Do you know who you are? I mean the real you, not the one you think you are, not the one people tell you are, and not the one society conditioned you to think you are. I mean the real you!
I have spent the past 45 years trying to figure out this question. I have gone through many updates of myself that I lost any sense and connection to the original me. I have spent my entire life being different versions of myself depending who I was with and who I thought I needed to please.
Understand this, when you are born, you incarnate into this world as a perfect reflection of God. I tell my little one that she is a perfect creation of God and an angel in more ways than one. I playfully reach out under her armpits and laugh when I tell her I am looking to see her stamp of where she was made. Much like our clothing, which tells us where it’s made, I reach on the back of her neck, and I say,
“Let’s see, does it say Made in China? No, wait, does it say Made in the USA? No wait, let me get my glasses”
As she laughs, I reach again, and I say,
“OH wait I can see now. It says MADE IN HEAVEN!”
I honestly do not know why I don’t take my own advice. We are all created by the Divine, and as such we are born perfect and fully complete in every sense of the word. However, somewhere along the way, the influences of the world around us, wrongfully teaches us that to become somebody, we need to acquire things. We need to acquire knowledge, maturity, experiences and material things. Thus the quest for acquisition and disappointment is born.
In the same way, we learn that to be accepted and loved we need to look and behave a certain way. For many, it’s being skinny, tall, muscular, fit, sexy, and gifted in the back and front. You ladies out there know more what I mean! Thus, the quest for perfection begins. A quest that is unattainable and destructive at best.
Why am I am telling you this?
Because like some of you, I was never happy with what I saw as my many imperfections. It did not matter what I tried, the empty feeling always returned. Each year as January 1st approached, I would go frantic setting goals. Gym memberships go up and the New Year Resolutions are all about: new weight, new diets, new plans, new expectations and the clock of perfectionism ticks away our dignity, our peace, our self-love and our hope.
This chase for perfection places us into a perpetual prison-sentence with an ever so narcissistic roommate, the Ego, who gains control over our lives, taking us away from our fully evolved, complete being that we were created to be. We become someone that is shaped and controlled by the world we live in.
If I told you all that I have done in my life to reach my impaired notion of what I thought was important, you would not believe it. To fit in, to be loved, I have changed the way I looked, the way I dressed, the way I behaved and worse I have lived all my life always feeling imperfect.
Always chasing looking like someone else. Much like your cell phone or computer’s operating system that go through updates, the same happened to me. I first had an update of version 2.0 for my parents. Later version 2.5 for the group of popular girls I wanted to be part of in school. Version 3.0 when all I visually saw society valued was women who were skinny. Version 4.0 when I got married. I then added some extra functionality in version 4.5 when I became a mother. Version 5.0 after my divorce. Ah, and the biggest update, which also brought with it the most glitches came in my 5.5 version when I let someone else come into my life to dictate my worth by the way he needed me to behave and look.
I became someone that I did not recognize. I looked in the mirror and the reflection I saw, did not match the inside. In my search for perfection, I was always looking for the next thing that would give me pleasure. The next diet, achieving a certain look, a certain weight, reaching it and still feeling that I was fat and dissatisfied.
I was always looking for the next high, the next goal, the next gratification, yet, always getting there and feeling unfulfilled just the same.
I was always trying to be the perfect friend, the perfect boss, the perfect lover, the perfect wife and the perfect mother. Yet, always falling short by my own standards. This unhappiness robbed me of my energy, spirit and robbed the happiness of those around me.
I have starved myself for years by being a daily slave to the scale. My primary diet consisted of liquid chocolate ‘Boost’ that is served in a can. At other points in my life, I survived on a rabbit food diet. I have gone through long periods of just living off yogurt and egg whites. If what they say is true, “You are what you eat,” well I am afraid to even think of what I had become. It was pure control fuelled by my obsession with perfection.
Now let’s talk about the other side of the coin. Because I lived depriving myself of everything I liked, I would have moments of complete breakdown and insanity. I would binge to the point of passing out. There were so many things I was missing that I tried to eat them all in a single day. It was so bad that sometimes I would end in a coma-like-state. Catatonic!
