Updated: Oct 30, 2020
In the body-positive world, there’s a whole lot of “LOVE YOUR BODY LOVE YOUR BODY LOVE YOUR BODY” going on.
There’s nothing wrong with this.
Obviously loving our bodies would be a wonderful achievement. But for many people, especially people with long-held negative beliefs or distorted views of themselves, finding self-love can feel like an uphill battle.
Loving our bodies is a form of approval. But accepting our bodies is the first step to healing.
7 years ago I was sitting in group therapy listening to another woman talk about how hard it was to love herself.
I chimed in and said, "𝘺𝘢 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸... 𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘭."
Upon further exploration, we realized this group member was actually struggling to APPROVE OF her imperfections. Not accept them. There’s a subtle difference between the two.
This important realization has stuck with me ever since.
APPROVAL = means you LIKE something.
(Giving it a thumbs up. 👍)
The body positivity movement has a lot to do with approval. The goal is to like and even feel proud of our curves, dimples, and boob sweat.
But approval is often the result of a lot of HARD WORK. And loving our bodies can feel like a far off goal at times.
Approval attaches value to our bodies.
If hating our bodies is a negative charge, then approving of our bodies is a positive charge. We’re saying “hey, I like you.”
But when we take a look at what body neutrality stands for, ACCEPTANCE is the name of the game.
ACCEPTANCE = Being with what is.
(Without a value judgment.)
𝐖𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐭.
Read that again.
You can accept your body and still not be in love with it.
Acceptance is surrendering to what is. What exists.
Anything other than acceptance is the rejection of truth.
The rejection of facts. And that rejection causes tension.
Rejecting your body as it is, can only lead to frustration and disappointment.
One way you can work to accept your body - view it without judgment - is with a body scan meditation.
This is a simple mindfulness practice, often done while laying down (yessss total relaxation 💤), where you bring your attention to every body part - one by one.
I've written and recorded a body scan meditation that's available for you to download right now! You can get started moving towards acceptance right away!
So light some candles, set aside 10 minutes, and turn inward!
I encourage you to strive for acceptance rather than approval at the beginning of your body healing journey.
It's the quickest path to end suffering.
The moment we stop resisting what is real. What is true. What's right in front of us... the moment we feel peace.
Trying to change your body OR trying to love it both require a lot of energy and action.
Seeking approval from yourself and others gets exhausting.
𝐀𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠. Which in turn uses much less energy.
👉Can you ALLOW your body to exist as it is?
Without feeling the need to change it?
Without feeling the need to love it?
👉Can you ACCEPT the parts of yourself that make you human?
Without cursing their existence?
Without feeling the need to flaunt them?
The ideas of acceptance vs. approval can extend into all areas of our lives.
✨What's one thing you're going to ACCEPT today? 👇👇
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