Loving All of Your Parts

January 29, 2013

When I first start working with people, it almost always begins like this…

Ok, so these are the things that I want to work on: x, y, and z. I really want to love myself completely, and I feel quite certain that once I accomplish those things, I will be ready to be loved. I will be lovable.

In my every day life, I encounter it everywhere: Facebook, the grocery store, in conversations with friends. People holding the bright parts of themselves hostage, until they can rid themselves of the parts that they dislike. And, it can go on for years like this – with them finding themselves wholly unable to fundamentally alter who they are.

And they get frustrated. And sad. And hurt.

They blame themselves, wondering aloud why they can’t just be more dedicated. Motivated.

Bright lights

Conditions for Beginning

As you are sitting at your computer reading this post, close your eyes and run a quick scan over your life.  Are you telling yourself that you need to ________ before you can have {insert thing that you really desire}?

Are you holding your breath or playing small, until you achieve a certain goal or overcome a specific obstacle?

These are your conditions for beginning. Simply put, a condition for beginning is the marker, milestone, or state of being that we demand of ourselves before we allow ourselves to truly plug into and become an active participant in our lives.

Common conditions for beginning are: losing weight, getting your dream job, finding the perfect relationship, healing your relationship with food, graduating from college, or getting a raise.

It is an external marker that you have chosen to signify your level of readiness. It is the thing that you tell yourself, once you have gotten here, then you will be good, you will be lovable, you will be worth celebrating.

I spent the first 24 years of my life holding my breath, believing that my life wasn’t worth living until I was thin, beautiful, and successful. I believed that everything that came before thin, beautiful, and successful was unworthy, and therefore, used these qualifiers to keep me from actively pursuing a life that lit me up inside.

I kept myself small, until I was acceptable for public consumption.

Breaking the Rules That Bind You

If you had let them, the rules that you create for your lives will pin you firmly to a life that isn’t a good fit for you.

You will be tethered there, waiting for someone to come and save you from yourself.

You will watch everyone else moving chasing their dreams, falling in love, and pursuing what lights them up, and you will tell yourself that you don’t deserve that until your conditions for living are met.

You would be wrong.

If you take nothing else from this post, please hear this:

You are deserving of a full, exciting, beautiful, and deeply satisfying life – in this moment, in this body, in this place in your life.

There are no conditions to be met in order for this statement to apply to you, no hoops to jump through, or goals to achieve. You are deserving of it now, even if you don’t yet believe it to be true.

Today, I want to invite you to take note of the conditions for living in your life and the rules that keep them securely in place. Ask yourself, is this working for me? Am I happy living like this? Does believing this model improve the quality of my life?

Inviting Yourself in From the Cold

You, my dear, are the sum of your parts.

There is nothing to beat up, squash down, tame, or eradicate.

You, just like everyone else on this planet, are the product of your lived experiences – the moments, feelings, relationships, wins, and mistakes that make up the complex, interesting, beautiful person that you are.

Today, whenever you think about those aspects of your being that make your shoulders sag or make you feel badly about yourself, I want you to try something else.

Close your eyes for a second and imagine that it’s 0 degrees outside and that part of yourself is shivering in the cold. Imagine watching that part of yourself – that troublesome, noisy, disgruntled part of yourself – shivering out there in the yard, freezing while you are padding about your nice warm kitchen, cozy and happy.

Imagine inviting that part of yourself in from the cold.

Imagine serving that part of yourself a cup of tea and settling down for a conversation. What do you notice?

You might see that this part of yourself is vulnerable – exhausted from years of trying to keep you safe.

You might see that this part of yourself is loud because it’s desperate to be heard.

When your mind is soft and gentle, you might begin to feel some compassion for yourself – all of yourself – and begin to notice how the pieces all work together. You might begin to better understand the complexity of your spirit.

 You are Ready Now

In this moment, you are ready for the life that you desire. You have all of the tools and equipment.

You are ready to learn how to work with yourself, instead of against yourself.

You are deserving of a life that fills you up to the brim with joy and excitement.

You do not need permission.

You need only to look inside, granting yourself permission to stretch to your full height and invite the full breadth of the phenomenal person that you are in from the cold.

Today, step up. Claim your place. Stand in the glory of your own power.

You are ready, now.

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