Today in one of my classes we touched on the idea of 'The Body' and how much trouble we as humans give ourselves about the very vessel we travel in. This topic in class was more to do with a poem we were reading by T.S Elliot that dealt with a man who was revealing his frustration with aging. However, my professor added on how true it is that we seem to put a lot of emphasis on our own bodies. We get angry when our body betrays us or when we betray our body. I instantly had a few ideas running through my head and I jotted them down in my notebook alongside my scribble of notes on "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
I thought about how a lot of the time we see our bodies as a measure of how happy we are about ourselves. It seems that a lot of self-esteem and bullying issues are all based around how we feel about our body. We aren't happy with our skin, our nose, our stomach or our teeth. We focus on what others think about our bodies, we stress about not fitting into clothes designed by someone who does not even know us. We cry because we cannot be like the people we see on Pinterest or Instagram.
I cannot at this point relate to the hesitation and discomfort with aging in regards to my body like J. Alfred Prufrock because I am simply only twenty-two. However, I can associate with the feelings of picking apart my own body with the idea of not being perfect - sometimes forgetting that perfect is what you are when you feel happy - perfect isn't someone else. I really took this lecture to heart despite it being literarily five minutes of the two hour lecture. Reason being, I began thinking WHY AREN'T WE O.K WITH OUR BODIES? AND HOW CAN I CHANGE THAT?
I have been known to be a confident and positive person and for the most part I am HAPPY about myself. However, since I was young I struggled with my personal view of my own body and after it went incredibly wonky just before my diagnosis and following afterwards - I can safely say that there are times that I totally disagree with my bodies motives!
However, since working out and eating a lot healthier I have noticed changes within my body and myself. So badly, I wish that acceptance of our body was a overnight solution - when in reality I know it is a process that takes forever. Literarily forever because that moment you doubt your body or feel unhappy with it you're back to square one on building yourself up again. So it's about taking that time every morning or night to reflect on what positive traits you have in connection to your body - if you're going to tug on your stomach fat instead feel how strong your muscles have grown. If you're going to pick at pimples on your chin, bat your eye lashes to admire your own blue, green, brown or hazel eyes.
It's unrealistic to measure ourselves to the strangers we see in magazines, it's even unrealistic to measure ourselves to our own relatives because we are all different in every single way. If you want change you can do it, even if it's a struggle and a half to get there. If you want to be happy focus on the happiness within your life not the happiness reflected in someone else's.