My smile is crooked, my nose is crooked, my skin looks better some days than others, my eyes aren’t perfectly symmetrical, my hair gets tangled, my weight ebbs and flows and there are a hundred other things I could nitpick about myself, but for what? Every single one of us has unique and imperfect features, quirks or conditions that have very little, if any, impact on what we can offer the world around us. I’m not trying to discredit the reality of human insecurities, because we’re all human, but it just isn’t worth the mind-space or energy to fixate on our appearance when there are so many aspects to us as people with ideas, voices, abilities and the means to offer actions that matter more than how put together (or not) we look.
What I’m not insinuating is that we should all skip showers and romp around the world looking as haggard as we possibly can for the sake of being perceived as more than an outward appearance, or that wearing makeup or doing our hair is complete vanity – good hygiene, healthy bodies and looking decently well-kept is different than obsessing over things we think should be different about ourselves that are perfectly good the way they are. I’m more interested in sparking conversations and thought processes that point attention to things like how well we speak our truth, how honest we are with ourselves and other people, how we treat ourselves and other people and what we’re doing to better both ourselves and the people around us.
So instead of spending mind-space on what you do or don’t look like, do more of what helps you be better at who you are and what you do. And if and when you find yourself in some kind of self-image, identity funk, get your mind off of it by getting to the things that need to get done – maybe there’s a load of laundry or dishes to be done, or some organizing that needs to happen, workouts or errands to do, or how about people to get in touch with that you keep meaning to get to? Those are the things that work best for me, and if you find a way to get yourself into action, I’m willing to bet the little things you so easily nitpick at won’t even cross your (or anyone else’s) mind.
At the end of the day, the ways we make the world a better place to be in counts more than how we look in it.
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