You are hereby granted permission to
Love Your Body
You can stop your self-criticisms about your looks or abilities, and start treating your body as a one-of-a-kind treasure deserving of your love.
Everyone has an inner critic. Sometimes it’s called a conscience, but for most of us, it isn’t very courteous, and the criticism isn’t constructive.
For some of us, the self-critical voice is loud, unpleasant, perhaps unrelenting. For others, it is a sneaky cultprit, quietly whispering in the background so we don’t even notice the inner dialogue.
Whatever the voice in your head or heart sounds like, it’s important you recognize the danger in the negative, self-defeating stories it tells you…about you. Especially what it says about your body.
You see, your body is the house you came to this Earth in. This day cannot exist without you in it. You need that body as fuel for your mind and your movements, and as the vehicle for your spirit and experiences.
With it being a gift like that, what is not to love, then, about your body?
And yet, most of us will not give our bodies the care and respect they deserve. Most of us will either take our bodies for granted, find fault in them until we decide to ignore them, or treat them harshly.
Don’t ask your inner critic.
He or she will have a story or two to tell on your behalf. And you’re likely to get an added inner guilt trip over whatever you have not done to enhance your body. This isn’t that.
This is about moving away from your self-criticisms or indifference about your physical health, abilities, and appearance.
So you can view your body for what it is and how it enables you, instead of judging it to be lacking, wrong, or unworthy.
You have permission to disrupt your inner barking or whispering, and recognize that it comes from you. Our inner critics get their ideas from what others tell us, and from our opinions about the world and how we fit into it. At some point, we start to believe them, and then we behave as if they are true.
For example, they can sound like these:
- Oh right, I’m too busy to be able to do that
- I’m not coordinated, I won’t be able to do that
- My whole life I have been bad at doing things like that
- If I was 20 years younger or 20 lbs. lighter, maybe I could do that
- Only certain people can do something like that, and I’m not one of them
But really, these ideas are not truths, they are stories. And by acting as if they are true…well, it makes it hard to tell the difference.
You are allowed to stop all that. Even if–especially if--your body is challenged by illness or injury, you can love it. (Love as a verb. It’s an action.) Treat it right, in thought, word and deed.
Also, in case you are wondering: yes, we all realize that not every physical accomplishment or look is available to every human being. But then again, we have seen an amputee run in the Olympics, a paraplegic teach yoga, a surfer lose her arm to a shark and surf again, and Steven Hawking (who can’t speak) tell jokes.
Maybe your inner critic thinks those things are too rare to apply to you.
Okay. People lose weight and gain weight, change their eating habits and lifestyles, quit smoking or stressing, climb mountains as senior citizens, cook healthy meals with their kids, find peace in hospice, change their hairstyles, and buy wardrobes in the right size…every day.
You can love your body, and it’s fine if that means you care for it in small ways, from the inside out. Drink more water. Appreciate your prominent nose. Go to the doctor. Whatever. You have every right to literally cherish your body, realizing it’s the only one you get.
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