We all live with contradictory ideas in our minds. None are more potent than both loving something and hating something.
Ever noticed how you can get excited by a particular TV show and think its terrible at the same time? Maybe one attitude or response is more innate, and the other is based on logic or intelligent reflection. We can feel this way about people too: most of us have someone in our lives who, on the one hand, drives us crazy but on the other hand we find compelling and we just have to see. Believe it or not, you have a fair degree of control over which of these emotions or thoughts – positive or negative – you focus in on.
Now, let’s talk about your body. Even if, when you really stop to think about it – especially when you are in front of the mirror – you reckon you don’t like your body very much at all I could show you a fair bit of evidence that you do like it! I bet, for example, that you either dress for comfort – i.e. to make your body feel good – or you try to wear clothes to flatter it, to decorate it at least a little. I also bet that you when you go for a walk you tread carefully, taking a good look at the direction you are travelling in. This is to protect your body, to prevent it from any unnecessary harm… I could give you many more examples of how you really take care of your body.
Why then are so many of us so convinced that we dislike our bodies? Or a more interesting question might be: why is it that we are so inclined to tune into our negative feelings about our physical selves when we are asked to answer what we think of it? Is it because disliking our bodies is something we feel we ought to do? Do we feel guilty if we admit there is something in our lives that can make us happy, i.e. this chunk of flesh and bones and organs and skin we inhabit that lets us do and see and be part of such awesome stuff?
My challenge to you is to become aware of all those things you already do that represents a kindness, a friendliness towards your body. The more you soak in these feelings the stronger they will grow. Allow these – often unconscious – positive feelings be a wonderful foundation for building a truly unassailable love and gratitude for your body.
And if you’re stuck trying to recognise even one thing about how you love your body, come see Nadine and Donna at Body Map…