Why? Because I was constantly at war with my relationship to food and so empty inside, that ironically, I needed to fill myself with the very things I avoided.
All for what? Just to deny myself the pleasures of just being at peace with the person God created me to be. I look back now and I see the damage that I was doing to myself.
I always ate, never fully stopped eating, I never purged either, it was not in my nature to do so. However, what I was doing was also not the healthiest of avenues to attain my deranged goals.
It took me a while to accept this; you are perfect because God created you to be nothing short of that. Embrace your amazingness. As the saying goes, “just be you because everyone else is taken.” There is huge truth in that. My dad always joked telling me that people are never satisfied with who they are or with what they have. He would say,
“The short wants to be tall, the fat wants to be skinny, the young wants to be older, the old wants to be young, the poor wants to be rich, the single wants to be married, and the married wants to be dead.”
I always laughed, but now I see he was on to something. I am here to tell you to forget all the shit. On your death bed, none of that matters. You will never have the perfect weight, the perfect job, the perfect relationship nor the perfect life as long as you keep chasing ego-driven goals.
You are never going to be at peace as long as you let outside forces dictate your worth. You will never reconnect to the real essence of you as long as you let circumstances change you. You will forever live in disappointment. No wonder there is an epidemic of depression in our world. We have sold our souls for the wrong things. Do not let your reality become a mixture of other people’s perception of you.
I learned the hard way that chasing for the unreachable goal of perfection was robbing me from truly enjoying all the things that were important in my life. It did not matter how many resolutions I came up at the start of the year. A few short months later I was sitting once again in my perpetual prison cell dwelling with my buddy ‘the ego’ in self-hatred.
One day, I reached the bottom. The pain of being who I had been was now greater than my fear to look inward finally. Nothing I had tried in the past was working for my life, so I knew something had to change and it was not the outside that needed bug fixes. I needed A MAJOR REBOOT of consciousness.
I made a promise to myself right in front of the mirror. I decided to kill any part or version of me that did not resonate with my soul. I was willing to let all those parts of me die if it meant that they would keep me from living my truth and my authentic self. I promised myself, that even if I had to sit in my fear and put up with the discomfort, I was going to finally be the person I was born to be. That’s when I had a true soul awakening.
Since then, I have made peace with my demons, I have made peace with my food and body, I have made peace with my past, and more importantly, I have finally let go of all the versions of myself and people that were not serving my highest good. I learned that I did not need to be any of those versions I had created to be someone. I WAS ALREADY SOMEONE. There was a huge sense of freedom that came with such realization and acceptance.
You obtain peace when you learn to love all of yourself as you are at any moment. Don’t let your hang-ups of the past ruin the only time that you have which is the ‘here and now.’
Be grateful for your uniqueness and your differences. Love your quirkiness – that’s what makes you, YOU. As my favorite teacher, Joel Osteen says, “You are not ordinary. You did not come off an assembly line; you were not mass produced, you are God’s one of a kind masterpiece.”
Skinny, chubby, tall, short, fat, bald, single, married, divorced, smart, creative, shy, unemployed, whatever it is, just embrace it. Be grateful that you are alive. Be grateful that you have someone to love and someone that loves you, whomever that may be: your kids, your pets, your partner, your friends. Be happy with what you have and let go of what you think you lack.
The next time you think you are lacking do yourself a favor and visit your local hospital. You’ll walk out realizing that if you have your health you have no problems.
I am not saying that you have to completely let go and not care about yourself or never to strive to achieve goals. Not at all. What I am saying is that you need to learn to love yourself first as you are, at any given moment without the depression of living in your past nor the anxiety of living in the future.
Each person you meet has something they may not love about themselves, and that’s Ok! But you need to love yourself enough to be happy in your skin. Develop what I call your, ‘I ACCEPT-ME-MUSCLE!
If I go to the gym or I avoid certain foods I am no longer driven by my fear of being fat nor my need to be skinny.
