Loving the Woman in the Mirror

Jennifer Bradshaw

The past two weeks have challenged all the inner peace I've spent the past few years cultivating.

From drawing a tarot card that forced me to take a long, hard look at my relationship with myself and with food, to making an 11 hour journey to Seattle for my husband's minor, outpatient surgery, to realizing that the career I loved so well for so long is no longer within the grasp of a body that is failing me slowly.

Why is it so hard to love the person in the mirror?

Out of that deep discomfort that I was pulled down into, I discovered a true lack of love for myself. Oh, I'm pretty good at not judging others, at loving those I'm close to unconditionally, but myself? I take being my own worst critic to the extreme.

And it's time I stopped that crap. 

After all, I'm no less deserving of unconditional love and non-judgment than then next person. I might not be a saint, but I'm not a terrible person, either.

My body might not always be up for the fun hike I'd like to take on a sunny day, but I can be grateful for waking up and being able to use my mind, even when my body is in agonizing pain.

I can't work an eight hour shift at a hospital anymore, but I can write, and work with clients to help them find healing in their own lives.

I might never run a marathon, but I can still get out and walk most days, and spend a little time on my yoga mat each day, gently strengthening and stretching my body.

Right now, I might not like the way I look in the mirror, but I can learn to love the woman I see, unconditionally and without judgment, just as I view those around me.

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