On Loving Yourself: A Series

18 Aug

First of all, thank you. Thank you for liking, sharing, talking about my stretch marks. I can honestly say I’ve never thought I’d say that in my entire life, but thank you. Seriously. Oh Bless Your Heart had the most views ever the day I posted about my stretch marks and that wouldn’t be possible without you guys sharing it with others. You’re the best.

 

But, why bodies? Why body image? Haven’t we all been over this before?

 

Yeah. I mean, I know I’ve heard the same message on a continual loop since junior high:

Love yourself. Love your body. Everyone is beautiful in her own way. Yada, yada, yada….

 

So, why hasn’t it sunk in? Why do I/you/we continue to struggle with loving our bodies?

 

I think it is partially due to the fact that we still place so much value on being “beautiful.” Even when we don’t want to, it’s hard not to get sucked in. It’s really hard to fight a lifetime of subliminal messaging, am I right? It’s even harder to fight that lying voice in your head, spinning negativity and self-loathing. It’s just plain hard.

 

And the older I get, the more the struggle weighs on me. This is a journey toward self love and I want you to come with me. I need you to come along and help me. I’m pretty good at loving others and I think you probably are, too. There’s obviously always room for improvement, but I find it infinitely easier to love somebody else, to pour into them, rather than into myself.

 

Which is why I got this tattoo.

 

                                  Because it’s hard to remember sometimes.

 

 

So, for the next week or so (don’t hold me to any specific time frames ’cause I do what a want) I’ll be doing a series on loving our bodies, which really means loving ourselves. I have some really excellent guest posts lined up, which I’m fantastically excited about. These are women from all kinds of backgrounds, ages, and body types. They’re single, married, with kids and without, and I asked them to share their stories because they are unique and because I can trust them to be real with you.

 

My hope here is that we will create an environment for affirmation, validation, healing, and growth. More than anything else in this entire world, I want to create a place where we can be real. Because none of this is going to work unless we are open, raw, and real with each other. I’m never going to feel okay with myself if I feel like I have to hide all the time.

 

Therefore, I’m laying the groundwork now. This is not going to be a series in which somebody who appears to completely have their shit together tells you just to love yourself as you are. It doesn’t matter how well-meaning she is, I just can’t handle being told to love myself by someone whose life is straight off of Pinterest, mainly because I don’t feel like I have anything in common with her. And I desperately want you to know that in this space, anything goes, ugly reality and all.

 

So here’s reality:

 

Today, I am wearing maternity pants.

 

My youngest will be a year old next month and I am currently wearing maternity pants. 

 

I am not pregnant so don’t ask and I am currently wearing maternity pants.

 

I think they’d also be considered yoga pants. So, maternity yoga pants is what I’m wearing right now. 

 

This is a lesser known yoga pose called, “Salutation to the Shit.” It’s a really great pose for stretching your body so that you can hopefully muster enough energy and flexibility to kick the strewn toys and food from the dining room into a pile in the corner that you can ignore for seven weeks. It takes a lot of focus…and maternity yoga pants…and coffee.

 

 

The first guest post will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned! If you would like to contribute to this series, shoot me an email at marysusan.delagrange@gmail.com and I’d be over-the-moon excited to provide a platform for you to share your story.

 

Don’t forget to love yourself today!

-Mary Susan

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