I know that unless I learn to love myself as I am, in this moment, I will never have that love for myself. I know that if I were to have no health issues, no body issues, to weigh a certain weight and look a certain way, that wouldn’t necessarily gain me any more love for myself than I feel right now. Even if I lost weight, toned up, and had no stomach issues at all I wouldn’t necessarily be a happier person. Odds are I wouldn’t love myself anymore than I do now- I would find something else to be critical over and really it would never be enough.
The key right now to learning to love and accept myself is to love and accept myself exactly how I am in this moment.
I have struggled with body images and now I am starting to try to understand them a little bit more. Going past a mirror and looking at myself with hatred for the way my body looks now is causing me nothing but confliction and torment. I don’t want to, but everytime I pass a mirror I glance at my body and note how it is, more often than not, I hate what I see and I berated myself for it. I see the body and I immediately spring into action – I must now diet, I must start exercising with intensity, I must get rid of what I see and it has to be gone now. I am actually embarrassed of how I look. I care what you think of me, in fact I think that what you think of me is directly tied into the way I look.
I know that’s not right.
I’ve read the average woman is a size 12 but those size 12 images aren’t what we are saturated with daily. Images of size 2’s and size 0’s are what we see in movies, on tv, in magazines and they are all telling us: this is what you need to look like. It starts when we are so young – mould to this standard and life will be well for you. It is no wonder many of us die trying to get to that image. For those of us who have been there, has it brought you anymore happiness? It certainly did not for me. I wasn’t any happier being a size 2, I just had one less thing to worry about; but what if I addressed the worrying more than the body image, that may lead to a place of understanding and acceptance. What if I addressed why I needed to look that way, why I needed you to approve of me – maybe then I could understand myself better and learn to let go. Did I really have one less thing to worry about when I was a size 2, no, I found something new to take its place, always critical, always self-deprecating.
Underneath all the worry and doubt lies a little girl who is constantly told that as an individual she is not good enough, she needs to have everyone else tell her what to be, what to look like and how to act because their opinions matter more than her individuality. That idea is false, but decades worth of being told that can lead you to this place of self doubt and hatred where you can take up permanent residence very easily.
So how do you break free? It’s easy and really hard at the same time, you learn to think for yourself, and learn to embrace all that you are in this present moment, so easy but it can be so hard. You stop trying to look at the physical and you start looking at your internal beauty. You start telling yourself that you do love yourself, even though sometimes you say that you’re not even sure you believe it and that makes you sad. It take time, it take love and it takes a large amount of patience.
I am not saying just sit there and eat junk food and not move, that’s not the message here today, I encourage you to move your body a bit, eat what fuels you in many ways and works for your body but do it from a place of love, do it without comparing yourself to anyone else. If you existed all by yourself, and had no other women to compare yourself too I doubt you would look at your physical body with as much distaste as you do now. When you understand that you do live that way, independent from anyone else and that their ideals and images can’t affect you unless you let them, then the world starts to open up.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, it never will, it is who you are internally that people are truly drawn too, it’s that which feels connection, it’s that which loves and it is that which focus should reside. What you bring awareness to grows, so bring your attention internally, that is where you live and your physical body is merely a sub category. Your body is a vessel, something to transport that inner beauty around, if you take care of it the way that it needs it, based on your own personal needs than it will continue to provide a vessel in which the real you can truly experience.