I’ve always admired artists who paint self-portraits. Imagine looking in a mirror for hours to recreate yourself in paint on canvas? (Much harder than taking a quick selfie.) It is an intense act of bravery ~ to look so closely at yourself, to be that comfortable in your own skin.
And isn’t that the goal for everyone in life? To be comfortable in your own skin? To own who you are and what you are? To know what and how you can contribute to this thing called life? To be authentic.
We’re born authentic. But the hard knocks of life mess us up. It is often a long journey back. But it is a journey up, too. Back to innocent self-acceptance, but up in this messy world. With more tools and more understanding, we can secure a hard won self-acceptance re-entry in our adult lives.
Three beliefs have kept me going and led me back to being comfortable in my own skin. First, honor your body. Bless it; don’t curse it. It’s not perfect, but it has done some amazing things for you. Your body carries your whole life history. Give it some gratitude. Second, keep the candles burning. Keep hope alive. Seek out stories and people of kindness and examples of humanity helping each other. Cheer for the underdogs and help those you can. Third, nurture your own spirit. Do things that strengthen your inner peace. Time alone to reflect, pray, meditate, do yoga, walk, etc. is necessary to take care of inner self. The more authentic, peaceful, and self-accepting you are, the more compassion you can offer to others. And that is an empath’s super power – deep understanding, feeling, and compassion.
Empaths and highly sensitive people give much to others; now here is a prayer to remind you to honor and care for yourself. It is from a loving kindness meditation from Sita Chopra: May I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I live with ease. She suggests saying these words to yourself several times through out the day. You wish these blessings for others, now extend them to yourself, too. Be comfortable in your own skin.
*Self-portrait is by Zinaida Serebriakova