"The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely" -- Carl Jung

So the main aspect of the Going the Distance challenges should be familiar to most of you (even if you haven't participated) -- to set ...

So the main aspect of the Going the Distance challenges should be familiar to most of you (even if you haven't participated) -- to set a distance goal and achieve it.  Some of us reach our goals, some of us don't, but what we're learning along the way is that (1) setting a goal is an indication we expect something (greatness?) from ourselves, (2) we can push our our minds and our bodies beyond what we had formerly expected, and (3) we can feel a sense of accomplishment even if we come up short. 

But #FebGTD has introduced a terrifying (to borrow from Carl Jung) aspect to the challenge to some people:  to find ourselves lovable -- on both good days and bad.  At the end of February, I want everyone to write a love letter to themselves, but I thought it'd be much easier if they had a list of 28 individual things they love about themselves.  I can't wait to see what people come up with.  Already there seems to be a few different angles -- people loving a part of their body because of what that body part is capable of, people who pick a part of themselves because they love how that part makes them feel, and people who go under the surface and talk about who they are instead of what they are.

Loving myself has often meant that I have to correct a wrong from my past.  Either I've hated on myself, someone else has made me feel bad about my body, or society in general has tried to make me feel less than because I am one thing and not the other.

My mother was one of those people who made me feel bad about my body.  It took many years and lots of patience for me to realize that it wasn't out of malice that she was doing this, but that she had deep insecurities about her own body.  It is with great compassion that I am trying to reshape many bad memories, for her benefit and my own.  Her main critique of my body was not that I was fat, but that I had hips and breasts.  She didn't have the hourglass shape that her mother had.  That I have.

These hips came in handy this morning when my cat threw up 6 times, and would meow at me until I picked him up and balanced him on my hip.  One front paw would go on my boobs, the other around my back, and his head against my shoulder, his rear legs balanced on my butt and stomach.  Something about being held like that reassured him that I was going to take care of him.  I can only imagine what this would be like with a human child.  Hips weren't these lascivious things that my mom was worried would catapult me from childhood to adulthood, but they were the vehicle through which a mother could connect with her child.  I could hold Spike and brush my teeth at the same time.

I understand now how hard it must have been with 2 young children and no hips.  Women balance all things on their hips from the attention of a man, to children, to laundry baskets.  They are tools of our trade.

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15 comments

  1. I've always been kinda straight down, but since have four kids, I do notice more little hips - I likey likey. :)

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  2. Four kids? oh my goodness. How do you do it?

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  3. Carl Jung, flashback to psyc class and a college prof who never left the 60s in the 60s.

    Well now I have a new respect for a womans hips too.

    Hope the kitty is Ok, I'm sure he is as our cats yak weekly due to their insistance to chew on plastic bags.

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  4. I've always important to realize that your body is awesome regardless of what people say! But on a more humorous side, sounds like you make one heck of a scratching post ;)

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  5. Spike goes through bouts where he'll just throw up multiple times a day and then nothing. My vet has put him on tons of medication and nothing works, different foods don't work, it might just be behavioral. We're not sure.

    And yeah, womens' hips do LOTS of things. You men don't even realize :)

    Christian -- I don't let the cats scratch me, other people, or furniture. They have very sharp nails!

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  6. Awesome post! I think I'm going to start putting what I love about myself on my daily blog!

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  7. Fru -- I think you should!!

    Oh, PS, Patrick -- think about it in terms of evolution. When we became bipedal, it became much harder for our offspring to ride around on our backs, or even hanging from our fronts. Hips were the natural solution.

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  8. I LOVE LOVE body acceptance posts!!! This is wonderful that you are able to reflect on things. LOVE the hips. The are extremely useful when carrying heavy objects :) And I like how they look in jeans. Love this post and idea. A wonderful love and accept yourself plan for February!

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  9. Kendra: Thanks for the <3
    And well, I usually go back and forth between acceptance and nit-picking. None of that this month. Only love.

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  10. I think you will find the results surprising and gratifying. I've been on a self love kick for a couple of years now and it's been an amazing journey so far. The key is to realize that there will indeed be moments, whole days even, when you're not feeling it as much as you'd like...and then you realize that THAT's okay too.

    And for sure! Women's womanly bodies are meant to give comfort!! That's why we have soft places :-)

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  11. Karen: Even on our worst days there is something loveable about ourselves. It's okay to have bad days, but a bad day does not make us bad or unlovable.

    Those soft places more than comfort ourselves, but all around us.

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  12. the hips don't lie . . . They are the curve definers, and lord knows I love me some curves. I also really like being able to look in the mirror, at pictures, at video, and being able to tell that guy I love him. Doesn't matter if hes big, small, growing, shrinking, healthy, or whatever. I love that chubby bastard!

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  13. James -- we love that chubby bastard too :)

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  14. We gotta practice Body Love daily girls!

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<3 Robby