Without Judgement

Heena Author photo 5I got the final edited, polished up photos back from my awesome photographer Louise earlier today.

She’s done an amazing job.  The photos look fantastic.  And that’s not easy for me to say.

Not because I don’t believe it – I do, genuinely.  I’m so happy with what she’s created.

More because, as I’ve said in a previous post, I feel uncomfortable looking at photos of myself.  Or rather, I feel uncomfortable looking at photos of myself without finding fault with them.  But somehow, I have not found fault with what I am seeing in Louise’s work.

That’s mostly because Louise is excellent at what she does.  In fact, in between the shoot and the final edit, she’s won an award for her work.  She’s awesome.

It’s not just that though.  I still haven’t forgotten what Louise said during our shoot – about looking at the whole picture, looking for the positives and ignoring the minuscule negatives that no-one else even notices.

I’ve also been working on my own personal development much more.  One of the books I read recently was Louise Hay’s ‘I Can Do It’ – it’s a great, life-affirming, positive read.  She includes some fantastic affirmations in there, and one of them is “I love myself exactly as I am.  I no longer wait to be perfect in order to love myself'”.

It’s such a simple sentiment but so profound, that when I really stop to think about it, it’s like a punch in the solar plexus.

I don’t put any limitations on loving my friends or my family.  I don’t think to myself ‘Well, I’ll only love my Mum if she makes that fantastic dinner for me tomorrow night’, or “I’ll only love my Dad when he gets back to a 34” waist.  I have never once thought “I am only going to love Simba when he stops letting off silent but violent wind in my direction”.  It just doesn’t happen.  When I love other people, it is done freely and without restrictions, reservations or conditions.  I do not wait for them to be perfect.  In fact, part of the reason I love them are what they see as their imperfections and I see as their uniqueness (not the doggy wind though, I love Simba in spite of that one!)

So why, when I am thinking about allowing myself that same love, have I only ever done it with provisos, stipulations and reservations.  We’ve all fallen into the same trap at one point or another.  “I’ll bring out the nice crockery for guests.”  “I’ll wear that dress when I’ve worked out a bit.”  “I’ll let myself feel good when I feel like I’ve earned it.”

It’s rubbish, isn’t it.  Love, in all its myriad beautiful forms, is all about the here and now, the perfect and the imperfect, the good and the not so good.  And it is definitely without judgement.  But if we keep putting conditions on ourselves, ridiculous, unnecessary, nonsensical conditions, when are we ever going to be ready to love ourselves and feel good about ourselves?

I’m not there yet, but I think I’m on the way, on the right path at least.  I use my good dishes every day now.  I wear my nice stuff on days I’m not going out.  And so, without judgement, but with a lot of love for the person in the pics, here’s the first of the fabulous photo’s Louise has taken.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. ReplyDeborah

    You're completely right about this, Heena - we need to love ourselves despite our apparent failings. The hardest time to love ourselves is when we need it most: when life isn't going very well. However, we are still the same person no matter how well or not life is going. If we can see ourselves separately from our circumstances and problems, we can retain a far more positive self-image and be happy with ourselves no matter what else is going on.

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