Love Your Body Day
Next Wednesday, October 19th, is Love Your Body Day.
Think about it. We need a day to promote loving our bodies.
Which in turn means that most of us spend most of our time, hating our bodies.
Which in most cases is a result of other people not loving our bodies.
Let’s take this step by step.
As babies we have no self-consciousness. We spend our gestation period in symbiotic bliss: floating around safe, secure, no responsibilities and not separating our bodies from our mommy’s bodies. In fact, we probably have no awareness that we even have a body.
Suddenly, we are thrust into the world, umbilical cord cut, and — Voilà! — if we are not born with any physical disabilities, we have autonomously functioning hearts, lungs and brains.
As we get older, we begin to master the art of integrating our bodily functions. Through the work of play, and instinctual trial and error, we practice our eye-hand coordination, gross and fine motor skills, and the ability to translate brain impulses into action. Eventually, we acquire a palette of ways to communicate.
How remarkable we are during those formative years! We are still not self-conscious. We are simply learning what we need to know in order to operate in this great, wide, wonderful world; a world that, each time we awake from our slumber, is miraculously still there for us to learn more about.
Think about it: for a period of time, all of us are integrated beings with our minds and bodies a single entity. The mind isn’t saying, “I hate my hands for not picking up that shiny thing,” or “I hate my nose for sneezing.”
Then there is a “fall from grace,” an awakening, a jolt that splits us in two. Someone comments that something is wrong with our body, or mentions that someone else’s body is wrong, and we are catapulted into a cognitive split. Now there are two entities instead of one; our mind and our body.
Our body is no longer our self. It is a “that” or an “it.” It has become the enemy. In this corner: my critical, judgmental mind versus my wonderful, functioning, but somehow wrong body. Once we step into that world, turning back is extraordinarily difficult. Once in that world, we learn an entire language devoted to perpetuating that split.
“I hate my body, I hate my stomach, I hate my arms, I hate her because she looks better than I do, I hate myself, I hate me me me.”
We adopt a repertoire of what we believe are positive coping mechanisms because on some level we know it is unnatural to hate ourselves so vehemently. It is against our nature on a primal level. We start to eat differently, exercise differently, and perceive ourselves differently because we crave self-love and wholeness, but by now we believe the only way to regain that sense of wholeness is to be thin.
So how do we regain our natural state of grace? How do we heal the fracture that has us spending our days at war with ourselves? How do we fall back in love, and reunite our mind and body?
Perhaps it starts with consciously delegating a day devoted to that task; a day where we hush up our mind’s negative litany. A day where we put limits on other people who speak disparagingly about our bodies and their own bodies. Maybe we start with one day where we remember what is right about our bodies and our lives, and languish in how good it feels to be at peace from within.
In Dr. Deah’s Hollywood, every day is Love Your Body Day, but, even better, every day is Love MY Body Day… that covers how I feel about my body AND how everyone else feels about my body. Words are great like that! ;-)
But hey, let’s take it one step further… it’s my Hollywood after all! How about every day we love and respect ourselves and each other without a person’s BODY having anything to do with it? Take the body out of the equation completely and you just have LOVE.
Wow, that’s radical. A world where people can love me for what I do and what I think, and not what I look like?