER self. Nothing physical belongs on this list, with one exception: you may include your smile. Or, more accurately, the fact that you use your facial expressions to share joy with others. Everything else has to be about who you are, on the inside.
Here is a sample of mine:
…the hard work and discipline I put into my jobs.
…the patience I give to my students.
…my honest efforts to uplift everyone I see each day, even strangers.
…the care and love I give to my relationships.
…my earnest efforts to live a life that is friendly to the earth that sustains me.
And oh yeah – you can’t identify yourself in the context of a role you play in another person’s life. I’m going to ask you to drop the role and claim the beauty of who you are within it, instead. “I love that I’m a good mom” becomes “I love that I bless my children with my love and support each and every day.” Why am I asking you to do this, when it seems like a game of semantics? Because we are not our roles. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of feeling good about ourselves because of the roles we fulfill in the lives of others. So you’re not allowed to do that here! You get to claim who you are and what you do and what you give. You are beautiful, for instance, not because you are a good mother. (What does “good mother” even really mean, anyway? It’s all subjective.) You are beautiful because you share your love with your children, because you gift them with your patience, because you make their lives brighter by your nurturing guidance and support. You get to claim that. That is part of your beauty. And this goes for all the roles we fulfill – daughter, partner, wife, sister, grandmother, boss, etc. We are so much more than those labels. Explore it, name it and own it!
As for that favor I mentioned…? Well, it would just make my month if you would share some of your lists with me to post here on the blog each week for the month of March. You can leave yours in the comment section or email me at email@example.com. Please feel free to leave only excerpts if yours feels too personal to share in its entirety. I do, after all, intend to publish the lists here on the blog as individual posts (or a joint post, if I only get a few contributions).
Now go write those lists!