Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do Unto Yourself As You Do Unto Others

Why is it that many of us are quick to see the good in others, and yet refuse to see the good in ourselves?

I've been thinking a lot about body image lately. I've been very aware of the chubby girls and women I've seen and yes, I've been comparing them to myself. I can easily see how one girl dresses really fun and funky and I love that. I see how another has a great hair cut, or beautiful eyes. 

I do not judge them for their chubbiness.

In fact, I admire them because of it. They are beautiful and letting their lights shine even though they might not have the ideal body. 

Why is it, then, that I can extend this same courtesy of judgement to them, but not to myself? 

The same applies to how I keep my house, or how I fulfill my callings, or ... you name it.

I am very hard on myself. I've always known that I'm a perfectionist and that it's super hard to live up to my own expectations of myself. And yet, I can see where others have made choices, allowing certain elements of their lives to slip a little while concentrating on something else of greater importance. I can admire them for that choice, I can understand it.

And yet, again, I do not extend that same courtesy to myself. 

For me, well, I must be perfect. I am not allowed to have a chubby body, I am not allowed to have a less than perfectly cared-for home - you get the picture. 

And the irony is that I am so far from perfect, it's not like I'm simply trying to maintain the high standard I have achieved. No, but I am beating myself up for not achieving the high standard I believe I must attain in order to be ... what? Loved? Admired? Respected?

Is it not possible that someone else has seen me and thought "She has such a pretty smile," rather than thinking "She should really do something about her weight." Is it not possible that someone has come into my home and rather than thinking "She should really do some more decorating in here," they thought "What a nice feeling this home has"?

This has been a bit of an epiphany for me. I think I've had it before, and I will likely have it again, but for now it feels fresh and new. I should try to treat myself the way I treat other people. 

I should be kind, helpful, forgiving, loving. I should think the best of myself, even when I've fallen short of expectations. 

Just a thought . . .