Are You Involved in a Love/Hate With Your Own Body?

Warrior I

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

— Marianne Williamson

Question of the Week # 44 / How do really feel about your body?

Do you appreciate it? Own it? Celebrate it? Or are you like most people and wish it were different somehow; maybe thinner, taller, or stronger? Do you find yourself wishing specific parts of your body were smaller or flatter, or bigger?

I recently looked back at a picture that was taken over 18 years ago and marveled at how thin I was then. Then I remembered at the time the picture was taken I hadn't considered my body thin at all, even after the 5 miles a day I was running and the strict fat free diet I had been on for months. How could I have been so blind?

Oftentimes we cannot see ourselves for who we really are. I have said that before in the context of not being able to recognize our own natural talents, and I realize we do a similar thing in how we perceive our bodies. 

Will I think the same thing 10 years from now about my current body? That I should have appreciated then how young I looked, or how age spot free my face was, or how my healthy my skin felt? This thought scares me enough to want to work hard on changing my thoughts and changing how I talk about myself. These days I'm attempting to value and appreciate what I have, even if there are still things I would change about my body, so my next experience pulling up an old photo will be quite different. 

Ten years from now I want to remember how great I felt on the day the picture was taken, how strong, how powerful, how healthy, how HAPPY, how lucky I was-- instead of remembering how I'd held my arm away from the camera so it wouldn't look so fat.

If I could go back and give myself one piece of advice-- I'd tell myself to think better of myself and to love my body for what it is and not think about what it isn't. I will take that advice forward starting now and not waste my breath kicking myself for all the years I wasted trying to make my body something it wasn't, and will instead work to help others see and appreciate their own unique beauty right now in this present moment.

You are beautiful.

Heck, so am I. Let's start enjoying it.