Most all of us have something about our bodies we dislike. Here's a list off some typical negative-body complaints:
• I'm too fat/too skinny
• I'm too tall/too short
• I hate my nose/hate my lips
• My hair is too curly/I hate being bald
• My skin is too light/too dark
• My feet are ugly
• My butt is fat
• My breasts are too small/too large
• My penis is too small
• My stomach sticks out.
I could go on, but I won't. I'm sure you get the picture. We're experts at denouncing our bodies and on focusing acutely on our perceived flaws.
Here's my suggestion. Take several long, deep relaxing breaths. Try to feel a sense of calm. Now, look in the mirror. You may be tempted to immediately go on the attack against your body. But, wait. Let this time be different. The task here is to look at yourself and find your best feature. "What?", you scream, "I can't do that!! I don't have a best feature!"
Yes, actually you do. Keep breathing slowly and deeply. Is it your soulful, smiling eyes? Your heart-shaped lips? Your strong arms/legs? Your nose, ears, hands, smile, etc.? Be honest with yourself and show off a feature about your body that you like. Now, whatever it takes for today, highlight that feature. Style/cut your hair, do your nails, put on makeup, dress in an outfit you love. Afterwards, bask in the beauty that is uniquely your own. 1
While looking in that mirror, love yourself as deeply as you can even for just today. Deep breath, ahhhhhhhh. Long-lasting healing can only take place when we drop the self-attack and choose warmth and self-embrace in its place.
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1 R. Molinary, Beautiful You, A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, pg. 96. Berkeley: Seal Press, 2010.