I was sitting at a table with two friends, a man and a woman. I had just had a health check and half joked that I was horrified by the fact that the scales showed I had gained weight. I was actually appalled and the man said, “I thought you would be more self accepting of who you are as you are.” My girlfriend and myself looked at each other with quizzical glances and broke out into laughter, “Nooooo,” I said, “it is quite possible for me to love all I am and still want for aesthetic, health and vanity reasons to lose the flab.”
He was a taken back, having known me for a while, honestly thought I was content with my body lot. My girlfriend concurred, while being a spiritual being, she is also human and very French. We share the glorious trait of healthy vanity and the desire to improve while still craving whatever it is we crave. The spiritual quest while in a human body is really a desire to fulfill our dominant value and that changes over time. A loss of money and resulting poverty could spur you on to work harder or to sink into despair. The gaining of weight could spur me on to greater cheese and biscuit tastings or to find a way to convince myself to exercise more and eat less.
Having life in a body means we can journey towards being humans evolving into better people, or not.
It is possible, as evidenced by my answer to my male friend, to host two contrary sentiments with no loss of inner integrity. Self love, self acceptance, if you must, and the desire to improve, change and evolve are not mutually exclusive. Acceptance implies at its depth a judgement that I am accepting something I formerly saw as unacceptable. Both no matter how well motivated are acts of ego and alienate me from myself and others. To change deeply is accompanied by self love that allows all possibilities.