there is nothing to prove. all that’s left to do is enjoy.
This one I’m taking from Rob Bell, who I was introduced to yesterday on Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays. Like for Bell, this is the lesson that has taken me the longest to learn and I have to keep relearning it daily.
As your classic honour roll, teachers’ pet, valedictorian overachiever – even my blood type is A+ – I’ve struggled with the need to prove myself for a long time. I always wanted to be going places.
But I’ve learned that I’d much rather slow down so that I don’t miss a moment, linger so that I enjoy my days, and live a life full of wonder.
Two things are about to happen in the next month or so:
I’m going to be an aunt. My very best friend is almost 8 months pregnant with a baby girl.
I’m going to Nicaragua to visit my brother-in-law with my hubby and some friends.
Here’s why these two things are related:
On one hand, I want to be such an amazing, positive influence in this soon-to-be kid’s life. I want to help grow her into a strong, confident woman. (I’ll have to rethink my strategy somewhat if she comes out a boy…)
On the other, this looming beach vacation has left me suddenly concerned about my “problem” areas. I’ve been worrying recently about not being “bikini” ready.
Those two things just don’t jive and yet they are completely related.
The kicker is this: if we want to change the world, we must start with ourselves. If I want to be a role model for her, I have to lead by example. I have to practice what I preach.
And I preach this:
We are all beYOUtiful and unique.
We are objectified enough by the media, society, etc – let’s not do it to ourselves, and let’s not do it to each other.
I stumbled upon a fantastic article by Maggie Gyllenhaal in O Magazine in which the beautiful actress describes her struggles with seeking approval and how she started trusting her own instincts.
Her aha moment was realizing that trying to be everything to everyone – a great mother, wife, actress – was a sad and futile waste of time. Ultimately, she came to realize (and she admits that it’s on ongoing struggle) that,
“It’s all right if others don’t approve, because I believe in what I’m doing[…] This is my work. I’m doing the best I can. I know not everyone will love it and that is fine.”
So for today, try to be your best self just for yourself, regardless of what others think.