Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mirror, mirror: self-acceptance

"At a certain part in your life, probably when too much of it has gone by, you will open your eyes and see yourself for who you are. Especially for everything that made you so different from all the awful normals. And you will say to yourself, 'But I am this person.' And in that statement, in that correction, there will be a kind of love."

-Phoebe in Wonderland

mirror, mirror

Self-acceptance. I am 28 years old and I've only started to get there within the past few years, but let me tell you, it's a beautiful thing to even be on the road headed there. Some of you, like me, might be close, but not quite there yet, some of you might still be trying to figure out who you are in this great big world, and some of you may just be starting on that journey...but don't give up! Self-acceptance is an important part of growing as individuals, and once you get on the right track the universe is a smiling place. I definitely didn't always feel this way growing up, and I'm not fully 100% there yet, but I'm at a good place where I can look in the mirror and say, "hey, I like you!" and feel happy in my life. With that said, I wanted to share some of the lessons I've learned along this grateful path to self-acceptance, as I truly believe that each and every one of us is capable of getting there.

1) Treat yourself with respect. This is such an important one, and naturally the key component in accepting yourself. If you don't respect yourself, how can anyone else? I'm sure there is someone in your life that you love more than anything. Maybe it's your dog, your best friend, your mom, your partner...and if you think about how you treat this person, I'm sure it's with the utmost respect and love. You go out of your way to do nice things for them, call and check in to see how they're doing, and in the case of your pet, you take them out for exercise and give them treats. Now think about yourself- do you treat yourself with the same amount of kindness? Do you tell yourself "I love you"? Do you take a time out and check in with yourself to see how you're doing? Do you exercise your precious body and reward yourself with something you love for a job well done? It's important to look at the relationship you have with yourself and see if it measures up. You deserve me-time, you deserve to surround yourself with positive people who lift you up rather than break you down. When I think of self-respect, I think of it as looking at your body and your spirit as something sacred. I try to put the best fuel in my body in the form of food and drink, because I deserve it. I know how my body feels when I disrespect it with unhealthy food choices. I exercise because I am showing myself respect and it makes me happy to use my body in an active way. I surround myself with positive people who respect me, because I respect myself. I know that for some people it can be hard to see why they should respect themselves. Perhaps growing up someone told them they weren't worth much. But you ARE. You are so beautiful and unique, and you deserve the love that I know you are capable of giving yourself. Start there. Start by telling yourself how wonderful you think you are. Even if you don't yet believe it, you will soon. List all of your great qualities on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror. Go on a walk, eat healthy, be around other who respect themselves, and you! In time, you will start to see how fabulous you've always been.

2) Stop caring what other people think. If I can summarize one of the major lessons I've learned over the past few years, it's this. We get one life, once chance, one go round on this beautiful world. If you waste your precious time on what other people think, you will go crazy. Everyone always has an opinion. Not everyone will like you, not everyone will agree with you, and the sooner you accept this fact and move on with you life, you will be a lot happier. You need to do what makes your heart happy. You can keep people in consideration, but in the end, it's you you have to answer to. Perhaps you question a fun outfit you put together, maybe you want to make a new friend that you know your other friends won't approve of, let's say you're tempted to make a risky career move...there will be people that support you and people that don't. Always. You just have to make your own decisions, and truly give up what others think. If you live your life for others' approval or for the sake of impressing someone (or everyone), you will never be happy.

3) No one cares as much as you think they do! This goes hand in hand with number two. Even now, at the ripe old age of 28, there are times when I feel totally self-conscious. Let's say I have an event to go to, and I know I will be the only tattooed person there...I often have this five minute dialogue in my head where I have to tell myself that no one cares about my tattoos as much as I think they do. Although I love them so, so much, it can still be annoying and hard to be the only person in a room with visible tattoos. I've experience a lot of rudeness because of them, but ultimately no one cares as much as I think they do. The world does not revolve around me, there is no need to feel uncomfortable in my own skin due to anyone else. I'm sure you know the feeling, you wear something a little weird, maybe a headband that you feel self-conscious in, and all day long you feel like everyone is staring at you...well guess what? They're not! No one cares as much as we build them up to care in our minds.

