Last night I waited for a friend at the movie theater beside a group of girls somewhere between twelve and fourteen years old. They were all hovering at that threshold age on the verge of becoming young women.

I watched as they primped and groomed making sure their hair fell in just the right direction across their foreheads and their jeans hugged their hips at just the right spot.

I noticed their eyes darting back and forth scanning all directions to see who might be looking back. I recalled my own awkwardness and self- consciousness during adolescence.

It can be an excruciatingly painful time when outside appearances do not measure up to popular standards . Only the fantasy "other" seems perfect. We all strive to become what "they" are and what we are not.

That was the time of my life that I lived on nibbles of apples and graham crackers. Starvation, as a strategy for managing our lack of confidence, was just as popular when I was growing up as it is today.

Adolescence was a time when many of us developed a hyper-focused attention on our physical aspects and that overshadowed any inner peace or self-knowledge. We felt anxious inside not tranquil!

In other words during that stressful hormonal transition most females - and many males too - gave up their whole selves and opted to identify with their physical bodies. I do not think much has changed for todays teenagers. Sadly some adults never outgrow that turbulent period or their identification with the physical.

When my friend arrived and we walked past the group of girls to enter the theater I had an urge to lean over and say "You are all so pretty! Do you know that?" I wanted them to hear words that might feed their obvious hunger for approval. I wanted them to feel beautiful for just a moment. I wanted them to have a taste of the confidence and unconditional self- acceptance that most of us seek to reclaim years later. Would they have believed me? I doubt it.

We each grow through our own transitions. We call it personal evolution. We get submerged in this illusionary world of separation and then we find our way back to eventually enjoy our own homecoming.

At some point we decide to stop needing to look good for others in order to feel comfortable in our own skins. We choose to love ourselves exactly as we are and we begin to enjoy our bodies.

Until we decide that loving ourselves without condition is our ticket to harmony and peace we remain ladies - and men - in - waiting and imprisoned. We wait for someone outside to give us the love and approval we withhold from ourselves.

In our desperate outward seeking we remain dependent children instead of actualized adults.

Self-love is an act of Spiritual Maturity. It happens when we release our over-identification with the body and make a decision to love ourselves without conditions. What a relief that is!

Author's Bio: 

Peri makes her home on the Big Island of Hawaii. She works globally as a Spiritual Mentor and Trainer along and is the Founder of Creators Choice - Online School for Whole Life Fulfillment. Visit for the latest offerings and pick up free gifts to enjoy right now. You'll find audio Tele-Classes, private mentoring, self-study programs and an inspiring newsletter from Peri for anyone who wants more joy and love in their life.