I now do it out of love for myself. The motivating factor is a different one. I exercise and eat healthy because I want to live a better life feeling better about my choices. I have a health-regime that I follow; I try to eat foods that are alive, foods that nurture my body and soul. I drink an obscene amount of water.
At home, I choose to eat organic. I eat healthy fats and enjoy fruits that are rich in antioxidants. I love fish that is wild and stay away from any that is farmed. If I can avoid and have other choices, I try to eat nothing processed, I limit my intake of red meat and take supplements that can boost my body with vitality. I detox every organ in my body once a year and I consult, Bob, who is part naturopath, healer, wise man, and God!
Why? I want to be here until I am very old and gray to enjoy my children and my grandchildren and hopefully even my great grandkids. To achieve this, I choose to live and behave in a manner that allows my body to operate in optimal health. I jokingly, but seriously tell my children and everyone I meet that I am on a 200-year-plan. They say our thoughts and attitude have power so God willing, I will live that long, and that’s the attitude I live with.
Does that mean I avoid every single food or thing that I enjoy? No. Just like the old saying goes, “What is the point to live to be a 100 if you have to give up all the things that make you want to live to be a 100?”
Let me be clear. I also enjoy life. I drink the occasional glass of red wine or good quality vodka. In the summer as an outing with my beautiful kids, I treat myself to chocolate mousse royale ice cream on a crisp waffle cone from Baskin Robbins. I occasionally eat pasta, and similarly once in a blue-moon, I plan a movie night with my favorite good old friend, Miss Vickie’s Salt and Vinegar.
The trick is to learn to eat mindfully and consciously. Like my amazing grandfather Reuben, who is no longer with us, used to say when it came to his weakness for sweets, “just a little sliver and in moderation”!
My motivating force is not looking perfect, but BEING PRESENT AND AT PEACE WITH THE EXPERIENCE that I choose to partake in at that moment so the energy of everything that touches my life is a positive one. What is the point to go out and enjoy great friends, family, and great meals if after you leave tormented by the guilt, feeling fat and bloated in your regret. Trust me. That is not a way to live.
If I am near people who practise self-punishment and verbally abuse themselves being critical of their bodies, I run as fast as I can. I was there too many years. Just as I now nourish and take care of my body as a God-gifted vessel, I also protect my energy field. I choose to associate and learn from people who are equally embracing being alive and who operate on a high-frequency level.
It did not happen overnight for me and it won’t for you either. It is a process of self-discovery, transformation, and self-love. I can now look in the mirror, and my experience is a different one. I used to look at myself for VALIDATION, to see if I looked good, to see if I looked fat. I now look in the mirror, and I look for RECOGNITION. I look for the “ME” inside and when my reflection finally matches my inside, I smile because I have finally found the real me.
So please do not waste your life in the pursuit of perfection. Perfection is subjective anyway, and she is an Olympian sprinter – she is impossible to catch. When I find myself feeling down and start to dwell on my imperfections, I remember what Joel Osteen says, “You were created in purpose, on purpose for a purpose.” The more you learn to love and accept yourself as you are at any point in your life, the more beautiful you become.
Always remember, fat, tall, short, skinny, rich or poor you are always going to be beautiful to someone that loves you no matter what. But first, that someone needs to be YOU!
Do I think I am now perfect or less imperfect? No.
But I no longer dwell on the negativity, nor do I try to change who I am anymore. I have learned to love myself fully. What I do or how I look today or tomorrow does no longer define me. I focus on my inner value and gifts and not on how I look on the outside. What I have found is that the more I give gratitude for the real me, the more I also like the outside of me. When you feel good in your skin, it radiates in all aspects of you.
By constantly focusing on what you think your shortcomings and imperfections are, you rob yourself and the world from experiencing THE GIFT OF THE REAL YOU!
Join me for your New Year’s resolution, vow to yourself from today and every day forward to live your life in profound gratitude for the unique gift that you are, as you are, at any given moment.
As for me? I am back and sticking with my original God created-version 1.0, and I am loving being IMPERFECTLY PERFECT!