4) See yourself through someone else's eyes. On the converse side of the last two points I've discussed, it is good to take a step back and see ourselves through the eyes of someone who loves us. When we are struggling to the see the purpose in everyday, when we find it hard to understand our place or our value, there is always someone in the world who finds us valuable. I'd say that my husband, Hank, has been one of the major reasons I've grown to really find my path to accepting myself. When I think about how he sees me, or even really try to see what he sees, I see someone beautiful, caring, and kind. On days when I feel downtrodden or depressed, I now know that it's just a passing mood, and I can remind myself that other people do NOT see me in this way. Take a step back and try and view yourself through the eyes of loving people in your life. The same examples I used above work great here: your pet, best friend, parent or partner. Gain perspective by stepping out of yourself, and more often than not you will be enlightened with how amazing people really think you are.

5) Focus on the positive. So many times I hear people compare themselves to others, "She is just so good at this or that, I could never do that." No? Well guess what- you're absolutely good at something else. Often we get so hung up on what we can't do, that we lose sight of what we can do. Perhaps you have a blog friend that is just amazing at crafts. She can sew, crochet, paint, you name it! You admire her work often, but sometimes you start to experience negative thoughts creeping up, telling you that you're not as good as her, you can't do the things she does. During times like this, stop the negative self talk immediately and remind yourself of all the things you are good at! Maybe you write well, you're a great guitar player, you bake with the best of them, or you can run 10 miles without getting winded. Perhaps you can sew or draw, you can find bargains like no one's business, or you are simply a friend to all. We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses. You can work on your weaknesses, but always remember your strengths...and focus on the positive rather than obsessing over what you lack.

I have more things of this nature that I will continue to share as time goes on, but I wanted to share these five with you today. It's my hope that we as women can learn to LOVE ourselves, and begin to love each other more. Remember, we're all on this same journey. Showing love and compassion can be pivotal on someone else's path, and also your own. We all hurt, we're all growing, we're all learning. It's a beautiful thing to realize how universal our experiences really are. So with that, I hope all of you have a fantastic day! I LOVE YOU!

69 comments:

  1. Such amazing advice Dani. You're a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman! :)

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  2. Thank you so so much for this post! Awesome advice. Much loves!! Xxx <3

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  3. Thank you for this!!! Totally needed it today =]

    And I love Phoebe in Wonderland =]

    <3 Jess

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  4. Thank you for posting this, I needed it.

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  5. Thank you for the lovely kind and positive words.

    I am on the road to acceptance myself, and it's a long one, but i'll get there!

    you're truly inspiring. ♥

    paislea

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  6. How wise you truly are! I really need to work on #4!!!
    It's so true...no one cares as much as you think they do! I battle with this too often.

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  7. This is beautiful! Thank you so much for this!

    <3

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  8. Such an inspiration for my day. Thank you for some beautiful advice. you are great!

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  9. Wonderful advice! I definitely need to follow your 5th one. Thank you love! You're such an inspiring person<333

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  10. This post is truly inspirational. I'm working hard on loving and accepting myself as well, and I know how hard it is at times.
    Thank you for this post! ❤

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  11. Thank you so much for these words! You have no idea how much this helps. Your little one is about to have an INCREDIBLE mom.

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  12. thank you for posting these very inspiring words. they really brightened my day! you're great!!

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  13. danielle, you truly are a beautiful soul. this post is so full of truth, and i'm going to share it with everyone i know! you're amazing, thank you, love... <3

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  14. I am also 28, a 28 year old single mom to a wonder 6 yr old little boy, and have only started to feel self acceptance within the last few months. This was wonderful to read. Thank you!

