Body Image Warriors

I’m a human being, I have to sometimes remind myself, I am going to have imperfect thoughts and beliefs at times because I am a perfectly imperfect human being.

I get frustrated with myself for placing any emphasis whatsoever on a human being, including the one writing this, based on physical attributes. I’m the first to admit I’ve spent far too many of my precious moments being hard on my Self and my physical form. Thinking my Self and my physical form were one and the same. Through my own life practice, however, I have cultivated an antidote to society’s poisonous and unconscious messages of vanity. It feels simple and natural to shut this switch off and form one’s perspective on another strictly based on internal qualities. In my open eyes, a person’s physical qualities make up “their coloring book stencil,” if you will. Their actions, beliefs, traits, flaws, attributes and attitudes, on the other hand, comprise the color spectrum that they embody. 

I consider non-judgement to be a vital component of a healthy society. I consider the modern world in which we live to be seriously lacking in non-judgemental behavior. I consider my Self, and you, and all of us,  to be the ones responsible for changing that.

So with that, I summon ALL BODY IMAGE WARRIORS! It’s time for a change.

Last night, while laying in bed, I began recounting the reasons I am grateful. I immediately lingered on the incredible yoga class I experienced that evening, as well as that of the evening before. My mind wandered on, visualizing the faces of the people that I cherish, human beings who have affected my life and who inspire me. It was somewhere in between these two topics that I acknowledged a notion, in clear terms; it was one I had always known and yet never fully shaken hands with. Perhaps it was the divine influence of Yogic mindfulness intervening…I like to think it was…regardless of it manifested itself, suddenly the thought was stamped in proper “aha moment” fashion across the inside of my eyelids:

The most amazing women and men I’ve met are inviting, attractive and valuable to me because of what they are on the inside.

These human beings inspire, uplift, invigorate and educate me. Their bodies are beautiful and attractive in my eyes, in fact very much so. Their habits, their style, their aura, the jewelry they wear, their smiles…I am drawn to them, I admire them; but their intoxicating allure is tied directly to the confident, unique, talented individuals that reside within those bodies.

It’s their minds, their wisdom, their hearts, their quirks, the little ways about them that make them so exhilaratingly wonderful. It’s not their bodies.

I’m a realist; I will not argue that one human being couldn’t find another incredibly attractive without knowing a darn thing about their personality. This attraction and physical appreciation is superficial, though, not in the sense that it’s imagined but in the sense that it exists solely based on the physical. It’s more an illusion of attraction. Because pure physical beauty expires, while inner beauty does not. Logically this would not allow physical beauty to equate “true beauty.”

The people I most admire come in all different, and all beautiful, physical forms, and I am completely in awe of them for reasons so far beyond what they look like. I couldn’t help but acknowledge the wonder of how very different, inside and out, all of these human beings are and yet they coexist within the same personal high esteem of my mind. Such diverse people who have come into my life from different circles, paths and experiences, are all physically perfect to me. They’re physically perfect to me because the radiant beings inside their physical bodies make them perfect. They suit themselves through style and actions and words, they know themselves, they’re truly and honestly and completely them as no one else can be. That is physical beauty, physical perfection!

So why is it that we allow so much emphasis in our society to be put on idealistic “perfection” – looking thin, beautiful, buff, young, whatever?

WHY DO WE FALL VICTIM TO THIS?!

It’s lies, it’s a false reality that claims cultivating external beauty makes others love us, draws them to us.

It’s simply not so.

It’s who we are inside, our personalities and passions, the very marrow of our beings that draw others to us, that make them love us. It’s knowing and loving oneSelf that draws others in.

This is what I most admire about the human beings I’m holding in my mind’s eye as this thought manifests into a blog post. It’s their peaceful, assured, unostentatious, passionate sense of Self that tugs my heart towards theirs. It’s their brilliant and colorful liveliness. It’s the microcosm of human splendor that they are, all of the little constituents that make them inherently them…that’s what spins my gears of love for these individuals. That’s what makes a person beautiful.

Cultivating a serene, firm sense of Self and falling deeply, madly in love with YOU…THAT is what makes you beautiful.

So, Body Image Warriors, let’s spread the word.

8i8 Namaste 8i8

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