I’ve noticed a powerful shift in myself over the past couple years.
It started when I got tired of my pants being increasingly tight around my waist (pandemic pounds are real!), and I upped the cardio in my daily exercise routine.
Despite the shift from yoga to yoga and jogging and weight lifting, the extra pounds didn’t budge (as they definitely would have in my 20s and 30s). So I added in intermittent fasting (which I’d tried before and which generally helps me feel energetic and clear-headed), but still, my pants weren’t fitting.
So I bought a stationary bike (which I love and now ride almost every day), and STILL, after months, no weight loss to speak of.
Though it took me about a year to really see it, I finally came to realize that none of my attempts to lose a few pounds were actually about the weight. A different, more powerful transformation was happening for me:
I was coming to realize that my self-love was sometimes transactional and conditional.
Yes, I accept and love my body and have for years now, but the extra investments I was making in myself were coming not from a place of wanting to take good care of myself (I’d been doing that already), but because I wanted something back from my body. And when it didn’t give me what I wanted, I tried something else to achieve my conditioned mind’s desired results.
I started to see this pattern in other parts of my self-relationship as well. For example, I hoped for something back from times I gave myself extra rest (“I should be able to be extra productive after a nap!”), and from my regular writing practice (being hard on myself every time I sat down to write and things weren’t flowing as fast as my conditioned mind wanted them to).
I would never treat my kids like that. I see them as worthy of movement and rest and time for creative expression no matter what. My love for my girls is, once again, showing me how to better mother myself.
So, here are the new agreements I’ve made with myself:
Moral of the story? We are worthy of self-love regardless of how much we produce or accomplish (hello again lies of capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy!). True self-love isn’t transactional. It’s unconditional.
What conditions have you been putting on your own lovability (especially as you age)?
Loving my workouts and wearing pants two sizes up,