I recently read a quote that speaks beautifully to acceptance of ourselves as we are—to loving ourselves at each stage of our life and growth. It is about overcoming self-doubt and raising our self-esteem and self-compassion levels. It's about more than the game of tennis and really requires little explanation.
The quote comes from W. Timothy Gallwey and appears in The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance:
"When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as 'rootless or stemless.' We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped, nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed until the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet, at each state, at each moment, it is whole as it is."
What would it take for you to stop giving yourself criticism and negative messages (if your inner critic is still alive and well)? How might you develop positive messages for yourself and come to this place to acceptance and self-compassion? See yourself as OK just the way you are—whole just as you are?
You are that rose. You are whole and beautiful just as you are. Know it. Accept it.