I understand that to truly embrace life, I have to first embrace myself. I have to love myself. But how do you love yourself if you don’t fully understand who you are?
The end of last year signalled the end of my time at Billie Goat. It was the end of an era.It was also a huge shock to be standing there, alone in an empty factory, locking up for the very last time. It wasn’t how I had imagined it to end, and I wasn’t the person I thought I would be. In fact, at that time I really didn’t like myself that much, and had probably struggled to live with myself for well over a year prior.
I had a much needed break, and, as the universe so often provides, new experiences were presented to me throughout 2013. Our young performer was given a lead role in a major Sydney musical theatre production and this meant endless commutes to the big smoke, but most importantly a requirement to spend a lot of time with a whole new set of people. Lovely, beautiful, welcoming people who were brought together by a common project. Without the responsiblity of Billie Goat (or people knowing me as the ‘soap lady’) I was a different person. Relaxed, open and excited for the future. The old me was starting to return and I liked it. I could feel the change.
This then begs the question – if we are constantly evolving, how is it possible to truly love ourself? From what point of recognition do we say “that’s me, and I like it”? Is it when I think of my behaviour as a business person? Is it when I think of my connections with my friends? Is it the effort I put into my marriage? Perhaps it’s the way I love my children? None of these things are constant. For example, some days I think I’ll be awarded Mother of the Year, and others I make some horrible parenting choices. Some times I am a strong and decisive business person, and other times I am engulfed by apathy. There are days when I revel in the company of my dear friends, and others where I’m overcome with guilt for not picking up the phone. How is it possible to love yourself when the person reflected back is ever changing? How can we love ourself if we have have moments of identifying the bits in us we like and the bits we vow to change? I’ll never be whole if I start with “when I stop (insert perceived deficiency here) then I will love myself more”.
I’ve realised that the answer lies in one simple word…acceptance. I have had some real cringe-worthy moments these past few years. I had them prior too, but one of the benefits of being more self aware nowadays means the stuff ups stand out a lot more! I have to accept that I messed up in that moment, and accept that it’s ok. When I look back on the instances in my life where I haven’t been comfortable in my own skin, I have to accept those moments are okay. I know some of you are now expecting me to say that life errors are a gift – other more positive things often happen. Well, that is true some of the time, but not all of the time. In fact, there is likely to be many times where poor decisions are simply that – bad moments in time! There was no silver lining that followed, no gift in the experience. It was just a plain old stuff up, and that’s perfectly ok. When we recall those times we must accept them and embrace them, love them. Weave them into our quilt of life.That’s how we can love an ever changing self – accept everything about ourselves and know both good and bad choices are perfect at that moment in time.