I’m currently reading a book called “Finding Joy” by Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D
I haven’t completed it yet but I can already tell it’s an amazing book!
Dr. Davis Kasl came up with this idea that is designed to help people to accept themselves just the way they are, flaws or perceived “flaws” and all. We all are going to have things we don’t like about ourselves and things other people do not like about us and that is ok. We don’t have to be considered perfect to ourselves or anyone else. We can be perfect in our own way.
Dr. Davis Kasl suggests that we choose some things about ourselves that we may consider to be less than perfect and say or write it out and after saying or writing it, put “That’s just the way I am” or “That’s just what I do sometimes” or “That’s just what is” after it.
Some examples in her book are:
1.) “I get anxious filling out IRS forms. That’s just the way I am.”
2.) “I get scared and don’t stand up for myself. That’s just what I do sometimes.”
3.) “I wear a size 6 top and size 12 slacks. That’s just what is.”
4.) “Sometimes I interrupt. That’s just the way I am.”
(Page 30, “Finding Joy”, Charlotte Davis Kasl, ph.d)
I believe that we should accept what/who we are even the “bad” things because we will be happier and more joyful that way. And anyway it’s impossible to be human and have absolutely no negative things about you.
This isn’t always easy but it is definitely possible and worth it! It’s ok and even good to make attempts to change certain things about ourselves for us for the better but even while we are working to change those things, it’s still possible and good to accept ourselves as we currently are while working to change certain aspects.
Someone who wants to lose weight for the better would benefit, in my opinion, while accepting her/his current body/weight/physique while attempting to change.
By “acceptance” I don’t mean necessarily “love”. I think we should think or say “This is how I currently am” or “This is how it currently is” and “that’s ok” and try not to feel resentment or anger for ourselves.
There’s really nothing you can do right this second about how you are. If it can be changed it will probably take a while and some work. If it can’t be changed ever it will do you good to embrace or at least accept it.
Focus on the positive aspects about yourself that you like and cherish those while working on what you feel can be better.
It’s ok not to be 100% perfect in everyone’s eyes and even to our own selves.
My view is that in general, things should only be changed about a person if it’s better for that person and is a positive change. So a girl (or anyone) who wants to lose weight, in my opinion, should only do that if it’s healthy for her and what she truly wants for herself and not because of what others or society as a whole or anyone else thinks.
There have been things about myself that I thought is ok but I cared what other people thought and wanted to change it for them, not me.
Ex: My nail polish gets chipped a lot and looks unattractive even to me but I don’t have a serious problem with it. I would prefer to have lovely nails that aren’t all chipped but if they are oh well I will get around to changing them eventually.
But I recently saw people making extremely insulting comments on Facebook on a picture of a girl with chipped nail polish and saying she should constantly keep up on her nails and destructively criticizing her for not doing so. They seriously are acting like this triviality reflects who she is as a whole person. That’s quite a stretch if you ask me.
On some occasions I have looked at my terrible looking chipped nail polish and thought to myself “What would those people think of my nails like this if they saw?”
But I realized it’s not important to me what they think of MY nails! They should attend to their OWN and forget anyone else’s. It just seems so absolutely trivial.
I love fixing up my nails when I’m in the mood but I won’t make it an obsessed top priority because of what other people think!
Also, I have chicken legs. I did ever since I was a little girl. They are very thin like my dad’s. I also have extremely thin arms.
My mom always jokes in a playful way about my thin arms and chicken legs. I always found it amusing.
It’s mostly only noticeable when I’m wearing shorts (which I only wear to sleep in) or dress/skirt (which I hardly ever wear) though, not when they’re covered in pants.
I don’t have a problem with them. I haven’t struggled with my body image since I was seventeen years old.
But recently on Facebook I saw a pic of a girl about the same size as me with thin arms and legs and people were calling her “gross” and “disgusting”. I’m not underweight or malnourished at all and neither is she in that pic. And I don’t have a completely flat stomach.
And I started to think “Wow if they saw me they would think I’m disgusting.” I can just imagine the comments they would say about me!
And the truth is I let it get to me for a while. But I won’t obsess over it at all.
It’s definitely ok and even necessary to a certain extent to care what people think of us about some things. We’re not robots or whatever!
It’s good to a certain point to have emotional reactions to others. Good & bad. It’s unrealistic to expect us to never ever care. We need connections and to be healthy, I believe we should be affected by others.
Just not overly negatively affected to the point that we care more about what other people think than being true to ourselves.
We shouldn’t care so much that we change ourselves for them or care so much that we constantly obsess day & night!
That is unhealthy.
Here are some of my “That’s just the way I am’s”!! Lol!
1.) I’m overly empathetic and often have the tendency to let other people’s/animal’s problems & pain overwhelm me even if I don’t know those people/animals. “That’s just the way I am.”
I often feel that this means I’m very weak. And then I start to think very low of myself about it. I want to care for all living/sentient beings but I want to have barriers to protect myself against exhaustion over it. But this is me!
