Self-love vs self-loathing
Why do we hate our body shape so much? Why is there always something we don't like about our body shape? ... our legs, our arms ... for women it may be breast size, for men chest size ... our stomachs, eyes, hair ... and the list goes on.
Is it normal to have these types of thoughts about ourselves, about our bodies? And why is it that our thoughts go to what is ‘wrong’ with our bodies? Is it possible to actually stop this? ... Well, the answer is, yes it is.
BUT are we ready and prepared to admit that this is what we are doing? Pretty much all of us strive to improve ourselves, thinking we need to measure up to an ideal. We are constantly comparing our body shape to others, or to how we think we are supposed to look. We look outside of ourselves to – celebrities, magazines, family members, friends and colleagues, to see if we’re good enough. Hating our body shape is not a new topic. Limitless magazines, television shows, books and websites are now dedicated to talking about solutions to our body image problems. But is anything changing? NO!
"What you see in the mirror is always what you have felt first."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 272
So why this obsession with the perfect body shape?
- Could it be that in our quest for greater self-esteem we have been striving for a solution to the wrong problem?
- Why are we not changing how we view our bodies?
- Why are we not just happy with the way we are?
- Why do we listen to that negative voice inside that tells us how we should be or feel, and even worse, compares ourselves to others around us – our family, other women or men, friends, people on the street.
There is a constant calibrating outside of ourselves to test how we measure up, how we are doing.
Are we so caught up in comparison with others, and/or unreal images or expectations, that there is never a moment to check in with ourselves to see if we are actually ok with who we are?
We focus on the myriad of external details of life such as the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the exercise we are doing or not doing, vitamins and supplements we are or are not taking, saying uplifting and positive things to ourselves ... believing this will eventually change how we ultimately feel.
Is it safe to say that the focus is wrong? That all of the above strategies may help for a day, a week, or even a few weeks, but typically they are not sustainable and that we all know this? ... for haven’t we all tried it in some form or other?
So why don’t these things work?
These ‘solutions’ are things that we get in and ‘DO’ ... and we feel like we are achieving something, as long as we’re doing something. However, the fact is, our ‘solutions’ are not working! Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, cancer is through the roof, and we are as down on ourselves today as much as we were yesterday and the day before that.
Is there another way?
YES, THERE IS! And it doesn’t have anything to do with what is going on around us. It is about creating a ‘stop’ moment to just be with you, several times in the day to start with. I found this idea hard to comprehend at first, as I was not used to taking time just for me. I would tell myself to go and ‘do’ something nurturing or spend some quality time with myself, and then go and ‘do’ something for me – like have a bath or read a book. I thought this ‘doing’ would make a difference. But it didn’t – not a lasting one.
These are examples of slowing down, but I was still solution-focused and ‘doing’ something. Gradually however, and with time, I have learned it is simply about taking the time to be quiet and just be with myself – be at ease in my own skin. At first this was very challenging, and a battle of head versus heart – I knew I had a heart and a body, but had I ever tried to connect to it? NO ... this was a foreign concept to my mind; after all, the head had for so long ruled the show ... for most of my life I had allowed my mind to rule what I said, what I ate, and choices I made around lifestyle, irrespective of what my body said or felt.
Learning to sit and connect to my breath and feel what my heart and my body could tell me was a life-changing and worthwhile experience.
I learned to feel that the answer is within and does not come from a book or an expert outside of me – that it is about self-love (and from there, about love) and connecting with something within, something we naturally already are.
When in the DO-ing we are focused on the outside, hoping this will change us on the inside, e.g. if I lose weight, then I will feel good about myself. If instead we focus on how to connect to the love within first and just ‘BE’, we then bring this BE-ing, this connection, out to everything we do. From this feeling of connection (of self-love) comes a natural desire to nurture ourselves and look after our bodies with loving care.
"We are human beings and not human doings."Serge Benhayon
We do not have to learn to ‘BE’ as it comes naturally to us. We have just become very good at overriding this connection. It is therefore a matter of re-learning how to tap into that love, because that is who we really are. Feeling this love therefore fosters our ability to accept ourselves as we are, and then our natural loveliness can emanate – this is why a person in love has high self-esteem and always ‘glows’.
So, is it possible that the way to accept our body shape is to re-connect and tap into this feeling, this wellspring of love? That's right – RE–learning how to RE-CONNECT to who we truly are.
We were connected to this love naturally when we were children. It came easily to us because we FELT everything first. So, can we accept the possibility that it is within us all to reconnect to that love, and that it is actually available for us all the time?
To connect with self-love and lose the self-loathing begin with very simple techniques, such as feeling your breath and feeling your body, and learning to identify when you’re caught up in thoughts in your head.
For me this took practice, but it is like exercising a muscle that has not been used for a while – with consistent practice it gets stronger. Until eventually it becomes your norm.
Connection to self through conscious presence
Connecting and listening to yourself and your body in every moment brings a perfect rhythm to everything you do.