Friday, October 26, 2012

Self- acceptance, an on-going process

I know people who are completely comfortable in their own skins and could care less what other people think about them.

I wish I was one of those.

I'm okay with my personality.  While I am stubborn and impatient, I am smart, kind, compassionate, and reasonably talented.  I would like a little more ambition, but I'm okay without it.

It's my physical appearance that I find lacking.  I'm not ugly.  I'm plain.  In this culture where youth and beauty are defined by the media, I don't measure up.

Mind you, my shortcomings don't bother me enough to do anything about it.  I don't wear makeup.  It makes me itch.  I don't dress fashionably.  I dress for comfort.  I wear jeans, sneakers, and camp shirts to work because I prefer my skills take center stage over my appearance.

By societal standards, I need to lose weight, but it doesn't bother me enough to give up cookies or chips and salsa to be skinnier.   Still, when I see other people at the gym that are tanned, free of freckles and age spots, and not pudgy, I feel inferior.

Sometimes, briefly, I reach the desired level of acceptance of my appearance.  I realize that people like me for who I am and how I treat them, not for what I look like.

This most recent dismay was prompted by seeing myself in a video testimonial I did for my gym.  It was taken before a class, so I didn't make any effort to spruce up.  Also, I talk with my hands, but my hands weren't shown,. Apparently my head twitches when I move my hands, so it looked like I was having a seizure. .

Looking at the video, I decided that people who tell me I look younger than my age are just being gracious.  I thought I looked every year of my age.

Should it matter to me?  No.
Does it matter?  Unfortunately.
Am I still a good person? Of course.

Is self-acceptance genetic or is it something that can be learned?


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