“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
It is not easy to love the body you’ve got.
Ask any person about their body, they will point out something that isn’t quite right. Most people struggle with their body image and want to change at least one aspect of their physical self. Many can present a pretty long list of problem areas, and would like a complete overhaul.
We want to be thinner, or curvier. We wish we were taller, or shorter. We’d like to have more hair or curly hair or thicker hair or finer hair. We want bigger breasts or larger penises or flatter stomachs or thinner thighs.
Negative body image is a serious problem, affecting individuals in all areas of life. We look in the mirror, we see flaws, and we judge our self to be lacking. Body image is the number one cause of shame, leading to problems of self-worth, and lovability. We have become a society of people with eating disorders–a reflection of self-loathing.
Energetically, we are creating and compounding our own health and body problems. It is important to consider: if one thinks negative, unloving thoughts about oneself and their body, how could the cells of the body respond positively?
We can all acknowledge the social pressure to be beautiful. We are bombarded through the media with messages of how we should look. We are held up to a standard that is an impossible ideal. The vision we have of beauty and body shape is a false reality, an illusion based on airbrushing and photo editing.
We’ve allowed our idea of beauty to be defined by social brainwashing. In reality, there are many forms of beauty. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and it is far beyond skin deep. True beauty is a reflection of our inner light, but, as a society, we’ve allowed our “outside” to become more important than our “inside.”
In reality, love transcends appearance. We love based on far more than physical attractiveness. When we love, we see beauty. Yet, far too often, we hold ourselves back from love–from others, as well as from ourselves, based on judgments we’ve made about not being good enough.
These judgments and negative beliefs are distortions. They are not based on the truth of the unique beauty of your own body. We all have bodies of different sizes and shapes that are special and truly beautiful. We are not a one-size fits all world.
Self-love starts with becoming comfortable with ourselves as we are. We begin with small steps. We make little shifts in attention and focus that help us learn to see our positive attributes rather than the overpowering emphasis on the negative.
Here are three suggestions to get you started loving the body you’ve got:
1. See your body as an ally. Bottom line, you are in this life together. If the body stops functioning you haven’t much left. Focus on working together. Make choices that reflect care and support for your body system. Eat healthy, exercise. Offer your body some tender loving care.
2. Focus on the good. Instead of allowing your “flaws” to be in the forefront of your mind, shift your attention. Start with identifying one or two body parts that you like. Maybe it’s your hair, your eyes, or your skin. Focus on these parts every day for a week. Spend a few moments each day looking at them or contemplating them. Acknowledge your approval of them with your thoughts and your actions. Accentuate them, pamper them, or make positive comments to others about them. What we send out, we receive. As you see more good, you will see more good.
3. Express gratitude to your body. Start sending your body, or at least parts of it, a message of appreciation. Think about what works. Find authentic gratitude in a way that feels real to you. Think about the miles your feet have carried you, the hugs your arms have given, the things your hands have held, or the moments of life from your beating heart. Begin to look at your body through loving eyes and set an intention to do so more deliberately. Interrupt self-judgment with loving action. Allow your appreciation to expand to include more of your body, and to yourself overall.
Seeing yourself through a lens of love requires awareness and conscious action. With enough practice, it will become a habit that will ultimately lead you to self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-love. With unconditional love, we reach the vibrational frequency of joy, and it is there that healing can occur.
The process of healing begins with loving the body you’ve got.
“It’s my choice to be beautiful. It’s my choice to be ugly. And it’s my choice to decided what those words actually mean.”