I will look at myself in the mirror several times throughout the day and my mind will immediately go where it’s gone in the past. I won’t leave the mirror until I let my mind go to a place it’s never been before, to one of acceptance. I won’t get mad when this is hard. I won’t give up when it takes try after try after try. I will not let my inner critic win and I will not recall every criticism handed to me by someone else. I will see my features for what they are, and I will love myself anyway.
I will hear the whispers both quiet and loud. I will learn things that I didn’t want to know about myself and others. I will be openly and discreetly criticized by people through all walks of life. I will decide that there are too many variables in each opinion to try to control them. I will act according to my own truth, even though I am tempted to adjust myself in the hopes that others will like me. I will start to prioritize how I feel about myself and separate it from how others feel about me. I will stop trying to win their affection and care more about the goodness that I have to offer. I will face the pain of being put down with courage, and I will love myself anyway.
I will double over with tears when things don’t work out. I will wonder what I could have done differently, or if there was nothing that could have been done at all. I will analyze and scrutinize myself. Then I will wake up the next day to the same sun, the same life, the same me. I will ask what it will take to move on. I will decide that the things not meant for me are not an indication that I am somehow damaged. I will keep the memories that serve me, I will not demonize that which broke me, and I will love myself anyway.
I will inevitably fail in my many attempts to find my purpose. I will question everything, especially myself. I will wonder if I’m good enough, smart enough, talented enough, attractive enough. The mornings will come where I don’t want to try anymore. But I will try even though I have failed in the past. I will decide that failing doesn’t make me a failure, and I will love myself anyway.
I will not evade the painfulness that comes with the privilege of human experience. I will remember the ones who make it all worth it. I will think of how devastated they would be if anything ever happened to me. Even though I have failed them on occasion. Even though I don’t look a certain way. Even though I can get tired and moody and difficult. They love me anyway. So, I will decide that I owe it to them to love myself too. I will decide that I am wasting my precious life catering to a perpetually dissatisfied societal ideal. I will let myself be good enough for once even though I might slip up sometimes.
I will decide that I will never attain an illusion of perfection, and I will love myself anyway.