Love every bit.

I’ve struggled with my body image most my life, as most females have. Blame it on whatever you want, social media, society, US Weekly, barbie, whatever. We’ve all experienced it. For years, the thought of being in a bikini or seen naked with the lights on just made me feel so blaaaaah. I didn’t loathe my body by any means and wouldn’t have even been able to name a specific place I was unhappy with. I just felt…ugggh. Like exposing my body was a chore, not something beautiful and sacred.

Looking back, it’s clear that my reaction to the way my body looked was a reflection of how I felt about myself – the self separate from my body. Insecure, unspectacular and not beautiful. I was projecting my deepest fears onto my body.

I wish I could say I had some miraculous epiphany during a yoga class or something to snap me out of this.  But the only reason I over came this lack of knowing my body beautiful or special, was I just got tired of feeling so crappy. I got to a point where I honestly did not give a single shit. I was so tired of feeling unsatisfied with my thighs or whatever happened to bother me that week. It also helped that, as the years went on, I became smarter with who I surrounded myself with. I knew that the people who would ever see me naked or in a bikini cared as little about the bumps, scars or puffy bits as I did.

With the transition of slowly not caring, came a new freedom and eventually a new love. It was as if the negative, frustrated thoughts dissipated through my skin creating new space, a new sense of freedom. And in poured the love.

I didn’t immediately start to feel love for the way my body looked. More so, as I discovered a new love for my self – the self beyond the body – that feeling started to spread from my heart and soul, straight to my eyes. My perception of myself started to change and in came a new softness, forgiveness and acceptance. My view of seeing the deepest part of me as beautiful became a reflection of how I saw my body as well.

And that’s all it is.

Perception.

“It’s not your thighs, it’s your eyes” is what my higher self would tell me in my moments of weakness. I’ve told myself that over and over and finally realized it’s the truth.

I believe, once you learn to not only accept but love your body and your self, there’s nothing in the world you can’t fall in love with. Fall in love with your imperfections – the hardest parts to love – and there’s no person and no thing you can’t see as being beautiful.