The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. -Joseph Campbell

Except for my childhood and brief stints as an adult I have my whole life, for the most part, felt fat or at the very least not up to par. Somewhere in me lives a voice that says I am less, I am not enough as I am. I know I’m not the only woman that feels this way. And I can not possibly be the only one who is exhausted by the constant battle we wage against ourselves. I’m not talking here about losing weight per say but of self-acceptance. I can look at women who have the same body as me and see beauty, lushness, sexiness. I can also see that in me, sometimes, often, but right underneath the skin, right underneath those sentiments, there has always been one constant thin layer of self loathing. At times it’s almost imperciptable but it is always there.

Two days ago I finished sorting through my books. I narrowed the books I’m keeping to three boxes out of ten. It was not easy at first but once I got going it became almost effortless. Why keep moving all this books? So that one day I can have a beautiful room filled with them? The day I can have a library I’ll be able to buy whatever book I want.

Among the boxes of books were my photographs.  Looking at them I realized how much of a disconnect there has always been between how I feel I look and how I look. I was kind of floored by how perfectly fine I looked in almost every photograph and not at all how I felt at the moment the photos were taken. This all got me thinking about how much time I’ve wasted hating parts of myself, wishing for change, and feeling frustrated. It is one of the main ways in which I hold myself back, and keep myself from being in the moment.  I’m tired of living a life noticing the lack more than the haves. It’s only taken me 38 years, countless therapy sessions, and millions of moments where it has felt like I’m banging my head against the wall to see what a waste it is to walk through a perfectly good life that way.

I only had one resolution this year. To wear lipstick everyday. After all, my aunt was right, a little color on your face does make a difference. But I’m adding one more. To explore the idea of radical self-acceptance.