And I said to my body, softly, “I want to be your friend.– Nayyirah Waheed
It took a long breath and replied, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.”
While we all desire to be loved unconditionally, many of us have love-hate relationships with our bodies.
The indoctrination runs deep – we begin receiving messaging about the female body (our body), as early as elementary school.
However, as deep as this learned self-loathing can be, the good news is that it was learned, and it can be unlearned.
Learning to love our bodies after a lifetime of criticism, judgement and shame isn’t easy. For many, it’s not even appealing. But we can begin by learning a “friendliness” towards our bodies.
This friendliness is enough, and is a powerful place to cultivate and begin practicing unconditional love.
Once learned, it’s something that no one, no thing and no circumstance can ever take away.
In contrast to what we’re led to believe, unconditional love is what creates unshakable body-confidence. Not a number on a scale. Not a dress size. Not even a firm, round, cellulite-free ass.
Loving ourselves deeply is the magic.
This beautiful energy heals, renews, transforms, and removes the incessant neediness from seeking external approval; it lifts the standards for how we treat ourselves and allow others to treat us; it guides us to take action despite inconvenience; and it returns lost power.
When we’re guided by a genuine friendliness, sense of gratitude, and respect for our bodies, we naturally start treating our bodies better – not because we “have to” or “should”, but because we want to.
When you think about, you’ll likely see that you naturally care for the things you care about.
In the guided restorative session below, led for Impact Magazine’s “Sweat Across Canada Series”, I share a mindfulness-based Gratitude Body Scan to invite you home to your body, and to a practice of cultivating genuine gratitude for it.
This single practice, when done regularly, may just transform your body and change your life, as it did mine.
True self-love is neither arrogant nor narcissistic, but the most beautiful, healing, magnetic, genuine, and authentic force there is.
Love does hard things.
Love does inconvenient things.