It takes courage to learn to love your body.
I have a confession to make. I do not love my body. I don’t hate it, but when people talk about loving their bodies, I don’t necessarily feel like that is something I connect with.
But I am learning.
When I began having knee pain, I immediately thought, “well, that’s just one more thing breaking down.” How many of us do something like that? We speak unkindly to ourselves, about ourselves. Or when I look in the mirror, am I in awe of what I see there, or do I point out the soft middle and secretly say, “if you lose 20 pounds, I will be able to love you more.”
To those of you who never speak in that kind of hurtful or unloving way toward yourself, you are the role model today. I would love to learn how you learned to be kind to your body.
For me, I am going to take a slightly different approach.
When I was diagnosed with my tumour, and then named her Tina, an interesting thing happened. it’s the same thing that happens when my kids get hurt or when my wife got sick. I felt so much compassion for Tina. And slowly, I was able to change that to feeling compassion for me.
My therapist and I talked about treating Tina with kindness, and how I need to treat myself like I would anyone else who is suffering. And I did. And I am beginning to love this body of mine.
Let’s be clear. I do not enjoy everything about my body. But when I take the time to show compassion toward the parts that suffer, and can show awe when I realize all the things my body allows me to do…including writing this blog, then I can begin to treat my body with love.
It takes courage. It takes courage to acknowledge the pain. It takes courage to show kindness to the thing that is hurting you. And today, I am learning how to love my body, not in spite of its flaws, but because those flaws make me human.
What can you do to show your body you love it? Will it be in how you speak about her? What you choose to feed her? How you help her deal with stress? Will you move her or rest her?
I only get one body. I no longer want to focus on changing the imperfections. I want to love those imperfections. I am going to brave enough to learn how to love my body. Will you join me?