I’ve been watching the cursor blink at me for about a week now and it’s taunting me like you could not believe! I’ve been watching as the words appear on the screen only to be deleted a few seconds later. I’ve been watching as ideas and thoughts have transformed themselves into sentences only to end up in the rubbish bin at my feet.
And you know what, I think I’m just about ready to admit defeat; ready to surrender to the biggest bout of writer’s block in history (ok, maybe not the biggest, but big enough).
A lot of things have been playing on my mind lately but I feel as though I don’t have the words to accurately express them. I guess you could say I’m having a little crisis of confidence!
One of the issues I have been pondering as of late is body image. How original, I hear you say, but hear me out, this stuff needs to be talked about!
So here goes…
I wonder what it is that makes us see the beauty in others but not in ourselves. I wonder what it is that makes us so fearful of what others think. I wonder what it is that makes us focus so much on our external appearance to the detriment of what exists within. I wonder what it is that makes us equate a certain appearance with happiness or healthiness. I wonder what it is that stops us from accepting a compliment without having to respond with some self-deprecating comment to bring ourselves back down. Oh, you know what I mean. When Human 1 says to Human 2 “Wow, you look amazing in that dress”, you can bet that Human 2 will respond with one of the following:
“Really? Oh I feel so gross.”
“What, this old thing? I got it from an op-shop.”
“Ew, no I don’t! Look at you!”
To the humans that respond with a courteous “thank you”, I applaud you! Teach me your ways!
I feel like this post has taken an accusatory tone, which I never intended. And I apologise if you’re currently imagining me screaming at you from behind my keyboard: “CAN’T YOU SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE YOU BLITHERING BUFFOON! JUST LOVE YOURSELF AS MUCH AS OTHERS DO!”
But, honestly, for me to do that would be hypocrisy in the extreme!
Because I myself am incredibly guilty of equating a certain body type with happiness and health, which is a gargantuan mistake. I am guilty of being incredibly fearful of what others think and so tend to shrink into the background to avoid criticism. I am guilty of being so worried about what I look like on the outside that I have completely neglected what matters most: staying true to myself and focusing on improving my thoughts, my mind, my actions. I am guilty of brushing off compliments and being self-deprecating to the point where it’s damaging to my own self- esteem. And I am guilty of seeing the beauty in others but refusing to accept that I might just be a little bit beautiful too (yep, even just writing those words makes me cringe!).
So I propose a challenge to those of you reading this (so just myself I guess ha ha ha…) It’s time to make a change!
The next time someone compliments you, accept it.
Learn to compliment others more, maybe not about the way they look, but about something else you’ve noticed. I guarantee it will make you (and them) glow with happiness!
Next time you find yourself worrying about the way you look, accept that it’s normal to feel this way and then challenge that thought. Think about the things your body does for you every single day; how your heart pumps blood through your veins to keep you alive, how your legs support you and carry you far, how your arms are capable of embracing loved ones and even giving yourself a sneaky little cuddle. Think about your wonderful eyes and how they allow you to see the world. Think about the padding on your tummy that protects your organs and keeps you warm. Think about that amazing, incredible, complex and absolutely crazy body of yours and how it fights and functions every day to keep you alive.