The idea of self-acceptance seems straightforward and natural. We are all born different: different looks, different personalities, different backgrounds, and given this it seems simple to accept ourselves for our individuality. Our uniqueness helps provide our sense of purpose and place, yet often I find myself forgetting about all of the unique qualities I encompass and am left self-loathing. It’s a vicious snowball effect that continues to grow and leaves me with greater pain, but it’s a life lesson that I have slowly begun to learn ever since I began climbing again.
Going back into the climbing gym for the first time since I took a break left me feeling like I just stepped through the gates of Disney. Filled with immense feelings of joy and eagerness, I was so ready just to move upwards again… even if it was on plastic. I had been moving upwards with my recovery for months, and I was ready to take what I had learned with recovery and apply it to climbing. What I wasn’t ready for, however, was my ego. I forgot that my ego even existed, and it seemed as though it came back into my life much peskier. I had the choice, however, of listening to it and letting it undermine me, authorizing it to define my progression both in my eating disorder recovery and climbing. On the other hand, I could accept the things I cannot change and live for the important aspects of my actions and thoughts… the things that matter. I still contemplate this decision every time my ego makes an appearance, but over time I know this decision-making will continue to strengthen my self-love.
Almost a month back into climbing after taking months off, self-acceptance has proven to be THE most important skill I can carry with me on my journey back to it. Self-acceptance is knowing that I won’t be as strong as I was before until time knows when, and that is okay. Self-acceptance is finding joy in the process of gaining back strength even if I am currently projecting my past warm-ups. Self-acceptance is respecting my perceived “flaws,” and making the best of them- realizing they are what makes me who I am. Realizing they are what makes me an incredible machine capable of doing whatever I put my mind to. Self-acceptance is not just learning to live in the moment, but learning to live for the moment. If you love yourself and let go of your ego, you can truly accomplish anything.
Sending lots of love and positive vibes out to anyone and everyone. Just let the ego go. Something I am still learning to do, I promise it’s going to make our lives that much better in the long run.