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Why The Way You Look Should Matter–To YOU!

Drew ParalesI came across an article the other day online about celebrities and aging. The “journalist” was JUDGING each of the celebrity’s worth and beauty by the critic’s own standards. It got me thinking about how much we pay attention to those kinds of criticisms and how it makes you and me feel like we are less than the perfect picture that we think people want to see.

For YEARS, I was so hard on myself and the way I looked. I really disliked and hated the way I looked. And worse, I hated the way I felt about myself. Even to this day, I have remnants of old thoughts and habits that I would say to myself about how I looked, all because of some stupid thing some ridiculous classmate of mine said in the 2nd grade. THE SECOND GRADE!

I remember her saying to me, “Ewww! You look so gross. Your skin looks like it’s dirty, and no wonder no one likes you!” OK, what was a 2nd grader supposed to do with that? This hurt me terribly, and this kind of nonsense continued into my adult years and it didn’t get any better when I was overweight. I’m better now, yet every now and then I still have to re-correct my thinking.

So when I see articles like the one that was bashing beauties like Melanie Griffith, Nicole Kidman, Madonna, and Faye Dunaway, I was inspired to say something about this kind of societal mind trap.

Who are critics to judge our age and looks? What gives them reason to tell what our tipping point is, when we should be put out to pasture because was have aged, are overweight, have scars, have uneven skin tone, gray hair, sagging skin or wrinkles? They are not the ones who should have judgment over what the “perfect person” should look like.

Paying attention to these kinds of harsh judgment calls, and taking them on, and thinking YOU have to measure up to the call of these standards is very dangerous. Because we look up to celebrities and want to be just like them and embody their beauty and stature, we try everything we can to look and act just like them in hopes of acceptance. When critics and society harpoon celebrities and make this a standard for us to measure up to, it makes it difficult to achieve and instills a level of fear.

NO ONE is allowed to tell you what you should look like and how you should feel about the way you look. We start to get poorer self-images of ourselves and begin to wish that we looked better. All for what? For this: To be accepted. To be loved. To belong…

Striving SO HARD to look and act perfect according to “society” is a trap. We should believe and embrace our whole selves, our looks. Maybe, just maybe, we could stop wasting so much time and energy being the perfect “whatever” just to be validated and needed so badly. Think about this: When you are around someone who just has “it,” don’t they just radiate? What do they act like? How do they project themselves? Does it even begin to matter what they look like?

When you truly Love ALL of you, your age, your looks, your weight, your skin color, your body and its shape, you worry less about making yourself into something that you are not. You stop worrying about how you are not enough. I know you are reading this and thinking this is easier said than done, and you’ve read all this before. Right? :) Yet you seem to keep reading these wisdoms, but still feel bothered or ruffled by the way you feel about yourself. Ask yourself, what steps have you made to actually feel better?

For me, I awake every morning and do “mirror work.” I actually say “I love you,” “I am beautiful,” “I am worthy,” and “I am successful” with a smile. That is only the beginning, but it is a great start! Try it! No one else is around. ;) You will slowly begin to rewire the old thoughts in your head that say the opposite. The things that bring you down and have you actually believing the negative BS you think. As with any exercise, STAY CONSISTENT. I STILL do this…

As you worry less about what others say about how we should look and accept yourself as wholly as you can, you get to dedicate more time working on the improvements YOU want to make in your life and worry less about the “critical standard.” You make room and improvements as YOU see fit. You are not at the whim of media/society/culture’s opinion and the opinion of those who have cut you down.

As we move into our self-acceptance, our bodies and minds comply with the way we think and it all becomes a perfect path for magical things to happen to us! Our desires and the way we feel about ourselves are matched and perfectly aligned for those magical wishes and dreams to come true as we take action each day to do so.

The self-hatred begins to fade, and in comes a beauty in yourself that you never thought possible. You RADIATE! You shine. Your vibration becomes a magnet for all things desired! You’ll be getting the attention, without even trying and hey, some you didn’t even expect. ;)

The only people we should be measuring ourselves up to IS ourselves. Like making plans, achieving goals, and executing them. We should let ourselves be the judge of when it’s time to take a new and improved lifestyle plan to lose weight, start exercising, to take a yoga class and meditate to feel better. We should get to fill up OUR own cups, and not wait for someone else to tell us how full it should be and what we should fill our cups with. We set the gauge for ALL that goodness to be ours and what is left over, the overflow (and there WILL be plenty, trust me!) will be for everyone else.

When you dedicate your approval to “YOU,” you make more time for your needs, therefore making strides for improvement in your life, measured by YOU! You’ll get your needs met by YOUR standards and not anyone else’s!

What part of your life have you left to be measured by society? If you haven’t already, can you stop paying attention to critics that say what true beauty is? How can you set YOUR OWN standard for yourself today? Did you know that YOU are beautiful? *GRIN* Let me know in comments…

All my Love,

Drew

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Andrew “Drew” Parales is a vocational rehab educator for students with disabilities in transition & employment, a school site program & events coordinator/trainer. He is also the creator and personal growth mentor of “i LOVE Liberation” Connect with Drew at:

www.iloveliberation.com

Facebook: ILOVEliberation

Twitter: @iLOVEliberation

  • itsswami

    Mirror Work is a great idea. I used to be like you and now I am confident as well. I still have work to do but thanks for this article.

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Hello itsswami!, You are so welcome!! and YES– mirror work in incredible! I REALLY REALLY disliked doing it at first and could barely stand it,.. but I stayed true, really looked at who I was, and now there is an amazing acceptance that I have within myself that I never thought possible…. and its launched an awesome new lifestyle. I feel good and thats all that matters… Try it! Let me know how you do. :)
      All my Love, Drew

  • Stacey-Ann Duhaney

    Positive affirmation that I am the standard!

