I overheard these words at yoga this morning:
“Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to wear shorts to class.”
What I have to say today will be very brief and to the point, because excess words in regards to what I’m about to say might imply that there is room for debate. There isn’t.
Just as you are.
Yes, you. You who is reading these words. You are perfectly imperfect. Right now. Full stop. Period. End of sentence.
If I could reach through the screen and put my hands on your shoulders, emphasize each word with a little push, and look you in the eyes and tell you these words with my own voice, I would.
There is nothing else you need to do to be worthy of love. Nothing. You are loved right now. You could call in sick to work, not make dinner for your family, return your RedBox DVDs three days late, say no to exercise, say yes to double scoops of ice cream, pay your bills late, and say yes to everything else that your heart desires but the brain discourages because it’s not “practical”. And you’ll still be perfect.
Some of you will sit back and say: “That’s right! I forgot that I’m perfect, what with the other distractions of life competing for my attention and me trying to get everything done and accomplished. Thanks for the reminder.” You’re so welcome, you perfect unicorn. Let’s keep it real and remind each other.
Others of you might agree that you’re perfect, but a small, tiny voice in you says: “Yeah, but…” and completes the conditional sentence with something like this:
- “I picked a fight with my partner yesterday”.
- “I screamed at my child this morning”.
- “I’m having a fight with someone and I think she should apologize”.
- “I know I’m perfect just as I am, but sometimes I forget and I don’t know how to remember”.
- “I did something bad and I need to fess up, apologize, and make amends for it”.
Fair enough. You’re human. You make mistakes. You’re still perfect. You’re still worthy of love. Because you’re human.
There are no “if” or “but clauses to this statement. No conditionals.
Ladies and gentleman, your human soul is perfect. P E R F E C T. A S. I S.
But let me be very clear: your human body is also perfect as is.
Your shape and size have nothing to do with your value as a human.
Your ability in your physical body has no connection to your perfection.
Your perfection lies in your imperfections, but I don’t like that word. So let’s say that your perfections are your uniqueness. They are one of a kind.
So why do we feel embarrassed to wear shorts to yoga class?
I can think of some reasons. And let me be real that some of these thoughts have held me back in the recent past from wearing shorts to yoga. I’m not proud to admit it, but in full disclosure, it’s true.
- “My legs are too pale/fleshy/dry/hairy/curvy/veiny/fat/skinny” (choose your own problem).
- “I don’t want people to look at my skin/rolls of flesh/cleavage and judge me, so I’ll just cover myself up”.
We have been raised with direct and indirect messages about our bodies that they’re only of value, beauty, and sex appeal if they fit a standard that is set by the media. The media set this standard of unachievable altered image perfection to sell you things to make you feel that you’ll be perfect once you buy them.
Gross, I know.
We’ve all fallen for it. Buying new clothes, new accessories, new skin cream, new hair products. Getting plastic surgery so that we can finally achieve the look that we see on models and celebrities. Photographers make those images “perfect” with a few clicks of a button with the intention of making people feel less-than and thusly needing to buy more.
We have given the media too much power over our evaluation of our perfection. As evidenced by phrases like: “Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to wear shorts to yoga class.”
For North American women, the standard of beauty some bizarre combination of skinny, curvy, and muscular (I know, confusing, right?) If your body is any other shape, the idea is that you must be lazy and undisciplined.
For North American men, this standard of attractiveness is some bizarre combination of lean and muscular with six-pack abs. If your body is any other shape, you’re lazy and undisciplined you prioritize other things besides your health.
We have years of damage to undo from these spun stories of perfectionism that exist to sell us things and make us feel less-than.
So what do we do? How do we move onward from this prison of paralysis of action from feeling “less than”?
We love ourselves. Fiercely. Just as we are. With no conditionals. We get really clear on that sentiment and that feeling with every opportunity available to us. In doing so, we reclaim the power of our “is-ness”. We show up to yoga class in shorts because we can. We spend time with people who are firmly trained in this phrase and believe it: “You are perfect just as you are.” And then we remind each other when we have human moments of forgetting how perfect we are.
I’m here to create an army of self-love revolutionaries who are rooted in the beliefs of self-love. My people know that they deserve whatever it is they want in this one precious life by virtue of being a human being in a human body vessel on this planet. We are here to remind each other when we forget what the real truth is: we are perfect.
And when the weather warms up, I’m going to wear shorts to yoga class. I promise.
Most of us have struggled with feeling less than. If this is true for you, I’d love to hear what your strategies are for reminding yourself that you’re perfect just as you are.
Breathe and believe, beauties.