Body Image: Let’s Talk About It
This post was inspired by a discussion we had on our Instagram page about body image. We wanted to go a little deeper so we’re bringing it over here where we can stretch out.
This is a really complicated topic and the truth is, no one really has a right to discuss this with you. If you even read this, you’re extending a level of trust to us that we really feel.
We’re going to do our very best not to dishonor that by saying something insensitive or triggering.
However, if you are easily triggered by discussions about bodies, we caution you to take a second to evaluate where you’re at. Are you ok to keep reading?
If you are, let’s proceed gently and talk about something that’s hard for many of us. How do we feel about our bodies?
Body Image: Is Accepting Yourself A Myth?
The idea that you’ll love yourself 100% of the time is unrealistic and basically a myth. Even full-blown narcissists don’t love themselves all the time (they’re often quite insecure!). So you can toss that idea out right now and give yourself a huge break from the get-go.
We also completely understand that you can’t flip a switch and suddenly love or accept yourself. If you’re struggling with this, please view this blog as food for thought, a sort of prompt, and not a how-to guide. We can’t tell you how to proceed here, we can only have a discussion and share some tips that work for us.
In reality, you may never achieve total body love and acceptance. That’s ok. We’re trying to cultivate critical mass here not perfection.
Body Image: Love vs Acceptance
Speaking of critical mass, there’s a difference between love and acceptance and we think it’s important in this case. It would make us feel SO good to think about you loving yourself. But, it can make you feel much better to just work on accepting yourself and this isn’t about us or some false ideal.
It’s about empowering you to feel as good as you possibly can.
You might fall short of loving your body or even get triggered by it. The shape, nature, ability, size, and weight of your body might cause you distress at times. Body acceptance isn’t just about weight and we get that.
Even if your body causes you distress, we hope you can think about extending an olive branch to it in some way. If you can’t love it, can you accept it? If you can’t accept it unconditionally, can you accept it right now?
Can you see your body as a valid thing that has a right to exist and does so separately from your soul or personality? However, you can still try to establish a level of acceptance with it. Can you live, and let it live,until and unless you have the means to change it?
Body Image Truth: Non-Conformity Is Revolutionary
If part of your challenge is that you can’t find beauty in your body, can we look at it a little differently together? Beauty is an absolutely personal thing and standards of beauty are human constructs that often dictate instead of reflect.
If we look to nature, we see that beauty takes many forms. Butterflies are beautiful to many, but to others they’re still bugs. The unique is often beautiful, and nature favors novelty in many ways.
Some animals build elaborate structures to attract mates, and they don’t look beautiful to us. In fact, they often don’t look beautiful to every suitor either.
A star is beautiful to us, but it’s just a ball of burning gas.
Beauty is, in many ways, a lie we tell ourselves or a word we invented to try to describe the warmth that blooms inside our chests when we feel love.
When you think about that, beauty has less to do with what your body looks like. It’s more about how you make people feel and who is looking at or feeling you in the first place.
If you worked on feeling the warmth of love when you see yourself, could you become beautiful in your own eyes? You have so much to contribute.
Body Image Truth: Actually, You’re Massive
No matter what size you think you are, you’re actually massive. You’re the culmination of the universal energy and the spirit of evolution. Who you really are wouldn’t fit in a body anyway. Who you actually are has no form or substance.
Your body is only a part of the experience you’re having right now. It’s more like an accessory your soul wears and that’s not a huge deal, right?
We know that sometimes it is still a very big deal, and we honor that struggle. We hope you can make choices that make yourself feel good right now, like covering your body in clothes that feel good, nourishing your body with the fuel it needs and flavors that bring you pleasure, and moving your body in ways that help it grow stronger when possible.
Time To Work
If you take the idea that you’re larger than your body and meditate on it, it might bring you some clarity and peace. We believe that we have to be careful when meditating about a lack of connection between the mind and body. It can cause disassociation and disorientation.
However, if used as part of a healthy approach to mental health, it can provide relief. It can give us perspective and allow us to fly free from the restraints of our physical selves.
Your body is the vehicle for your essence. It is only so much more or so much less when we make it so.
Absolutely no one can tell you what is appropriate for you regarding your body. We would never dream of trying.
We hope only that you’ll consider this when making your decisions. If you can love yourself before making the change, that’s amazing. If you can love yourself after making the change, that’s incredible too. If your change is permanent, please find a nurturing support system to guide you. Lastly, always take the best care of yourself that you can.
About Your Body Image ‘Now’
In a perfect world, you love yourself right now. If that’s not the reality you’re experiencing, we hope you can find solace in something we’ve said. We see you as so much more than flesh and bones. The essence that animates who you are speaks and is so worthy.