This Week: Love Yourself

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You have one thing to do this week: love yourself, quirks and all. 

It’s safe to say that, sometimes, we all succumb to the various body pressures around us. We consequently and unfairly beat ourselves up as we compare ourselves to other women, maybe without even noticing. With added pressure from media, print, fashion and social media, it somehow becomes easier to wish we looked a different way. But oftentimes we forget to appreciate ourselves for the beautiful, strong, capable beings we are — inside and out.

To speak candidly, sometimes I struggle with the fact that I am getting older. Aesthetically, my body is morphing, wrinkles are settling in, and gravity is taking hold. But mentally, I am learning to appreciate the fact that, with age (saggy skin, cellulite and sun spots), comes a confidence only learned through first-hand experience. Life is lived in valleys and on top of mountains. It can be as smooth as an untouched lake or as tough as a tornado spiraling out of control. But because we persevere in the wake of challenging times — keep getting up and dusting ourselves off — we realize that a never-ending well of strength lives in us. Knowing our capabilities through life’s trials, a hope and confidence is created in each one of us and “problems” such as cellulite or wrinkles slowly start to drift away. I can look at the dark sun spots on my face and wish they’d go away, but a voice inside me says, more loudly, “you’ve lived a life in the sun. You have traveled. You have climbed mountains. You have swam oceans. Thank God there are sun spots on your face because that means you are enjoying life!”

Today we wanted to share a few testimonials from a few different women of various ages and occupations, all living life in a different way. Each one of us has “flaws” that we would prefer to minimize, but today we are celebrating them. So I’d like you to look at yours from a different angle, too. Instead of being ashamed, be proud, and show yourself some much deserved grace.

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“Most often I am embarrassed to wear shorts and short dresses due to the many scars I have on my legs. I have three large ones on my left leg and six on my right. Lotions have not helped minimize the appearance — they are just as pronounced as when I got them. But I am learning to look at them, not as ugly scars, but as memories. Each scar tells a story from a different time in my life. I received the huge ones on my left leg from barely grazing the burning hot exhaust pipe on my moped in Hawaii. It hurt like crazy, but looking back now I only remember what a beautiful time I had on the island. The indented scar on my right shin? I got it from missing a box jump at volleyball practice in college. When I see that scar, I am rushed back to an intense part of my life of which I am extremely proud. As I look at each scar, I start to feel grateful. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to travel, climb boulders, hop fences… and get scars.” – Joanna, blog writer

“I hate the shape of my eyes. I used to feel like I couldn’t be seen without eyeliner and mascara because my eyes looked too bizarre without them. I’ve always had people tell me that my eyes are their favorite feature, and I am finally starting to ‘hear’ them and am learning to be ok with them. I don’t wear much makeup these days and it’s made me feel more comfortable actually!.” – Lauren, musician

“I have always thought that I had a large backside and often wish that my butt was smaller. Because I am curvy, shopping for bottoms can be challenging, to say the lead  and I feel embarrassed in swimsuits. But I am learning to appreciate my curves because they make me feel feminine and sexy. I am embracing my curves — I feel like a woman!” – Jackie, designer

+What are you proud of? I would love to hear your powerful thoughts, too!

Follow Joanna on Instagram.

Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite blogs to read when I’m in a rut and need some inspiration and I just can’t believe how accurately timed the posts have been the last few days for me. Even this weeks horoscope described what I was feeling and anticipated perfectly. I catch myself feeling crazy thinking the way I do but it’s so relieving to see other women have the same thoughts! Thank you Freepeople for promoting honesty and loving yourself to the core.

  2. What an inspiring post! I’m grateful to hear other women’s views on growing older.
    I’ve always been “young at heart” and find joy in simple things. I’m grateful to see where this journey takes me and all the amazing things I still have to learn. When I turned 50, my sweet husband bought me a horse! We learned Dressage together and started Hunter/Jumper when I turned 62! Keeping a positive attitude, and wearing red lipstick, helps me on this journey.

  3. Honestly this was the pick me up I needed this week, you know those times you get yourself into a slump? We all have them and I struggle to get out of them! I’d say I’m proud of my positive outlook on life, I am certainly not care free but the fact I try to find the positive in everything makes my worries less demanding. People always say I’m always so happy, it’s because I try my best to find the best in everything!

    Infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

  4. Such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing! I’ve always been self conscious about my weight. I am rather thin and was always teased in school, and even by my friends. (no body size is safe from shaming!) I had grown to hate my image, but over the years, I’ve learned to let that go. Everyone is unique, and no one should hate who they are. Even though I find it hard at times, I’ve grown to love myself.

    ❀Riah
    The Wanderful Soul Blog

  5. I MUCH needed this. I mean you always try to reinforce that mindset in yourself but still very hard to convince yourself that you are enough and you are doing enough to love yourself. Reading it/hearing it from somewhere else does make a big difference. I feel that some of us women don’t struggle with just our appearances, but with accomplishments. Maybe it’s just me..but I am getting older and still not knowing what to do, where to go next is a big struggle and in that process of finding.. hard not to compare myself with others I guess.

  6. When I started 7th grade lip gloss and glitter just weren’t enough make up to make me feel pretty anymore. Since then I’ve woken up every morning to the routine of powers and brushes on my face. I never EVER wanted to be seen without makeup on. However, a few months ago, I decided to go on a No Makeup cleanse. At first I felt naked and judged, like I didn’t add up to my old makeup-wearing self, and all of the other beautiful women out there. 5 months later, I’ve thrown out all of my makeup… except my lipgloss and glitter :-)

  7. Great post! Here’s my share: I just got back from a week beach vacation. And instead of feeling cranky about my body, I wore a bikini every day and enjoyed the beach. Walked my babies along the shore without a cover-up; and even wore a suit I haven’t worn since having my second child. I am trim, but like you, am feeling the pull of gravity, loss of breast mass, and the loss of muscle after 2 c-sections. While away, I went to my first hot yoga class at Zen Den. It was fantastic and I felt strong and when I was done, more confident, even though I didn’t look half as good as the other women in the room. Their muscles and their form were incredible; it was inspiring and not intimidating. it felt good to start pushing my body again and testing my limits. There was a sign over the door which read: Strong is the new skinny. Indeed! It was good headspace and gave me the confidence i needed to love myself and my body on the beach.

  8. Thank you all for sharing your stories. Each one of you is inspiring and I feel lucky to be connected to such strong, beautiful women. Thank you! xx, Joanna

  9. Much needed. Staying happy and seeing the brighter side is always been my “good 5 minutes”.
    Like your Point of view. Relax and Do my best to just Be Happy. Stay Cooleveryone. Love each other. Be ☺.

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