We have perfected the art of body shaming. The berating. The out of proportion belief of magazine ready proportions.
How ironic that a society consumed with snapping selfies, recording TikToks and twittering can’t see the true beauty in themselves. All those fantastic filters have only warped what they see even further. They are admiring pictures that are only skin deep.
How did we get here; hating our bodies?
Experience. Practice. Creating belief systems based on how others view us. I can recite a litany of middle school memories of unkind words spewed by immature and callous classmates that I’m sure you could match, pain for pain.
We weren’t born with judgment and shame leading the forefront of our emotions. They were learned.
Have you ever seen naked toddlers running through a sprinkler? Or dodging parents after bath time because they wanted no part of being covered up?
Guaranteed you won’t see them grabbing their chubby little legs proclaiming, “Oh no, look at these thunder thighs! That’s it, I’m starting my diet on Monday!”
What we do see is complete freedom, abandon, joy, love and acceptance in their hearts. They love and appreciate themselves because they are not attached to their bodies.
In fact, children don’t even identify themselves as separate individuals until after two years of age. They see no difference between themselves and others. They refer to themselves in the third person. They hold no hate, only unconditional love for their body that is allowing them to stand, chase after Fido and climb the cabinets to reach the cookie jar.
There is no separation.
There is no hatred.
There is no judgment.
There is only acceptance and oneness.
Before two years of age they are blissfully and completely connected to the collective of people in our world as a unified whole. They do not separate themselves nor judge others. Their awareness rests in being of their body, not being their body.
Sadly, this beautiful gift of a life lived in simplicity will be stolen from them as they are fed beliefs that are not their own. They learn it’s better to trade the collective whole for the individual and begin the journey of living in separation, comparison and judgment of themselves and others. They learn to feel shame. This shame becomes the stealer of all things loving and joyful in their life.
That child learning the world’s lessons is you. It’s me.
That inner child still lives within us waiting to unlearn the lessons of shame. The lessons that helped us form a belief system centered on our unworthiness.
We’ve connected stories of unworthiness with our weight and appearance for so long that they’ve become as visceral as any appendage on our body.
When we don’t have any other way of thinking, it’s only because we haven’t yet learned another way of thinking. We don’t know what we don’t know until we know more. For much of my life I didn’t know more. I didn’t know my migraines, depression and anxiety were the result of my misaligned belief system about my body. It tried to speak to me, but I didn’t know how to listen.
Our bodies are well versed in the art of communication. They speak in the language of ease or DIS-ease. The more we ignore them, the more they will raise their voice until DIS-ease is finally heard.
Society has presented us with a litany of solutions for DIS-ease: diet, exercise, magic pills, diet again, magic drinks, boxed diet food, gyms, diet some more. Don’t get me wrong, these can be good solutions IF they are accompanied by the inside work of pivoting our mindset and belief systems.
Society’s intention is good (most of the time), but unless you do the inside work DIS-ease will always be the loudest voice in the room. DIS-eased thinking steals your joy.
Have you ever achieved your weight goal, yet still felt no joy? Your smaller size may have brought you some happiness, yet left you feeling unfulfilled. This is because you didn’t change your mindset and belief that you are lovable no matter the size.
The mindset where you no longer felt the need to be a perfectionist. The mindset where you chose the willingness to learn that perfectionism is merely a disguise; a cloak that keeps you hidden from the fear of being judged as unworthy.
It is your very mindset, if shifted, that will free you from playing small and staying hidden.
This shift in mindset is much easier than you may think. Making a shift simply begins with an awareness of your thoughts and a willingness to think differently.
The mere willingness to pivot your beliefs is the key to the possibility of change. The willingness brings an awareness to the negative thoughts that have been streaming through your head.
The willingness with awareness will offer you the chance to shed layers of dense beliefs that no longer serve you.
This willingness will deliver more freedom of choice. You will have the freedom to choose love and joy, instead of fear. You will also have the freedom to choose to surrender your role as victim and reclaim your full power through tools such as boundaries, vulnerability and voice.
Your willingness to make new choices will also free you from you being owned by your old story. A story that is merely a vehicle for traveling, not for taking up residence.
Now is the time for an upgrade. Are you ready to trade in your old model and upgrade? Not your body, but your mindset.
Your upgraded mindset is promised to be stocked with all the bells and whistles you have been wanting: joy, alignment and comfort in your own skin. Start by designing the interior with boundaries and authentic love for yourself and you will learn to love the exterior no matter the size.