What are your first thoughts when it comes to your body image?
How do you see yourself, how do you feel when looking at yourself in the mirror and – even more important – what do you sense inside?
Do you feel too fat, saying “I am too fat” to yourself?
Do you feel like having a nose that’s too big, wobbling upper arms or big thighs? And do you tell yourself in front of the mirror day by day what you don’t like about yourself?
Then it is the perfect time RIGHT NOW to spend a thought on shifting your mental monologue instantly in a different (let’s say the opposite) direction; for all these pejorative and spiteful thoughts you feed your mind will become manifested in the depth of your sub-consciousness and eventually, they show up in your physical appearance. How would it feel if you adopt an attitude of respect and dignity towards your body?
Your body is a gift from life to you. Imagine this: you received this unique, utterly complex and intelligent vehicle that serves you to express your inner world; to experience Mother Earth, your whole life with all of your senses. And please be aware of one thing: YOUR body is unique. It does not exist a second time on the entire planet.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
You’ve probably heard about the human cell back in your biology class in school, haven’t you? You’ve come across the DNA within our cells as well as each unique cell organelle that works with the others on an intracellular level. Then we have the different constructed tissues, our organs. In a nutshell, it’s a stunning physiology that nature provides each of us. And think about your brain, how complex but well-constructed this organ works! Just imagining these facts once in a while is a good reason to be thankful for this gift you call your body.
~ Our inner critic ~
At the end of the day, we are all “only” humans. And usually, our own biggest critic. We admire and praise others. But at the same time, we feel inferior and deficient.
Where does this attitude of inferiority derive from? This internal feeling of discontentment that brings us to treating our body in a bad way, to suppress our needs. It is the voice of our inner critic, who grew up and evolved inside based on our experiences in life so far. It is tremendously shaped by our (western) “achievement-oriented” society that makes us feel like we’re never enough. Also the media influences our thoughts to a huge extent, as it puts an ideal of beauty, a picture of “how you have to be”, in our mind.
Self criticism is healthy as long as we do not depreciate our own personality, as long as we accept failures and see them as an opportunity to learn from and develop with it.
The inner critic is a precious voice, which wants to see us growing. In fact, it doesn’t make sense to numb it down. It is not helpful either to suppress this voice with frantic positive thoughts. Think of it like a friend you’re having a conversation with and not someone who controls you in a superior way.
- As soon as you can hear this voice within your head running on autopilot, take one step back.
- Make yourself aware that this voice in your brain is not YOU. These thoughts are opinions that got manifested in your sub-consciousness. YOU are free to choose again, every single moment, and to make up your own, honest opinion on your self-image.
- Talk to your inner critic. Give him a name. Accept him. Pay attention to this voice. Think about and question his judgements. How do you feel about it?
- Tell him in a friendly way that you don’t share his opinion right now, if you do so.
~ From judging to self-acceptance ~
We all were conditioned in early childhood to judge everything and everyone in life. To see a thing, a person’s situation – simply ANYthing – as good or bad. Society sets us an example of how we’re supposed to behave correctly and what we should rather not do or say. If we think much of ourselves, we’re directly labelled as egoistic.
However, we can perceive from society without any doubts that this made up, apparently “good image” does not work pretty well. A behavior that’s characterized by perfectionism, performance and overeagerness leads us rather into depression, burnout, addictions and other states of illnesses. That’s a result from loosing the access to our body, our needs, from having no appreciation at all towards ourself anymore.
Well, you probably ask yourself how to dissociate with those opinions from society, while still living in the midst of it? How to regard yourself more lovingly?
Here is a very successful principle that you can transfer to the relationship with your body as well. It says
Love it, leave it or change it
Maybe this sounds like an ancient zen-blather. An old wisdom that’s not transferable to reality. Stop: failed! You can use this principle in every single situation of your daily life.
But what is it about?
- Love it: There are probably a few physical characteristics that you like about yourself. Maybe your eyes, hair, the shape of your mouth, your nails, feet or calves. Try to pay more attention to these parts of your body and tell yourself in front of the mirror, how much you appreciate them.
