One of the most problematic relationships people have is their relationships with their bodies. I hear evidence of this from every type of person. It doesn’t seem to matter if we’re heavy or slender, young or old, male or female – it seems that almost everyone struggles with how they feel about their bodies.
So many of us hold quite a bit of hostility for our bodies. Our critical voices can say incredibly mean things to them. We feed them poorly (at least some of the time!) and push them beyond their capabilities, and we blame them when they seem to falter. We get mad at them when they get sick, resentful when they need rest, and disgusted when they gain weight. We’re deeply critical of every perceived flaw – every soft part, every wrinkle, every ache. And most of us hold a heavy dose of fear that our bodies can’t be trusted and that they’ll eventually betray us in some way.
Today, I would like to challenge you to become more aware of these negative feelings and criticisms, and I would like to invite you to replace the animosity with appreciation. Have you ever stopped to think of all that your body does for you? Are you aware that your body is the vessel that is providing this life for you? Every beautiful thing you’ve ever seen and every amazing sound you’ve ever heard is due to your body. Credit your body for all the activities you love to do – everything from exercising to gardening to watching TV is possible because of your body.
Do you have children? Have you stopped to thank your body for the miraculous job of creating life? Do you love food? It’s your body that allows you to experience the joy of eating something delicious. We have our bodies to thank for every bit of pleasure we’ve ever encountered. Think of ANY good thing about your life – and realize that without your body, you wouldn’t be able to experience any of it.
I believe that our bodies are always working for us. No matter what we do or how we feel about them, our bodies continue to show up for us every single day. I believe they’re doing their best to work for our physical health. This doesn’t mean that we always have perfect health – or even that we’re meant to. I believe our bodies know what we most need to learn in this lifetime, and they are here to help us grow spiritually as well. I even believe our bodies send us messages through our physical symptoms. When we learn to listen to our bodies, it can deepen our spiritual connection and even assist us in healing.
When we view the body as something that is always working for our highest good, we begin to have more compassion for all of its parts. We begin to speak to it with a kinder voice, and we start to make choices based on what’s best for it. When we have more affection for our bodies, that extends to the way we feel about ourselves as a whole. And when we feel good about ourselves, that positively affects all of our relationships as well.
No matter what is going on with your body, you are living with a miraculous and beautiful vessel. If you're ready to shift your relationship with it, try appreciating it for what it has given you and asking it how it would like to be nurtured today. Let me know what changes for you!
Love and light,