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      YES YES YES Stacy!! YOU are your own standard!! Stay true, you make decision what matter to you the most! Love it! Thank you so much for reading and sharing…

      BIG Love, Drew

      • Stacey-Ann Duhaney

        Irie love from the beautiful island of Jamaica :-)

        • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

          And California Love right back at ya Stacey! xo
          Drew :)

  • Ginger Noble Sweeney

    Great article, Drew! You are beautiful, and radiate the light of the One. Blessings and abundance to you!

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Thank you Ginger!! You make me *blush*…. I am touched by your words and your blessings… This makes my day, and I hope that yours is even more incredible…

      Lots of Love, Drew xo

  • Antoneill

    Mirror work is exactly what I have started to teach my 11 y.o. Daughter. We do it everyday together. Her body is growing and changing everyday. I remember how uncomfortable and embarrassed I was about my body at that age and how long it has taken me to really try and accept myself and all my beautiful imperfections. Hopefully i can head off a bunch of hers. Thank you!!!

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Hello Antoneill! Wow… what an amazing gift that you are giving to your daughter. I LOVE to hear this…. She is learning and she will grow into a world where self-acceptance is a way of life and love herself in ways we as adults sometimes have a tough time with. I commend and applaud the Love and care you have for your daughter. THIS is how we change the world! Your imperfections are absolutely perfect!

      All my Love, Drew

  • Deseree

    You are so on point Drew.Thanks

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Youre so welcome Deseree! Thank you so much for giving read today!

      Big Love, Drew

  • Todd St George

    Thanks Drew, lots of valuable info here.

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      You betcha Todd! So happy that you found some valuable wisdom here! =) Have an awesome day!
      Love, Drew

      • Todd St George

        You too.

  • Daniela

    Thanks Drew- love the post. I came to this realisation myself after trying to be someone / something I cannot be because it’s not real (some mental image of a photoshopped model with skinny legs haha) .. after probbaly 16 years of beating myself up which got so worse that I slipped into a severe depression I managed to beat the black dog hanging around way too long and starting to truly love and accept myself. Yes it’s hard work and I fall off the wagon and slip into old patterns of thinking and critizising myself BUT it’s a learning PROCESS and every day it gets a bit better or at least I can try again :) starting the day a la Louise Hay with some affirmations, mirror work or pure gratitude for the good things in your life makes a big difference :) but very well written- hit the/my spot. Best regards from Germany :)

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Hi Daniela!
      Wow, sounds like we have had similar circumstances happen in our lives! Like I mentioned in the article, like you I too have some revisits of those old ways of thinking too. It is hard work, but that’s the sign of true dedication to ourselves that we can pick ourselves up and use the tools that we have learned and make those differences in our lives! Like our mirror work and affirmations. Your honesty and sharing here is wonderful, and thank you so much for giving in this way. Glad it resonated with you. Giving my best regards right back to Germany from California USA! Keep up the amazing work Daniela!

      Lots of Love, Drew

  • vickybonline

    Fantastic post! Loved it.

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Awesome! =) Thank you so much giving a read today vickyboline! Hope the day is awesome for you!
      Love, Drew

  • Melissa

    Thanks for a inspiring post.You’ve given me a lot to think about-to see all my negative thoughts reguarding my physical appearance are just that-mine. I can change that.Thanks! I needed to read this-maybe eveyone does!

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Hi Melissa! You are SO right… we can change ANY thought that we have into something incredibly beautiful. Esp when it comes to ourselves… Get inspired, accept your beauty… You are very welcome and thank you SO much for sharing today!

      Lots of Love, Drew

  • Jo River

    Hi Drew, I love what you have to say. I’m discovering the same things. Wonderful to hear it outside reflected back. Big thanks for your warmth and honesty!

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Hi Jo! Im so happy to hear that you discovering the wonderful things and energy that is YOU! As you know, what you focus on, becomes what you see. ;) Youre so welcome and thank you SO much!

      All my Love, Drew

      • Jo River

        I just shared your article on a page manage: http://www.facebook.com/beautifultimes.com.au
        The link is under the title ‘Beautiful Men Past and Present’ – that’s You! :)

        • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

          Oh wow…. WOW– Thank you… Im blushing… What a great title! Im so grateful to you Jo…. Awww.. I am just…SO SO touched. I hope that others will get as much out of the article as you have and everyone here on TDL. And YOU my dear are amazingly beautiful as well… I LOVE your FB page. I am sharing that out too!

          With even MORE Love, Drew

          • Jo River

            Thanks, I’m so glad you like the page! It’s been a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to reading more on your web page. Love to you too :) Jo

          • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

            Its been a great pleasure to meet you too! Im happy to know you. You are wonderful and beautiful Jo! Keep up the amazing inspiration!

            Big Love, Drew

  • Renate

    Hi Drew. Your words of love and self acceptance made me cry – in a good way! Thank you for sharing this wonderful and beautifully written sentiment. I loved the way you wrote it from your heart regarding your own past experiences. Your perspective is so right on. It is so refreshing to know there are still sensitive and caring guys out there.

    • http://www.iLOVEliberation.com/ Drew Parales

      Hello Renate, Well I didnt mean to make anyone cry,.. ;) But Im glad to hear they were good tears. It makes me feel so amazing that there have been so many people here in the TDL community today that this has resonated with. It shows that we all feel some pain now and then and we are not alone. Ive begun to understand that when I expose my heart, my experiences and truth, that beauty shines through. All I feel like I can do now is just keep expressing it. Thank you for your wonderful words and your kind and loving compliments. This has been an awesome day and I hope yours was just as beautiful. Thank you SO much for sharing your emotion today!
      All my Love, Drew