Self-acceptance is difficult. These tips will help.
Maybe you remember this feeling: You're swimming through the currents of life, the days like waves that come to pass successively, happily enough, healthily enough.
At times you might catch cold or cut your finger on an envelope but for the most part you're moving through freely and without much thought about your own mobility.
Then one day, with the swiftness of a trigger pulled, your body betrays you.
Self-acceptance and love for yourself become difficult. You weigh yourself at the gym and realize your body has sneakily hidden 15 pounds somewhere since Christmas.
Or, your knee gives out and you are confined, permanently or temporarily, by a brace under your jeans.
Or, you are diagnosed with cancer, and told that your body has stealthily been growing this cancer, a cancer that might kill you without you knowing it for months.
Or, the pregnancy you've been fighting for just isn't working, and you won't be a mother after all.
Yesterday you were simply asking your stomach, "What am I craving for dinner?" Today, your body is in disrepair, asking, "Heart and mind, how can you save me so I can continue to serve you?"
An immediate shift occurs. The tectonic plates of your reality have moved.
Suddenly, profoundly, you are separated from your body in a way that allows you, for the first time, to see it as a vehicle — a vehicle breaking down while you are in cruise control on the freeway.
You're now keenly aware that your mind and body are separate, and that you should've been watching for the "check engine" light a long time ago.
It doesn't matter what the cause — I know you've felt this separation. We all have. It feels like you've been betrayed by your own body, and somehow, that you've betrayed your body, missing some signs along the way or simply not paying enough attention. And now you're in crisis mode with only anger and confusion as your weaponry.
What should you do when you feel separated from your physical self, and suddenly your mind, heart, and will are in a battle against (and for) your body? Since they've only fought together before — toward goals you decided on like a triathlon or having a baby — it can be a terrifying prospect.
We've been taught to think of it all as one entity: that I am Rachael, and the name Rachael encompasses my thoughts and my personality and the body that holds it all in. They aren't three separate entities, but one intertwined energy field.
In actuality, they are three. So when our body is tested, our soul is asked to take the reigns. Our body is now in our charge, and we must take care of it and make good decisions for it.
The irony of tragedy appears in moments like these: when life hands us big problems, it's when we finally get the courage to ask the big questions.
"I might die because of this illness/accident/addiction/injury. Do I really want to keep living? Have I been living a life worth fighting for?"
"I may never walk, talk, feel, or speak again because of this. Do I feel I deserve those rights? Have I been using them to fulfill my greatest potential till now?"
"If I do only have a limited time left with these skills and gifts, how might I use them?"
It's these moments when we realize our true responsibility as humans, as physical bodies of the world, and our true potential as beings, as manifestations of life and love.
When we realize the body is our vehicle, we can understand the mind as the driver. We understand that we are bigger than our bodies and can see, vibrantly, life as a current of energy within us, not an inherent right.
But now what? How can we turn anger, disappointment, shock, and feelings of betrayal for our body into something more productive in these moments?
I can hear you saying to the screen that it's so much more difficult than just being grateful. I know you're defying this message with all the anger you still hold. But I promise you that gratitude is the key.
It's only a fight within the ego in which the ego says, "No, anger will solve the problem," and gratitude says, "No, the problem may not even be solved. But you can still feel and give love."
1. Have gratitude for the past, and all that your body has given you — gratitude for the opportunity to change things, to become healthier and lose weight so as to be more active for your kids.
2. Gratitude for the freedom at all to move, speak, laugh, feel, no matter how limited or for how short a time. Comparison to others is the greatest poison to our sense of self and acceptance. If you continue to tell yourself that it's not "fair" that it's happening to you and not someone else, you'll never move past it.
3. Gratitude will heal the wounds of unhappiness and hate for ourselves and our bodies, and allow us to continue toward our goal of survival or acceptance with peace and love.
4. Gratitude is the key that unlocks the door to forgiveness.
5. Gratitude is the wellspring for the currents of bliss.
6. Gratitude is the light that shines hope upon darkness, fear, and uncertainty.
7. And gratitude for the moment will help you heal in heart, mind, body and soul.
8. Be grateful for your body. Take care of it. Don't shame it for being unlike anyone else's or not doing what you want it to do. Allow your will of spirit to take it into another realm of consciousness.
Allow your love to heal it and forgive it for any shortcomings.
Allow your gratitude to overwhelm it for all that it offers you and does for you every single second of every single day. And with that, you will unlock your greatest feelings of Self — of the life energy that you ARE within your physical body.
You'll no longer be Your Name and Personality trapped in a cage; you'll be a limitless mind with the freedom to move and change the world inside a beautiful, hard-working vehicle
Rachael is a writer, blogger and 10-year cancer survivor living in NYC. After years as a fashion journalist, she now writes women's lifestyle articles about life, love, style, and thriving after surviving not just cancer, but all of life's big battles. You can catch up with her on Twitter (@RachaelYahne) and read more of her articles on HerAfter.com.
This article was originally published at herafter.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.