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  15. This was so inspirational! I felt like you were speaking directly to me. THIS is why I love your blogs so much! This post was especially helpful today after much hate and negativity directed at me by anonymous people for no apparent reason, except maybe their own insecurities about themselves. That you for reminding me to see the positive in myself and not let those people get me down. :)

    Much love! ~C

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  16. awesome post! its great to see someone being positive and showing others the path! :)

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  17. i loveeee your blog, and this was no short of amazing.

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  18. you are amazing! i've just recently discovered your blog... & i love this ~

    "We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses. You can work on your weaknesses, but always remember your strengths...and focus on the positive rather than obsessing over what you lack."

    beautifully said & so true.

    & hello i'm erin & i am following you now ♥

    http://dreamingdandelion.blogspot.com/

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  19. Like everyone else who commented on this post,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! It was so beautiful and honestly it came at the perfect day. Blessings to you and your family!

    Jenn

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  20. Thank you for this post. I particularly enjoy the parts where you talk about embracing and celebrating other people's successes along with your own. That is certainly a learned quality and so necessary in order to gain self acceptance.

    Well said!
    -D

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  21. Very inspiring post:)

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  22. You are amazing. I am going to print this out so that I can read it whenever I have one of those days. This is something that I've struggled with my whole life and I'm at the beginning stages of overcoming. It's not easy, not one bit. Thank you Danielle!!!

    C

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  23. this was a beautiful and inspiring post! it really made my day! thank you so much <3

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  24. This is amazing! Also your dress is really cute. :)

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  25. It must be magic number 28, but this year I have been far more accepting of myself, and more comfortable with who I am too. I wish I felt this way in my early 20's - all those years of self loathing!
    An inspiring post!
    x Em
    e-llama.blogspot.com

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  26. Ah I do the thinking others are paying more attention to me than they are thing often .... Like if I feel like maybe my dress is a little short, or I did my hair a different way I feel like everyone is staring at me when it's all in my head.

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  27. Awww..this was great. Thank you.

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  28. I love this! and I love your blog always such a nice read

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  29. Incredible advice! I am definitely on the road to self acceptance; I feel like each year, I am happier with who I am, and it's nice to realize that I have become a better, more self-respecting person in the process.
    This sounds crazy because I have never met you, but I admire you in so many ways! I am a 19 year old, heavily tattooed makeup artist, who hopes to be a mother someday, so I love love love your blog!
    Thanks again!

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  30. Danielle,
    Your words are truly inspiring and your positive energy is definitely contagious. You should write a book!
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. You are going to make one heck of a Mom!
    -Janeva

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  31. I do try to think about myself like you wrote, but I couldn't even write about it in such an inspiring, loving way.
    Greetings:)

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  32. Thanks for this. I try to tell myself these things often but sometime I get off track and this past month I have definitly de-railed. So thank you for the reminder. You are amazing!

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  33. I think I might read this everyday until I believe it. Thank you so much for sharing and offering such lovely words of hope and love. You're so talented, beautiful and strong, you're going to be such an incredible mother.

    Love and happiness,
    Jessica

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  34. I think I might read this everyday until I believe it. Thank you so much for sharing and offering such lovely words of hope and love. You're so talented, beautiful and strong, you're going to be such an incredible mother.

    Love and happiness,
    Jessica

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  35. love love love this -- so happy i found your blog! xo

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  36. What a wonderful post, Danielle! I have that Phoebe in Wonderland written down too. As I was watching the movie, I kept stopping and rewinding so I'd have it just right. I love it so much! Awesome post! You are awesome, Danielle! xo

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  37. What a great post! :) I'm 28, going on 29, and some days I need a little reminder. Can't wait to read more!

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  38. Wow! I really LOVE this post and am going to share it with friends. You are so wise. I'm 33 and am just starting to realize these things just a wee little bit, nowhere near as comfortable as you seem to be with them. THANK YOU! This post meant so much to me today!