2.). Sometimes I do care more than I should about what other people think about certain things about me. “That’s just what I do sometimes.”
3.) I have the tendency to sometimes feel that my worth is dependent upon people & things outside of myself such as how many friends I have, how many people like me, how many accomplishments I have achieved…. “That’s just the way I am, sometimes.”
I am not as bad with this as I used to be but I must admit that I still do struggle, on occasion, with feelings of extreme worthlessness.
I know I create my own worth and purpose but occasionally it’s hard not to fall into a negative trap.
4.) I have the tendency sometimes to struggle with feelings of extreme worthlessness and feel that I’m different than most people in some ways that are not good or that other people may think are not good. And then I feel extreme loneliness and excluded. “That’s just the way I am.”
I have mentioned before about how I am a very simple kind of girl. I’m not talking about boring or shallow with no depth but I’m very happy and content with simple things, usually. That’s actually a good thing but sometimes I think it may not be socially considered so good. Sometimes laying in bed all day with my dog on a rainy day brings me just as much of a thrill as some people would probably get going on a big extravagant vacation! Lol
5.) People tell me I need to get a backbone because I tend to feel guilt at just the thought of coming back at people who say/do something negative to me. Sometimes I do get revenge and I usually feel guilty and sorry either instantly or later because deep inside I really don’t like causing pain or anger for people, even ones who do that for other people. People see it as a weakness. “That’s just the way I am”.
6.). I do like horror movies but they affect me more than they should. I’m not one of those jumpy, scared people that feel fear all throughout the movie and then at night when I’m in bed! Lol. But because of my excessive empathy, I feel pain, both physical & emotional when I see the characters feeling pain in the movie. I know it’s not real but it seems soo so real! I also feel empathy for the actors because I know they have to be feeling stress, maybe even emotional pain to some degree while making the movies. I know they chose that job but even self inflicted pain is still pain and worthy, in my opinion, of empathy and compassion!
7.) I have no special talents or creative abilities! “That’s just the way I am.”
8.) I procrastinate like crazy! “That’s just the way I am.”
9.) I am extremely disorganized and the more organized I attempt to become, the more disorganized I am! “That’s just the way I am.”
10.) I like to wear low-cut shirts and tight clothes. For me, not to attract negative attention or get lots of men. People think it’s trashy.
But I like it because I like the way I look and feel in it. “That’s just the way I am.”
11.) I don’t like when people think something negative about me that is not true. So, often, if someone accuses me of something negative that is not true, I feel the need to drag out a conversation/argument until I feel I got my point across. If someone misunderstands what I’m saying or wants to stop talking before I feel I got my point across I try to drag it out for a while. My mom and sister cannot stand this and they claim that I do this merely to cause trouble and for the sake of arguing. They call it harassment. Then I feel the need to drag that out!
Lol! “That’s just how it is.”
I really don’t do this just to argue or be negative! :-). My sister and mom are similar in ways that I am not. When they don’t understand something or are stressed or frustrated they want to quit trying to understand and not talk about it. This drives me bananas! Imagine someone accusing you of something negative then you can’t even defend yourself and get called harassing!! >:-O
12.) I’m horrible at math. Even simple basic stuff. In college I got put in the math for dummies class because my exam scores were sooo loooww! Lol! We were doing elementary school math!
“That’s just the way it is.”
13.) I am very easily amused and laugh uncontrollably even sometimes during inappropriate situations such as when someone trips or spills something. It may be annoying, possibly immature, and it makes people, especially my mom, mad! But “That’s just the way I am!”. “So sue me!” Lol! ;-D
I also laugh out loud uncontrollably in movie theatres at scenes where no one else is laughing, not sad scenes but stupid ones. And when there is a hilarious scene where everyone is laughing hysterically, I’m the one still laughing long after everyone else has stopped. Kind of embarrassing!
That “American Reunion” movie & “What Happens in Vegas” practically had me on the floor lmao!!! :-p
14.). I’m kind of the biggest pig and have to have the largest of everything when I buy food or drinks out somewhere. My mom says I eat “like there’s no tomorrow.”. Lol “that’s just the way I am”.
So there’s a list of some of my “That’s just the way I am’s”!
This is not to encourage people to settle for less or to be less when we can be more. It’s to show that it’s ok to not be perfect and it’s possible and great to accept yourself the way you are, flaws and all, even if you intend to change eventually, for the better.
You’re not a “loser”, “freak”, or “worthless” just because you have a few quirks, flaws, or negative qualities.
You are not a horrible person for your less desirable traits or habits! 🙂
I read another book before which I do not remember the name or author but the author mentioned that whenever she did something or possessed a quality she or someone else did not like she would say “So sue me!”.
“I made a mistake, so sue me!”. Lol that gave me a chuckle!!
I love the feeling I got reading and doing this exercise.
I recommend it and encourage everyone to give it a try. You can list yours on your blog, in a journal, or just make a mental list but I definitely think it’s a great idea!!
I hope you’re all having a beautiful day! 🙂
X0xo Kim ❤