In some cases, I think, a negative body image is less about our weight or waist and more about who we really are.
It’s just easier to blurt out “I hate my thighs” than to make sense of the ambiguity of “I’m not OK with who I am” or “I’m not really sure who she is, anyway.”
Many activities can help us unpack the layers of who we are and why that’s not OK with us: journaling our thoughts and feelings; talking to others; working with a therapist; taking classes that help us discover ourselves (like Susannah’s e-courses).
But what if today we just owned a small part of ourselves?
What if we accepted a certain part — maybe even appreciated it?
What if we declared — maybe even out loud — that such and such part is OK?
That declaration could look like the length of a one-line bio, which you follow up with the phrase, “I’m OK with that.”
Some examples of what you might write and say: I am an extrovert who loves connecting with others, and I can’t live without dark chocolate. I’m OK with that.
I have big dreams like writing a bestseller. I’m OK with that.
I am smart. I’m OK with that. I am insecure but I’m working on it. I’m OK with that.
I worry a lot and cry easily. I’m OK with that. I don’t like to run. I’m OK with that.
I am proud of myself, mistakes included. I’m OK with that.
Mention your likes and dislikes, your personality traits, your looks, your contradictions. Mention the seemingly small and the really big.
Start with a few words, if that feels more comfortable. Or write a paragraph, if you like. Or even an entire page.
Keep it to yourself. Share it with someone you trust. Meditate on it. Pray about it. Read it to a therapist. Whisper it into the wind.
This is you owning yourself. On your terms.
Here’s what I’m owning. Today.
I am super talkative yet a true blue introvert. I gobble up blogs and books about creativity like I do dark chocolate: happily and daily. I love to write in the rain.
Some days I am proud of my strengths. Other days I see myself as a weakling.
I think I was destined to be a writer in the US, even though I didn’t learn English until I was seven. I have my father’s nose and my mother’s temperament.
I am a perfectionist who leaves dishes in the sink for days. I find it much easier to list my negative attributes than my positive ones. (In fact, it makes me cringe and crinkle my face. Every time.)
I am a highly sensitive person. I hate rollercoasters. And scary movies freak me — the heck — out.
I love to shop, especially for books, notebooks and clothes. I’m obsessed with pretty workspaces. A good portion of my own office floor is covered in books.
Some days I fully accept myself. Other days I’m drowning in self-doubt. I’m working on it. And I’m OK with that.
I am owning these parts of myself. Today.
What parts of yourself will you own today?