    Karen Beth
    msred5@yahoo.com

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  39. The only thing I can really say to this is thank you. so much.

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  40. This is so amazing. It is wonderful advice and so true. Thanks for sharing :)

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  41. Well-put and wonderfully thoughtful!

    I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before, but I love what you have to say.

    I'm 33 and its taken me two kids, a divorce and finding love again to begin accepting myself. If only my current self could have spoken to my 16 yr old self.

    Its a road that is winding and constantly changing directions. Stay focused on the positive and it will be much smoother!!

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  42. Thank you so much Dani, for these words! I'm following your Blog a little while now, it really inspires me! Have an awesome weekend!

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  43. This was a truly amazing post. Thank you so much for this, it's really inspiring and honestly made me teary-eyed. All so true!

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  44. This is so, so beautiful.
    You are such a lovely person to write and share something to a community of people.
    I found your blog in the nick of time. I'm going through somewhat of a self-acceptance phase which I've touched on in my blog. May your path to self-acceptance be incredible.

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  45. This post seems to include all the thoughts and worries i often have!All i ever care about when i dress in the morning is how i'll look to others.It's a real problem for me,as i can't ever seem to be myself.I'ts so good to hear a beautiful and confident lady saying she's felt all the things i do.So thank you. :-)

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  46. perfectly said. this is such a beautiful post! you are amazing<3 I want to share your words with everyone :)

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  47. Thank you SO much! This post made my day so much better, and it is a wonderful reminder :)
    xoxo

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  48. Oh what a beautiful post to read and start the day with.
    We as woman all have to remain strong, pick each other up with love and stick together .x

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  49. What an absolutely wonderful post!!!
    I really needed this :)

    stardustbohemian.blogspot.com

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  50. THANK YOU for this post. it's advice i really needed.

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  51. I'm definately going to try and start incorparating these into my everyday life.
    Great post! =)

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  52. this is exactly what i needed today. thank you.

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  53. I'm a little late in reading but I just wanted to tell you how much I love this post! Thanks for sharing Danielle! :)

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  54. Danielle, I had a dream last night that you were visiting my family in Brazil and we were really good friends. It was a fun dream! You are very inspiring and have such a great outlook in life. :)

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  55. This, right here, is exactly why you have people that admire you. This is the reason we all come here everyday just to see what you have to say, just to feel that little bit of magic you seem to project in everything you put on this blog. everything you say is beautiful, and inspiring, and just makes me feel so much better about the world and about myself after i read it. I know it might sound suuper cheesy but I am so glad you are who you are. I may not know you, but this tiny little blog-portal into your world makes me think of you as a friend, and I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this 'road to acceptance' just a little bit easier:) I definitely needed this...

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  56. This is such a beautiful post! Thank you so much for this <3

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  57. i feel a lot better. been struggling with myself for awhile now and this made me feel truly better. will be looking out for more posts like these in the future and re reading this one.

    thanks!

    big hugs and smiles sent to you and all the other readers!

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  58. What a great post! I've been reading for a while and couldn't help but comment. Thanks so much for the honesty and encouragement.
    Margaret

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  59. Beautifully stated my dear! You really are one of the most wonderful women in my life. Love you

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  60. The recent anonymous post was from me. haha I forgot to sign in when I was posting it.

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  61. Best blog ever written, ever. Thank you for this... Only this morning I was giving myself an "in head" pep talk about respect...sigh. Amazing post love. ♥

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  62. that is such a beautiful quote. thanks for being willing to share so honestly.

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  63. Thank you so much for this post. Ever since i found your blog i`m a loyal follower. You`re such an inspiration. It`s such a beautiful thing knowing that there are people out there struggling with the same issues and proving that you can be happy with yourself and concentrate of letting love in your life and (try to) keep negativity out.

    You`ll be a great, inspiring, beautiful loving mother.

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  64. awesome encouragement! http://ivy.mattmcdonald.net

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