- Leave it: On the other side, you’ll probably find parts of your body you do not like very much, but you cannot change them to a significant extent. Let’s say for example your body height, the color of your eyes, the shape of your nose, fingers or toes. But these parts may make your body unique. Try to accept them and don’t pay too much (negative) attention on them with every single glance into the mirror.
- Change it: The third principle relates to those parts of your body you don’t like, but they are completely changeable by yourself! That may be your posture, the expression of your face or your body weight. There are many things relating to your physical body, which you can influence actively. Your body is the mirror of your lifestyle. Allow it to express your greatest and most beautiful version from the inside out. Care about this wonderful gift. Your body will thank you and vise versa. Become best friends and go through this miracle path, called “life”, hand in hand.
~ Perfection is an illusion ~
Imagine each of us would be the same, you and me, we would be perfect; what kind of life would that be? Isn’t it exactly those little edgy things that make us so unique, likeable, charming and exactly what we really are: human beings. How could we evolve in a state of perfection? There would be no possibility to develop …
Perfection is the greatest blemish –
the one, who already is everything, can’t become anyone anymore.
~ Expressing your inner world ~
“Thoughts create reality”, as Dieter Broers uses to say truthfully. Each of us will experience these moments or days once in a while, when we simply resist what we face inside the mirror. On some days, you’ll see yourself as a “normal version of yourself”, neither extraordinarily beautiful nor horrible. And maybe you’ve also experienced one of those moments, when you considered your self-image even as attractive, when you could fall in love with what you face in the mirror. Recall those moments. How did you feel back then?
And this is exactly the key: none of us looks completely identical in every moment of life. Our subtle nuances of our face, the expression of our eyes, our body posture, our gestures and voice – everything changes in correlation to our mood, originally to our state of mind. Our thoughts and feelings are the influencing factors of how our body looks like. As feelings derive from thoughts, your mental attitude is the absolute origin of your physical expression. It is not for nothing that we say:
“True beauty comes from within.”
But not only beauty derives from the internal world; equally does our health. The field of psychosomatics established it’s holistic approach to diseases in the 1950s’ and described the tight connection between body, mind and soul. According to psychosomatics, every disease is seen as a symptom that has it’s origin on a deeper, psychic level, which firstly has to be treated in order to let heal the physical pain. Thus, your body constantly mirrors your internal world. By the way, western medicine assumes a disease as psychosomatic when there is no physical-related origin found. We could expand this statement even further by saying that every physical imbalance can be regarded as an issue on a deeper level, like your soul is trying to talk to you…
Body, mind and soul are the three inseparable parts of our Self.
~ Causes and Effects ~
If you suffer from physical issues, it is a sign from your inner world that you’re not aligned with what you do in life right now; that there’s a barrier between your actions in the outside and your feelings inside. Your body simply is the material state that shows you very clearly if you’re taking a wrong direction on your life path.
Take these signs seriously. Take a look at your current situation in life and ask yourself honestly, if you live in joy or not.
Don’t fight against your body while taking in pills that might ease your pain on the surface level, for it eventually reinforces the core problem. The issue behind your physical symptoms grows – everything you resist persists – and one day, you’ll succumb to an ever greater condition than simply headaches. Getting this connection to your internal world is quite challenging, if you live in a material- and outer world-focused society.
Understand your physical issues as a chance; as a task; a mission. Start taking up this exciting journey – a journey towards yourself. And work out what brings you joy and fulfillment in life. If you’re aligned with your purpose, if you’re living happily, health is yours, for sure.
~ Conclusion: my body = my gift ~
Start realizing your body as the most precious gift you were given by life. Question one or another judging statement you say to yourself, because those probably underly the opinions from society. Bear all the beautiful characteristics of yours in mind, every single day. Beautiful soul out there, you are a unique gift for this world. There is not one second person identical to you. Take this gift and make the best out of it. Express your internal beauty through this wonderful body of yours. 🙂
I’m sending you a giant hug!
Spread your love & Namasté,