How To Be Thankful For The Body You Have
I've spent a great deal of my adult life staring in the mirror. More than any woman should. Seeing flaws and spots I'd like to 'troubleshoot'. I've pinched, prodded, poked and plucked just about every pore and inch of my thighs, tummy, face, arms, back, bum. You name it it's been under my careful watch and scrutiny for the past 30 years.
I will share here that I feel like a hypocrite. For years, I've preached to love the body you have. To appreciate all it does for you, the strength it is capable of. Yet most of my life I've condemned myself for gaining weight or not looking like the latest yoga poser on Instagram, or cover of the trendiest health magazine.
I don't think I'm alone. Sadly, it seems the norm for women to criticize their appearance. Expected even. We wouldn't be 'women' if we didn't complain about something, right?
This is wrong in so many ways. Women are fighting a war right now. There is so much shame and blame amongst women in today's culture it makes my heart heavy. If you're unconvinced, check out social media's #metoo movement. A majority of women have reported being sexually harassed, abused or assaulted. This is not a cry for attention. This is a battle cry to heal the misogynistic culture that's been growing for the past century.
Please don't mistake this as a male vs. female problem. This is a human problem. Overwhelmingly, we've all chosen to focus on the external aspects of aging as opposed to the grace and wisdom that comes with more candles on our cake. We've chosen to appreciate beauty mainly by appearances and have poured money into marketing a very particular image of attractiveness and health. It's no wonder we're always dieting, trying to become more slender, alter our appearance and fight the changes that occur to us with time.
It's time to shift this paradigm that has prevented women from fully expressing their gifts and splendor. Both women and men would be better served by connecting to that sweet, nurturing divine feminine energy that resides within all of us. We must start loving and caring for ourselves in a way we haven't before. This is not weak. It is necessary.
There's no better time to start than now and there's only one person that can do it. You.
This holiday season please take some time to reflect on your relationship with your body. Are you healthy? Do you feel alive and vital? Can you pursue the activities and relationships that fill your heart and soul? If so, there are so many blessings to be counted. This is not to say you should sit in complacency. We can always strive to learn, grow and evolve. We can aim to feel more vibrant, radiant, and beautiful so that we may participate more fully in life. But let's take the word 'improvement' and 'better' out of our vocabulary. We've hurled arrows at ourselves long enough. Begin with gratitude. Be thankful for the now, know you can move forward in the future and take a moment to fully appreciate the vehicle that allows you to heal, move forward and experience all the sweetness and joy life has to offer.