I Am Not The Body I'm InSaturday, April 23, 2016
I've had trouble loving my body since I was in 8th grade. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing thighs that were too big, lips that were too thin, eyebrows that were too thick, arms that were too long, and a stomach that wasn't flat enough. I yearned for some sort of far-fetched idea of perfection, and it was clear that my body was the furthest thing from it.
No matter what I did, my body would never look or be good enough.
I don't remember how or when it clicked, but I do remember that I was standing in front of a mirror when I suddenly felt like my perspective of my body was all wrong. I saw legs, but they weren't a specific size; they were just legs. I saw arms and a face and a torso and feet, but instead of seeing "too thick" or "too long" or "not good enough", I just saw a reflection of a girl; me.
I saw legs that could climb mountains and a mouth that could speak happy thoughts. I saw ears that could listen to music and arms that can hug the people I love. I saw strong thighs that carry my body to new places, and I saw a stomach that wasn't flat, yet it didn't seem to matter anymore. That stomach was full of food that was giving me energy to live and do the things I love, and suddenly that was far more important than any previous importance placed on a perfecty toned stomach. There was nothing about this reflection that was perfect, yet it was capable of doing so many beautiful things, and somehow that was everything.
As someone plagued by body image issues, seeing myself as something other than a number or a size was, for lack of a better term, wild. It suddenly became apparent to me that I am not the body I'm in, and it was an overwhelming sensation.
While this idea may seem quite obvious, it's easy to forget that you are not your legs or head or arms or anything in between. You are not bound by the body you're in. Instead, your physical body is a place to hold your soul. It's a home for all of your beautiful thoughts and ideas and passions. Yes, there's always going to be something you want to enlarge, shrink, airbrush, or change, but when you start thinking of your body as a means of carrying all the wonderful characteristics you possess, your appearance doesn't seem all that important in the grand scheme of things.
It's not your life's work to look a certain way or to wear a certain dress size. It's not your soul's calling to hate the skin you're in. You're made for so much more than the perpetual dissatisfaction and unhappiness that comes with hating your body. Your body is a temple; something that deserves endless love, respect, and kindness. It lets you dance around the kitchen and sing in the car and see the stars at night. The scars on your skin, the crinkles around your eyes, and the freckles on your cheeks tell the stories of places you've seen, adventures you've gone on, and laughs you've shared with those you love. It's carried your soul everywhere you go, sharing your beautiful mind with anyone you happen to encounter.
With this in mind it is apparent that your body is nothing short of magnificent, and it deserves to be treated as such.
So next time you look in the mirror, remember that you are not your body, and you never have been. Yes, your body is incredible, no matter how big or small it is, but it's what your body houses that is truly important. You're a thousand things, and what you see in the mirror will never be able to define how magnificent you truly are. Because you are not your body. You are so much more.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own." 1 Corinthians 6:19