My sister was discussing my site with me the other morning and she said something like “Well, it’s not like a person ever really learns to love their body? They just kinda convince themselves they do, right?” And my answer was, “No. That’s not right. That might be the first step. But, you CAN actually learn to love your body. I mean we learned to not love it in the first place, so we can undo that.” Here’s what I mean.
Yes You Can
I truly believe that you CAN learn to love your body. Like any long term mature love, it is something that will have cycles, ups and downs, and most of the time not giving it a whole lot of thought. But if someone were to ask you about your long-term love, you would answer, “Yes. Of course I love my body.”
Defining Loving Your Body
Loving your body is not arrogance.
It is not conceit.
It is not feeling superior to others.
Loving your body is kindness. Loving your body is appreciation. Loving your body is compassion for “imperfections.” Loving your body is adopting humor in place of anger.
Loving your body is right. It is friendship. It is companionship. It is the kind of love that’s for the long haul.
Loving your body will have it’s ups and downs, but the consistent commitment to appreciate it remains at the end of each day. Is this not true love? One that stands the test of time, that is there for you no matter what? It can be yours. Just decide to claim it. Here’s how:
How to Learn to Love Your Body
Learning to love your body is the same as learning to love anything or anyone.
- It starts with finding the good qualities. What are the things about your body that are good. If you have trouble starting imagine how you would feel if you lost certain parts or functions. For example, what if you lost the ability to use your hands? What if you lost your legs. What would you miss about that? What if you lost your sensation of touch, how would that affect you? There are many many aspects of our bodies that serve us well on a daily basis. We take them for granted. Most of these good qualities have nothing to do with beauty. I’d venture to suggest that beauty should probably fall at the bottom of your list. Start a list. Write down the obvious.
- Then you build up a habit of appreciation. Each day make a habit to say out loud or write down at least 5 things about your body for which you are grateful. Really feel the awe, the wonder of those wonderful qualities.
- You plant the seeds of joy. Take time each day to use your body for joy. Listen to music. Hear it with your ears. Feel the vibrations in your chest. Move to the music and let yourself go. Use your eyes to read something positive. Use your mind to solve a puzzle or play a game with someone. Use your body to go somewhere by foot, bike, skateboard, or swim. Delight in losing yourself in the activity. As your worrying mind turns off, savor the freedom exercise gives us from our “monkey mind.” When faced with a pull towards an addiction (alcohol, sugar, nicotine, people, whatever it may be), release instead into meditation. Observe the addiction instead of grasping. Feel the joy of letting go. Use your hands to create something: a recipe, some art, a DIY project, or maybe just a love letter. All these activities are courtesy of your body. EnJoy it!
- Water the seeds. Do something joyful each day. Sing, dance, move, create, ponder, wonder, love.
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor of love. Actively express your appreciation of these joys. Say it out loud to someone. Tell them of your joy. Ask them about theirs. This is the good stuff of life.
- Allow yourself to see and appreciate your beauty. We are all beautiful in our own way. What keeps us from seeing it and feeling it is HARSH JUDGMENT. When you are harsh, when you are judging, you are not kind. Would you be that way with a flower? Would you be that way with a baby or a young child? Then why be that way with yourself. Give yourself the gift of acceptance, of kindness, of love. A little each day will build over time. It took time to learn (decide) to judge and dislike aspects of yourself. You need to give yourself that same amount of time to unwind that habit. And you can do it. There’s no doubt of it. Make the decision and love a little more each day.
- Use your mantras daily. When you fill your thoughts with positive ideas, then there is less room for the negative. So fill your mind daily with good stuff. If you haven’t already subscribed to this website, please go ahead and do so to get our free ebook on “Mantras for Loving Yourself.”
- Realize that you indeed love your body and all it does for you.
What are your thoughts on this? What do you love about your body? Can’t wait to hear from YOU!photo credits: Left, Middle, Right