Monday Morning Pages: The Conundrum of Self-Acceptance and Self-Improvement

by Rebecca A. Watson on March 10, 2014

in love, Monday Morning Pages, travel

Last night, Sante and I and a few friends decided to go to Liestal, Switzerland, for their fire parade, Chienbäsen. It’s a relatively small town outside of Basel, but its population grows from 13,000 to well over 60,000 during the parade.

Firemen and what appears to be just local folks in regular clothing walk down the middle of the street through the city gate with torches that get progressively bigger. Other people pull wagons filled with stacks of wood, all set fire and flaming high into the sky. You’re advised not to wear anything you care about and natural fibers are encouraged.

One of the wagons we saw.

One of said wagons.

With all those people in the European streets, things got crowded quickly. Sante and Jeff pushed through the crowd toward the street. I felt folks behind me itching to go the same way. Oh, and did I mention people were advised to have an escape route?

So here I was between fire and people, and I started getting very nervous. Like, I-might-have-a-panic-attack nervous. But I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to appear to be the lame one, too scared of a parade.

Lately, though, I have been working hard on self-love, and one of those things for me is honoring my inner voice, no matter what people might think. This is why I danced down the street and through a park today, jamming to a hip-hop/dance Pandora station. It’s also why I told Sante I was going to hang back where I was comfortable. In the end, we got a spot with a view (on top of a patio table).

And toward the end of the parade we met up with Jeff and Sante near the city gate. It had gotten less crowded, he said.

And a wagon going through the city gate. Eeeeeek!

Maybe the same wagon going through the city gate? Eeeeeek!

After the parade, I can’t tell you the relief I felt in listening to myself. I noticed that things had been going pretty well since I’ve focused more on being kind, gentle and loving to myself. My friend and coach Tanya wrote something on her Facebook wall that really resonated with me. Another friend felt it too — she brought it up to me later.

Self love and acceptance is the ultimate Key to healing (anything), to creating more of what you want (because you believe you deserve it/are worth it), and will help you to set (and keep) better boundaries with yourself and others.

And at this time in 2012, I wrote something along the same lines:

Remember, when you take care of yourself, everything else follows. … Letting go of your fam, giving control to the Universe, trusting that it can take care of its bizness, all that is difficult. Remember, you’re special and worthy of great love.

what if the only resolution you had was to love yourself more?

I certainly am trying to walk the walk. I’ve been working out in some form most days, which really makes me feel great and shows my body I love it. I try to do a meditation every afternoon for at least 20 minutes, which really helps clear my mind.

I journal every morning, occasionally remembering to write five things I like about myself. (Today: I make delicious cake.) I usually manage to get in an affirmation every day.

And it feels like it’s working. My vision board keeps on reminding me that my dreams are coming true. I feel like I’ve made amazing progress on my mental health within the last year.

My book is moving along — chapters 3 and 4 to be written this week! And I’m even starting to feel like I belong here, despite the fact that two boys asked me if I was on drugs today while I was dancing.

There’s another part to this self-love thing that is really becoming more obvious to me as I focus more, and I picked this up from my 2013 journal from around this time:

I’ve got issues, but don’t we all? I’m self-aware and I’m here on this planet to work through them, you know? Now it’s time to accept myself as perfect just as I am.

I think that actions, not words, are what show our love, both to each other and ourselves, which is why I take concrete steps every day. Lip service only gets you so far. But there is something to putting a mission statement behind those actions —  a general goal to strive for.

Self-acceptance is another aspect of self-love, which means taking myself just as I am, panicky moments and all. I’m sure I’ll find some actions to show myself I am cool just being me, but I don’t know quite what they are yet. I think affirmations and meditations to break old beliefs will help this, but I wonder what else?

It seems like a lot of what I do could be filed into the self-improvement category, which by its very nature is less than accepting of your current self. So what’s a gal to do? If you’ve got any suggestions, I’m all ears. And if I come up with some, I’ll be sure to update you. In the meantime, I’m just gonna keep on working the self-love angle. I encourage you to do the same.

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

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