Embrace and Love Your Body
The perception most people have of their bodies is "I don't like my body, I wish I could change this, this and that!" We find a range of reasons not to like our bodies and what we look like. We're too tall, or too short, too round, or too curvy, or we're too dark, or too light, our lips are too thin, or too full, our hair is too straight or too curly. Parts of us we want to be bigger, more shapely and other parts we want to make smaller and thinner. Why don't we embrace and love our bodies?
From a very young age we are taught what is beautiful and attractive and what is not. We are taught the standard of beauty by what is said and unsaid, by what is modeled as an example, and by what is praised or ridiculed.
Our education in what is a beautiful body is served to us in the social relationships we engage in. For example, in our families we get our first understanding of what is beautiful. We are either praised for our beauty or attractiveness or there is no mention of it, or worse, some of us hear things like "You didn't get the looks, but you've got the brains!" Ugh! We come to learn our value is relative to how beautiful or attractive we may be. These experiences start us on the path of feeling like we're not enough.
Our next exposure to what is beautiful, in terms of social relationships, is with our peers and friends. Children can be terribly cruel. But let's not forget, children learn their beliefs from what they see and hear at home with family members first. At school children learn from other kids as well as their teachers and administration.
One of the ways we learn is by observation. Our experience in education is full of examples that teach us what is liked, acceptable, wanted, and praised.
Kids in school are observing everything. Have you ever heard the phrase "kids are like sponges, they soak up everything they see and hear." This means kids, and adults also, learn by observing the behavior of others. We decide if we want to do the same as what we observe. Some children will learn to ridicule others by mimicking behavior they see other children exhibit towards those who don't fit the picture of what is beautiful.
Examples are set by teachers and staff as research shows that children who are found to be attractive are called on more often and receive more attention than those children who are not considered to be as attractive. Children who are attractive are more popular as well, perpetuating the idea that being attractive has a high, desired value. Although, not stated, the opposite is also true. Those who are considered unattractive are generally left out and the last ones chosen to be on anyone's team.
The media is flooded with images, products, and shows on how we all need to make ourselves more beautiful. All the while implying that we're not. We need to buy the right makeup, hair color, conditioner, skin care, and straightener to become beautiful. Then of course there is the abundance of every type of workout and exercise program possibly imagined so we can improve our failed physique. From Power Walking to Boot Camps and everything in between, it's all there to help us attain a body we can love.
We have learned to relate a very narrow view of what is beautiful to be of great value. If we believe we don't fit in that narrow view, then we see ourselves as having less value and failing in some way. We see ourselves as not worthy of happiness and love. And that is one of the greatest false thoughts we can have about ourselves.
Our bodies are the most amazing creations. The things our bodies do continuously are nothing short of incredible. Just think of how we come into this world as these little beings and grow to become full grown adults. Think of all the things our bodies do that we don't have to consciously think of, like breathing, replicating cells, a heart that beats, circulating blood, organs functioning to maintain our well being and on and on. Our bodies are miraculous, consider this from Richard Walker in "The Human Body:"
"A human skeleton renews itself completely every 10 years."
Christina Hilsdon in the Ultimate Body-pedia : An Amazing Inside-out Tour of the Human Body, tells us "A human eye can distinguish between approximately 10 million different colors."
She also states that "The brain contains 86 billion nerve cells joined by 100 trillion connections. This is more than the number of stars in the Milky Way."
Our bodies are a creation by the energy that created everything. Since the energy that created everything is pure love, so are we. We have been gifted with this amazing creation that allows us to think, to see, taste, touch, hear, and sense, duplicate itself, create a new, and evolve.
Each one of us is unique and special. When we believe there is beauty in everyone, we will find it. When we love our bodies, when we believe we are beautiful and deserving, we change how we behave in the world. Love who you are, what you look like, honor it, cherish it, and as you do, more of what you love about your body will become evident to you.
Growing up with curly, frizzy hair I observed as well as was told, that my hair was not beautiful, and I grew to hate it. From a very young age I tried everything to straighten it and no matter how much time I spent, of course, it would always try to return to it's natural state. It took awhile but later in life I finally came to learn to love what God gave me. I accepted my curly hair and started wearing it natural and never went back. The more I accepted my curly hair, loved it and felt good about it, the more beautiful it became to me. Now, I have people telling me they always wanted hair like mine! Who knew?
We are all beautiful in our own diverse, unique way. Our bodies are the most amazing life creations that afford us the ability to demonstrate our own uniqueness. Beauty is everywhere and should never be limited to a certain look, shape, color, style, or image. When we do that, we limit our ability to enjoy all that we are and all that we can be. We deny ourselves the pleasure of an expansive view of all the beauty this life has to offer.
Buddha says "With our thoughts, we make our world." Try this, look for the beauty in you. Everyday find one thing you like about your body. Go out into the world and everyone you come in contact with, find one beautiful thing about them. Make the effort to direct your thoughts towards honoring and loving your body. You will be so happy with the thoughts, ideas and manifestations you will bring into your experience. You will come to find how beautiful your body is and your body will continue to show you reasons to feel that way.
Embrace and love your body, it is the most amazing thing you will ever own!
Walker, Richard. Human Body. London : DK, 2014.
Wilsdon, Christina. Ultimate Body-pedia : An Amazing Inside-out Tour of the Human Body. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society, 2014.