In order to be able to move forward without excess baggage, it is necessary to accept who you are. Accepting who you are includes accepting where you are and where you’ve got to.
Acceptance means losing those thoughts that start off “if only I had …”, or “what if this had happened rather than that…”. Stopping wishing you had led an alternative childhood and had made different decisions is hard, but ultimately you cannot move on from the past until you’ve accepted that this is the past you’ve had and it cannot be altered.
It is as if you are moving forward dragging different sized weights behind you that slow you down. Only as you accept each incident, each person, each hurt, can you let go of the weights until you can move forward unburdened.
Mindfulness meditation does help with this. In some ways, like much of mindfulness, it’s very simple to grasp: what’s done is done; accept and move on, but very difficult to really implement everywhere.
Size Acceptance (aka Fat Acceptance aka Body Positive) is a variation on the theme that I find particularly difficult. Not looking at me in mirror and going “I’m horribly fat” is something I haven’t achieved. It goes contrary to all conventionally accepted wisdom that you should accept that you’re fat and live with it rather than hate yourself for being fat. The scientific evidence for health risks of obesity are very limited, in stark contrast to obesity being touted as the root of all ill health. Even if it were the case, making people hate themselves for being fat is not a solution. (There is an International Size Acceptance Association. The content is interesting; the appearance is dreadful.)
I’m feeling this particularly at the moment as I was just beginning to feel the benefit of six months regular exercise before I tripped over and spent a month in bed and reverted to feeling very weak and wimpy. It’s getting on for three months now and I can’t complete the exercises as I used to. I need to accept this and get on with it. As my BFF said, I need to remember how good it felt and that I can get there again.
I still struggle to accept that I can only do so much in the day and I only want to do so much each day; two very different things and both a lot less to what I feel I ought to do in a day. Again, acceptance that I do what I do and that’s fine is needed.
I have however come a long way in accepting my past and to stop wishing for a different one. I still find myself comparing and contrasting my life now with other people’s. It’s difficult to not look at other people with envious eyes even though I don’t want to be them. And that makes no sense.
I am who I am and I need to get on with it.