How to Accept Yourself: “For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right-wing and a left-wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is a shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings are perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. This generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race.”
― C. Joy Bell C.

We have a strange relationship between the need to be perfect as individuals and the need to have perfect partners, lovers, and husbands. It’s an impossible obsession. Embracing screw-ups and mistakes will not only make us happier but healthier and more appreciative of ourselves and hence the ripple effect of that self-gratitude will pour onto our partners.

A friend once told me that perfection is often at times, unrealistic. If someone who you may deem totally imperfect for you makes you a better person by bringing out the best version of yourself in different ways such as being your number one cheerleader, your best critic, having unwavering loyalty, showing you constant love and support or being your listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. If all this in the end makes you a better person, then is that not the incontestable proof of their perfection?

I was always an overweight girl especially from the age of thirteen all the way to my mid-twenties. I had a very hard time dating because no one bothered to look at me. I did almost everything to shed it all off so that guys could pay some attention to me. I played hockey, I swam, I ran every evening, I jogged, and I went to the gym. The need to become smaller became more and more urgent as I grew older, it was a serious craving that turned into an unquenchable desire. I used to ogle at models in the ‘America’s top model’ show and all the women in our neighborhood who had small bodies. I did not realize at the time, due to my obsession, that the change in my physical body would only happen if I loved and appreciated my inner self first.

It quickly dawned on me that it would be impossible to get a long-term partner or a boyfriend from a face-to-face meet-up because I got stood up on many blind dates. I used to dream of tall, intellectual, sophisticated men with toned muscles and them holding my hands, staring at me, touching my chin in a somewhat playful manner to wipe off something invisible that may have dropped off in my chin, like they do in movies, someone who would make me laugh and constantly say just how gorgeous I looked. I abhorred large-looking men. I looked at them as lazy and unfit who probably chewed loudly and made that sound as they sipped their tea. Skinny, tall, toned men were perfection. Skinny, tall/short women were like rare and beautiful art.

I decided to go online and filter out all the parts of myself that I felt uncomfortable with which at the time meant, almost every part of my body. Before I started identifying myself up-front as fat in my dating profiles, I had spent hours, days, and months pondering whether I wanted to be a party to upholding the worldview that the most important thing about me to a potential suitor is the size of my body.

I fell into depression because I felt unloved and unappreciated and frustrated due to all the efforts that I made towards getting smaller that seemed to be in vain. I eventually opted for professional therapy that taught me self-love and How to Accept Myself which took time to accept but the concept eventually sank in, and I embraced it. I got a nutritionist as well who spoke to me about dieting options and reducing portions because it’s true what they say that you are what you eat. I eventually gave up sugar and only treat myself to small bitings of cake or cheese croissants once in a while.

The weight finally drifted away. A lot of it. I am currently the small girl I wanted to become but a healthier one. A happy one. This is because of the journey I took to understanding that wanting perfection is like chasing the wind, that we are all flawed, that it is okay to be big or small, or tall or short, or have a dark tone or a light tone, or a squeaky voice, or a pointy nose. That it is okay to sip your tea loudly. That it is okay not to fit in because we are all unique and special creatures made to stand out.

I am finally dating a guy that I really like who is nowhere near a more chiseled, polished version of Hercules. Who does not quite look like a sculpture on display in Venice?  He has far better qualities. A soft touch, beautiful eyes, warm feet, a beautiful soul, a heart of gold, one of my biggest cheerleaders and favorite critic. Embracing Imperfection equals growth. Falling in love with all your strengths and flaws and working towards being a better version of yourself enables you not to be bitter or too hard on other people whom you may deem flawed and imperfect. Forgive yourself for self-sabotaging.

Embracing imperfection teaches you self-love and How to Accept Yourself and others. Embracing imperfection is the fire that eventually turns you into gold. Go out there and become delightfully chaotic, a beautiful mess. Perfectly Imperfect.

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