A few weeks ago, my bestest friend, Cheryl posted something very simple yet profound (not to mention funny) on my Facebook Page:
Instead of being restrictive, knowing your fashion limits can actually be very liberating. Let me give you some examples of this to explain the freedom that comes with knowing your limitations when it comes to your own style.
About two months ago I chopped my long hair into a shorter bob style. While anyone viewing my “fresh from the salon” hair would think I was crazy, what most people didn’t see was how I handled my hair when I didn’t have my hairstylist doing it for me. Knowing that I give myself all of about five minutes (even less when it is hot and humid) to do my hair, my long hair was often pulled back in a ponytail or limp and lifeless because, to get my long hair to look half as lovely as my hairstylist’s work, it often involved using a roller brush, a curling iron or a few velcro rollers. Knowing my own limitations around the desire to do all this to my own hair, I accepted that long hair is just not something I’m interested in devoting that much time to. Instead, I chose an easy style that I can get done in about 5 minutes (the maximum amount of time I’m willing to devote to my hair) and still have it look amazing.
How many times have you been a dressing room and cursed out the size of your thighs, the extra jiggle in your midsection or heard yourself commit to never eating a carb until you lose the last 10lbs.? These are also perfect examples of times when we fight against limitations, even if they’re only temporary, that would be so much easier to deal with if we learned to work with them. Regardless of whether these physical attributes are temporary or with you for the long haul, in the moment that you’re dealing with them, you have to learn to work with them, as well as accept that they’re there.
It’s fine to wish that things were different. I wish I had more cooperative hair and the patience to do something to it besides give it a quick 1-2-3 with the blow dryer, but I don’t. If my ankles and calves weren’t as big as they are, sure, it’d be nice to wear a pair of ankle straps. But they’re not, so I choose not to wear them and find other things that work better for me. Do I often wish for something different? Absolutely!!! Have I moved on from fighting it? Absolutely!!!
Yet, accepting limitations can be hard. The way many of us see limitation in ourselves is a form of personal failure. Accepting that your thighs are larger than you prefer may set off a signal in your head that you failed yourself in some way. However, acceptance is a word that many of us don’t understand. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we give up and never try to change the things about ourselves that we wish were different, it means that we accept that this is the way it is right now. Acceptance also means accepting the things that will never change about ourselves and being okay with it. I will probably never be someone who likes to fuss longer with themselves than they have to. You may be someone who has to learn to accept that you will never be built like a waif. In this case, acceptance means learning to be okay with the hand you were dealt and deciding to do the best you can with it.
Everyone has limitations when it comes to their style; be it physical, monetary, or how much time they want to devote to it. When you learn to see these so-called limitations as just part of who you are (temporary or life-long) and begin to work with the natural flow, vs. against it, you’ll find a lot more pleasure and satisfaction with yourself and the way you look.