Body image is both mental and emotional. It’s the mental picture we, Divine Sisters, have of our bodies and the way we feel about our appearance. Unfortunately, this can alter the way we appraise our value and worth.
With continual messages and conditioning about the “perfect” body, it’s no surprise that the majority of women suffers from some type of body hatred and body dysmorphia.
Trying to overcome negative body image is a painful process.
Believe me – I know. For decades of my life I suffered when looking at my own body. Shame and, sometimes, anger because I didn’t look a certain way were common thoughts. My reflections in a mirror were distorted and kept influencing my judgment on how I saw myself as a “whole.”
So how can we achieve improving this?
We must learn to recognize our individual qualities and strengths that make us feel good about ourselves – beyond weight, shape or appearance, and renounce the pressures that make us strive for the myth of “perfection” that we view in the media, online and in society. In other words as ethereal as it sounds, looking at ourselves through the lens of self love.
Negative body image affects our self-esteem, which is how we value and respect ourselves as a person—inside and out. Most importantly, self-esteem shapes how we take care of ourselves—emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Having self-respect and value our whole self—not just our bodies is at the core of Divine Renewal. And learn how we have been created as a Divine human that makes mistakes and has flaws and how to deal with these without self-deprivation. After all… we’ve all been “wounded” in some way or another. So why add self-insult to past injuries?
Let’s explore about how we, Divine Sisters, were wounded in some way or another. It goes way back.
Did you know that body image from birth? It continues as we experience life and may be something as simple as a child in school who called you fat or skinny—or an insensitive parent saying they wished you had not inherited your grandmother’s legs.
These subtle, although major scenarios to youths, are in our memory banks. Sometimes way too long. And because we begin forming our body attractiveness perceptions and acceptability in childhood – this image persists as we age and monitor feedback from peers, family members, and, yes, even the media. We certainly allow outside influences to attack our self-esteem and our body image!
And the effect it has makes it difficult to appreciate our whole Divine Womanhood if we don’t like the package we were given to live in. And, if we don’t treasure ourselves – isn’t it difficult to recognize those incredible parts and respect your body as it so deserves?
Be certain that you’re not alone. No way – my Divine friend.
Everyone has a body-image. We can only strive to cultivate an inner image that’s more positive than negative, but we’re all at risk in finding fault with who we are. It’s a viscous cycle that we can terminate! Self love is a process not an Action! Sisters...your body is a temple! So let’s explore ways we got there in the first place.
We hunger for acceptance in how we look—and sometimes feed ourselves with a steady diet of self-criticism; paving the way to a road that contains poor self esteem. This leads to body image shame that’s linked to self compassion, a part of ourselves that is extremely hard to make peace with.
We live in a world obsessed with women’s bodies and are assaulted with images in magazines, on TV, and myriad ways representing what we SHOULD look like.
These visuals eat at our confidence at work, as well as, socially, sexually, and even when we look into a mirror. It may cause depression, emotional eating, anxieties, and self- dislike.
But there’s good news! There’s starting to be an evolution and a revolution! As fashion magazines are now touting that “diversity” has been upgraded to “multiplicity.” Meaning all shapes, sizes, colors are the new “norm.”
But I know – your wounded child is still telling you your worst. And that voice that always replays the good old: “You are not thin enough; you are not pretty enough; you are not intelligent enough.” And truth is, what has, typically, been representations of what most women’s bodies look like is not truth. It is the media ideal. It’s so powerful that we find ourselves comparing our own bodies to these unrealistic “retouched” models – even KNOWING they are not truthful. So we find ourselves hungering; wanting this for ourselves.
It’s hardly “empowering” to encourage women to look a certain way. And actually, the ultimate aim shouldn’t be to shift our bodies into an “ideal”—we need to stop judging people and, mostly, ourselves by appearance in the first place. What we are truly craving and hungry for is to be acknowledged, recognized, seen, celebrated and heard…for who and what we are! And this starts with YOU!
It’s a long journey to self-love and eliminating negative body image from our lives. Think about what triggers these feelings, which may have been with you for years:
Are you self-conscious when thinking of how you look with a partner—and lie in
bed thinking of how you can hide a part of your body that you feel is inferior?
Have you forgotten the parts of you that you KNOW are strong, independent, worthy?
Don’t, as they are the foundation for growth in transforming those attributes you
find negative into positive ones.
Are you spending more time trying to transform your appearance with diets,
excessive workouts, and other supposed self-improvements—than working on the
continual care of your self-esteem and confidence?
If you answered yes to any of these know you are not alone.
I have been there and I know that letting go of body shame is possible when you give yourself a chance to reconnect to the parts of you that you have disowned.
Every woman deserves to live in a body she loves. Reclaiming who we are is about knowing we have the right to be all we can through spirit and health!
Wishing you health and love,