The thing is, even if you reject the idea that women need to be skinny to be attractive and worthy of love, there are still so many ways we are told we are less than. You’re not strong enough, you care too much about your looks, you care too little, you need a makeover, you have a lame job, your house isn’t pretty, your kids aren’t achieving enough… First they sell us on all our defects and then they sell us all the “fixes.” (Including, you know, Dove.) But you’ll never be able to buy “enough.” The great irony is that probably the best way to fix yourself is to stop fixing things. You’re not broken. I’m not broken. Sure, I can improve. Of course I can. I hope I can. But seeking to refine yourself is different than seeing yourself as inherently flawed.
I found this over at The Great Fitness Experiment, the bolding is mine. This funny lady is writing for a female audience, but I’m going to get bold and talk to a unisex audience… It isn’t just the women who have trouble with arbitrary and shifting standards.
You are not broken.
Do you hear me? Enough doesn’t exist. You can either spend your whole life trying to meet a measure that is always going to be out of reach because you’re ALWAYS going to move it before you get there; or you can stop asking the stupid effing question. We’re asking whether or not we’re strong enough, brave enough, good enough, fit enough, attractive enough, driven enough, successful enough, rich enough and they are all the wrong question.
Change the question and everything changes with it.
Here are the only questions that matter:
1) What is the most important thing I can do today to move myself in the direction of where I want to be?
2) What next?
3) Where do I need to show up in order to try?
I don’t give a rat’s diseased ass where you’ve been, what you’ve done, how you think you failed. What is behind you doesn’t matter (excepting my standard caveat: if it involves willfully hurting the defenseless because you think you are entitled to enjoying someone else’s pain, then I care.) How you’ve failed is irrelevant. You’re here now. Can you let go of your BS, ephemeral measures; the self-criticism that keeps you swaddled up in reasons why you’re this, that, or the other thing? Can you let yourself be wrong about your opinion of yourself and see where asking a different question will take you?
There is someone out there who loves you, exactly as you are. Someone who isn’t measuring you and deciding what you’re worth or what you deserve or if you are good enough. Someone operating in a binary system, where your name is enough to light up the 1 and your absence is enough to darken the 0. Do you really want to waste time thinking about whether you deserve that kind of acceptance, when you could be finding some respite in it instead? Room to breathe, permission to give up in order to be able to keep going?
For the love of Elvis, if the question you are asking isn’t getting you any further, ask a new bloody effing question.