Some of you may have heard the idea of our body being a “temple” or “sanctuary,” but if not, it essentially means that we should honor and respect the body we were given to live in. But, how often do we actually stop and think about how we relate to our bodies? On the serious side, so many women struggle with insecurities that lead to eating disorders, self-mutilation and even suicide. More common, though, are those little things we do on a constant basis to bring our bodies down—looking in the mirror and feeling “not good enough,” wishing we had that girl’s blonde hair, or that other girl’s perfect lips. Does it ever end?
Though our bodies should be sanctuaries that we delight living in, day after day, women of all ages, races, shapes and sizes oh-so-easily make the mistake of treating their bodies more like a trash bin. Here are three ways to combat that mentality…
Learn To Take A Compliment
As they say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. It is important for us all to realize when we are putting ourselves down. Many times in an attempt to be humble, we downgrade our successes and highlight our shortcomings. This has to be recognized and stopped. If you have the top sales at work for the month, or finally run that half marathon you have been training for, enjoy your success.
When others compliment you, it’s okay to say “thank you!” I know this sounds obvious, but how many times have you responded to a compliment with, “Oh really it was just luck,” or “It was a team effort.” There is nothing wrong with accepting a compliment for something you worked for.
The next step is to realize that life is not a competition. Just because another woman is beautiful, that does not make you less beautiful. I see this happen all too often. Women put other women down in an attempt to make themselves feel better. How many times have you seen a lovely women walking down the street and said to your friends, “She’s pretty, but she obviously tries way too hard,” or, “Wow that girl doesn’t eat.”? Why do we say things like this? My 5’2” stature will never compare to the super models of today, but the great thing about it is, it never has to! As women we need to learn to recognize beauty all around us.
By putting other women down, really we are only putting ourselves down. Internally we’re saying, “Why can’t I look like that blonde bombshell? There is obviously something wrong with me.” Or, “I wish I could be as skinny as that girl with legs a mile long.” Don’t compare and compete with other women, but rather recognize your own unique treasures and focus on the positive things that you bring to the world.
Remember The Future
The final step is realizing that greater things are yet to come. Sometimes the greatest thing about life is realizing that the best is yet to come. Having this mentality can help you treat your body in a better way and view it through a healthier lens. Many women fall into the trap of believing that their glory days are over after they hit their twenties, thirties and even forties. This is simply not true. As a teenager, I wish I could have told myself that life got easier.
Maturity brings about a sense of ease, and as we grow up, we realize that the dramas of youth just aren’t as important as we thought they were. It is important that as we grow older, we take ownership of our bodies and really come to terms with who we are. Once this happens, we can actually look in the mirror and see past the split ends or the freckles we’ve never appreciated. Instead, we can see the person who we have come to know and love over time—a radiant woman who has lived life well—and who doesn’t find beauty in that?
Image via I Don’t Want Realism