How do you feel about your body?
Do you constantly feel the need to fix something about it?
Do you worry about how you look to others?
It’s a sign of insecurity when your focus stays fixed on how your body LOOKS to others…
Rather than focusing on how your body FEELS to you.
I’ll never forget the younger sister of a friend I had years ago. She always got up an hour earlier than her boyfriend. In the years they were together, he NEVER saw her without makeup.
Who do you think missed out more…
Him or her?
It’s hard in this culture to feel safe in your body. Like it’s okay to just be you.
We’re bombarded with hundreds, even thousands of advertisements each and every day. The message of these advertisements is always the same. You’re inadequate, so you need these products to measure up.
Does any of the following feel familiar?
- You criticize and judge the appearance of yourself and others.
- You spend money on brand-name clothes, to the detriment of your financial well-being.
- You stuff your feelings with food, shopping, or similar activities.
- Your exercise habits are excessive, and you feel obsessed and exhausted.
- More often than not, you have sex drunk or in an altered state of consciousness.
If you answered yes to any of the above, you might want to ask yourself:
“Does my ‘look good’ feel good?”
Not quite thirty years ago, a long-time colleague came to my apartment. He’d only been there a few minutes when he blurted out, “Is this it?”
His comment hurt. He just saw the hand-me-down sofa and other bargain basement furniture. He didn’t see what I saw. This was my HOME. It wasn’t fancy, but it was clean, and I felt safe there.
In the same way, it’s much more important to feel safe in your body—in essence, your home—than to make sure it’s fixed up and fancy for someone else.
How do you know if you’re safe in your body or that your body is safe with you?
- You have clear physical boundaries.
- You dress appropriately (you wouldn’t wear a low-cut top for work, for example).
- You exercise regularly to stay healthy, but you’re not obsessed.
- You rarely overeat, binge, or purge.
- You don’t stuff or escape your feelings with food, exercise, work, drugs, or anything else done to an extreme.
- You reserve your sexual intimacy for the right person. You enjoy that intimacy to the fullest, unencumbered by body shape or size.
Things have changed so much for me in the past thirty years. I’ve changed. No longer do I let comments like my former colleague’s upset me.
On a recent airline flight, it would have been easy for me to feel inadequate sitting next to the stunning 22-year-old in the seat beside me.
She was much younger and taller than me, her face adorned with artfully-done makeup that enhanced her natural beauty. She was attractive in that way that only the really young can be. Her entire life stretched before her.
But I didn’t feel jealous.
Instead, as I chatted with her, I reflected on the difference in not only our mindsets but the thoughts I’d had at her age and the respect I’d had—or more specifically, didn’t have—for my body then.
I marveled at the growth I’ve made in the last thirty years. I felt amazed at the much gentler, loving way I interact with and treat myself.
Today, I have respect for this body and the way it’s supported me all these years.
Today, I feel safe in a body I’d once neglected and treated in an unsafe way.
You can, too.
Start by becoming aware of the messages you’re giving yourself.
Then you can take action to be safe in your body—your home—the only one you’re ever going to have.
Want to learn more about body love?
Watch Susan’s interview with Your Brilliance where she shares her amazing life story as well as tips on how you can come to accept, appreciate, and embrace your body just as it is—without always feeling the need to be sexier.
Read more articles by Susan.