I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and of the different subjects I am studying, the topic of compassion and acceptance have been the most powerful. Yes, exercising compassion and acceptance towards others is ideal, but the real challenge is exercising compassion and acceptance towards ourselves.
I relate this to many of us who struggle with unrealistic body image goals; those of us who use exercise as a form of punishment because we don’t feel good enough; those of us who are under siege when it comes to food and fear that every morsel will immediately affect the size of our thighs; those of us who hate our stomachs; those of us who cry whenever we step on the scale.
Be kind to yourself. Practice compassion for where you are and what you’ve been through. Accept who you are, as acceptance is truly the key to transformation.
People think body acceptance means not wanting to change anything about it. That’s actually not what body acceptance is to me. Acceptance is a form of mindfulness–a way of acknowledging what is while suspending judgment. It’s a way of observing objectively and deciding what’s best for you. As that pertains to body acceptance, you can accept that in this moment you want to change certain aspects of your body from a place of kindness instead of shame, guilt, and perfectionism.
Speak to yourself with the same loving-kindness you would a friend or loved one. LOVE yourself, the whole of who you are, instead of ripping yourself into pieces and sorting those pieces into piles of “worthiness” and “unworthiness.” Zooming in on every imperfection makes us miss out on the beauty of the whole.
Regardless of what your body looks like today, you are and will always be lovable and worthy.