Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

~ Aeschylus ~

Making Peace With Your Body

September 6th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 16 secs

Actually, your physical self deserves kind treatment too.

Isn’t it time you made peace with your body as it is? I mean, of course it’s not what you want. Unless you happen to be one of the 2-3% with modelesque features, you’re more likely to feel the odd twinge of disgrace when you think of what is and what shouldn’t be.

Ironically, even the minority are inclined to see things that way too. So, many of us are left feeling that our body is the enemy. It should be thinner, slimmer, stronger, and trimmer, even if we do abuse it. We want what we haven’t got and too easily deride what’s left.

This, of course, is terrible! How can we be filled with so much shame over what is, basically, our flesh and blood home? We need our “place” and, if we give it some tender loving care, it can be a pleasant place to live in.

For starters, it’s a mobile home, not a display case. Sure, you’d like people to admire your place. But if it doesn’t offer the best view in the street, don’t sweat. People who count always go beyond street appeal and look for quality anyway.

Apart from that, chances are, your body isn’t just what you think it is, because it’s also packed with loads of features. It does stuff at a molecular level that could make your hair curl. Really! So give it respect. Bulges, scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles are just rites of passage not a sentence. So, relax about them. You aren’t those things. But they are a part of the physical realm you inhabit.

Look at yourself afresh. Not the way a fashion critic, or picky gym goer does. Look as if you’re a scientist, or maybe an artist. You don’t need to be ashamed of anything about it, even if it won’t pass muster on some fashion-pressured ideal. Make friends with your body, knowing that without it, you wouldn’t be here. It might not look the way you wish it, but it’s doing its job (After all, you’re still with us, aren’t you?).

Here’s a dare. Spend the next two weeks looking for good things that your body is doing and give them focus every time you become self-aware. Depending how you look at it, every part of your body is good. And, although everyone can enhance their fitness, it’s already doing what it should, given the treatment we give it.

Every day for the following fortnight, consciously focus on being inside and connected with your physical self. Sense your skin all over and become aware of your posture, and the way you move as you walk. At the very least, study the subtleties of your physical sensations as they are. Keep observing.

Feeling afraid or embarrassed of your physicality makes no sense. That’s why I advise touching yourself kindly and treating your body like it were an old friend. By degrees, a new friendship can be struck, so that you can at least call a truce. Life is too short to be blaming your physical self. Instead, start marveling. Your body is your physical home in this world, so give it a little tenderness and care.


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