Recently I started a daily practice of taking naked pictures of myself and publishing them online with inspirational quotes written over the top of them. I am doing this for many reasons. The most important reason is that taking a naked picture of my body every day builds confidence. It familiarizes me to the beauty I carry around with me. It helps me to appreciate what I have.
But this is not the only way to get there. The key to self-love is noticing. In order for you to love who you are, you have to know who you are, and there are a million different ways to get there.
Generally, there is an approach I use in order to pull myself out. This is through challenge. I have repeatedly challenged myself to see what I am capable of. I am not saying you have to jump out of an airplane, but do something that is just a little bit scary. See what arises. The beautiful thing about most people is that we are full of unrealized potential. Most of us are just using a tiny bit of the special sauce that we have buried deep within us because we are not used to bringing that part out. So practice doing that. Write about what you think every day. Go out and talk to a stranger once a week. Travel to a place where you don't know the language.
One of the best things about life is surprises, and there is nothing like surpirsing yourself with previously unknown abilities. But you will not do that if you don't try. You will never get to know yourself if you don't attempt it. I have seen amazing things, but there is nothing like being around a child who does something they are proud of, something that surprises them, something that excites them.
Remember the first time you tied your shoe? When you figured out how to tell time? When you were finally able to ride your bike without training wheels? Every time you achieved these and other things, you needed people less. You had more freedom. You became more autonomous. It was wonderful and scary and amazing and you felt like a superhero.
It is much like that now, except you must look harder to find the things that you can do. And much like when you were a child, these accomplishments will liberate you. These small victories will make you stronger. These things that you find you can do are the key to your confidence, liberation and love.
As I wrote in one of my previous blog pieces, I did not always feel good about myself. I was not always so brave. I spent many years avoiding mirrors. I could not look at myself externally or interrnally. I was doing everything I could to avoid seeing myself because I was terrified at what I would find. But I found that this was fear based on nothing. This was bullshit, and the more I challenged myself to do things I had not done before, the more I saw myself, and the more I saw myself, the more comfortable I became in my skin suit. It was not magic, it was life. It is life.
It is time to find your next shoe. Find something to do that you have not done before and do it. Do it in private if you must, but accomplish something small today. See how that feels. Do the same thing tomorrow. And the next day. Get to know yourself so you can love more parts of you. Before you know it, you will be more than you ever thought you could be. You will surprise yourself with your own abilities. You will love yourself more deeply than you could have imagined.
And that will be just the beginning.
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