Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home. ~ Mother Teresa
Who is closer to you…. than you?
It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Do you give yourself a Valentine? Do you love your body? Not just your nose or your feet, your whole body? Do you ever take the time to think about how magnificent your body is?
We have been gifted one body for this ride of a lifetime. Where would you be without it?
Can you look at yourself in a mirror and say, “I love my body!”? If not, why not?
Sixteen years ago, my body let me down. Or so I considered it at the time. I woke up completely numb from my waist down through my toes. I couldn’t understand ‘why’ my body would let me down. I chose organic healthy foods, exercised daily and thought good thoughts. I became angry with my body. Very angry. I held on to that anger as I pushed myself to recover. After 5 ½ years, I was getting better, then had another ‘exacerbation’. With that, came a diagnosis of MS or Multiple Sclerosis.
I had a choice – do I continue to be angry with my body for letting me down OR do I choose to give it the extra love and care it really needs?
I chose to love myself better. I vowed to listen, really listen, to my body’s needs. I chose to eat even more consciously, exercise gently, rest when I needed to, trust myself to make educated medication decisions, laugh often, be completely present with the people I love or interact with, and stay in gratitude for my wonderful body and all the things it IS capable of doing!
I truly wish for everyone to discover how to love your body without a huge wake up call.
Turn your negative self-talk into gratitude:
• The next time you catch yourself saying, “my nose is too big”, choose to love yourself. Bake some bread or cookies, or go out in the garden and smell the flowers. Then be grateful that you CAN smell. Your nose is performing its divine function perfectly!
• The next time you catch yourself saying, “my thighs are too fat”, choose to love yourself. Go for a walk or just stand up. Then be grateful that you CAN walk or stand because of your strong perfect thighs.
• The next time you catch yourself saying ANYTHING negative about your body, notice it, apologize to yourself, choose to love yourself, then shift your focus to what you ARE grateful for about your body.
• Make a ritual to love your body daily.
I begin each morning by wiggling my toes and praying gratitude (or giving thanks) that I CAN move and feel my toes! (I couldn’t for 8 ½ years! I even give thanks when I stub my toes, saying “I am so grateful I can feel pain in my toes!”) Next I give thanks for my legs and the fact I can move them even though not very quickly. I move up my body praying gratitude for being able to control my bodily functions, that my organs are functioning efficiently and effectively, I put my hand on my heart to feel it beat (it makes me smile), I acknowledge that I am thinking clearly and finally, I open my eyes and say, “I am so grateful I can see! I love my body! It’s a good day!”
This self-awareness has opened me to be more aware of others too. We all have challenges. We were all born into this world just as we are – perfect. We all deserve and need love and respect. Start with yourself.