I used to think that when it came to self compassion, I was doing a pretty good job. I’d look in the mirror and for the most part, for as long as I can remember, I’d feel ok about being me. There were times when I didn’t like something, sure, but I wouldn’t panic about it. I never had an eating disorder or engaged in self harm. But there was always something I wasn’t happy with. For a while it was my arms. Sometimes I’d obsess over my thighs, or my feet. I hated my teeth. Stuffed my bra with padding as a teenager. Felt self conscious all the time. When I think about it, I’ve gone through phases of hating almost every part of my body at least at some point or another. My boobs were too small, then they were too big. I’ve felt too tall, too muscular, not muscular enough, flabby, fat, disproportionate. These days, when I’m having a “bad” body day my attention always goes to my belly. It used to be firm and flat and now it’s… Well, less of both of those things. Still, I often look myself in the mirror and think “hot damn!” because I KNOW I’m beautiful and my sense of self love has only grown since becoming a mother. But here is the thing:
It’s not possible to love most of yourself. Self love and acceptance is an all or nothing deal; you have to embrace it ALL. You are not only a part of the whole – you are the whole. Resenting a part of your body means resenting all of it. You are one connected, living, loving, breathing being. The way you feel about a part of you will translate to how you feel about the whole of you.
Confidence has little to do with what your body looks like. You can be a super model and live in disgust of yourself every day. You can weigh a thousand million pounds and love yourself immensely. The surface only has importance because society has made it so and we continue to feed into it.
I look at Lea Luna and remember what it was like to be a child, living in my body instead of looking at it. Her whole existence is a celebration of who she is – it’s marvelous. And I know that somewhere buried beneath a lifetime of feeling like I’m not enough there is a toddler version of myself just waiting for me to come back to love so we can play.