I begin a thirty day yoga practice eleven days late. I clear out a spot in the chaos of my room, patting myself on the back for undoing my mat on my hardwood floor. It's a start, I think. Showing up. I place my feet on the squishy purple, roll my body into myself and breathe.
The girl in the video congratulates me for arriving on my mat. "Thank you for showing up today," she says. I inhale slow, trying to remember the last time I thanked someone for showing up. If I ever have. I can't remember.
The girl's skinny, she's smiling -- she reminds me of all the things we seem to long for come January.
"I accept." She continues. "That's our mantra for today."
I accept, I say quietly, taking another long, slow breath. But I'm not sure if I actually do.
I cross my legs and close my eyes -- and I think I'm not supposed to be thinking, just breathing -- but I keep thinking anyway. Do I accept myself as I am?
Shauna Niequist said, "With people you can connect and you can compare, but you can't do both."
A cycle of comparison hurts me far more than it could ever heal me. Do I accept this life God has given me -- these hands, these gifts, these exhilarating adventures, these terrifying prospects, these boring days?
I stare at the girl on the video who is pretty and skinny and smiling -- and do I accept myself as I am?
I think of my goals scratched down on paper -- dreams I desperately long for -- and do I accept myself as I am?
I think of a God of whom I'm called his beloved -- and do I accept myself as I am?
I would like to be tender and honest and a tiny bit gritty. I would like to congratulate someone on showing up because sometimes that's the bravest thing a person can do. I would like to connect instead of compare, and I would really like to accept myself as I am. Not in a few years, but now, in this moment.
I accept. I squeeze my eyes tighter and take another breath. I accept. Maybe not yet. But at least I'll keep trying.