3 Ways To Love Your Body. Yes. Love.

Is this you?Woman in a mirror

It’s a warm, glorious summer day. You are out enjoying your favourite area of the city. You’ve been sitting at an outdoor café, watching people and daydreaming. 

Now, you are on your way and pass a shop window. As you look at yourself in the reflection, all you see is the size of your butt.

The disgust you have for yourself mounts.

Every other day, you’ve been trying on the dress you plan to wear next month to the family wedding.

The indentation from your hip to your thigh is driving you crazy.

You notice that your breasts are not quite as firm as they used to be. You turn for a side view in the bathroom mirror and inhale, raising your chest, lifting them.

The anger you feel for what you see makes you furious.

Unfortunately, these are not unfamiliar scenarios for us, are they? 

No Way To Be

The internal conversation of self-hatred that you have with yourself as you stare at your body parts as if they are the enemy must stop.

As you glare at your droopy arms, or chin, or breasts, or butt, or knees, or thighs, or calves or any part of your body, you are objectifying the very vehicle that carries you in this lifetime.

If you look at yourself in pieces, like objects in the meat department of your grocery store, your disrespect will catch up with you. Your body just might rebel and revolt.

You are making your body an object – and forgetting that this is a total, whole being. And it is you. YOU live here.

You are cursing the very vehicle that houses your soul, heart, passions, loves, desires, wants, ideas, talents, and the contribution you are making in the world.

You are cursing the very entity that hears the morning birds, sees the starry skies, smells the sweet cherry blossoms, strokes your child’s skin, swallows the peach’s nectar.

You are cursing the very being that someone in your world cares deeply about – for the wisdom you have imparted, or the listening you have done, or the life you have saved through a smile or a thought – even when you did not know it.

When this body ends, so do you.

And so does everything you ever wanted to do – or to be – in the world. It’s over.

1. Begin with Thank You

All those exquisitely designed parts move you in your world, unconsciously mostly – and perfectly.

To love your body is to love yourself completely. To love your body is how you pass on to your daughters, nieces, goddaughters, and granddaughters a feeling of wellbeing in their own bodies.

To love your body means casting eyes of compassion and gratitude on all those parts you have disowned and telling each of them what a great job they have done for you.

Thank you legs. You trekked through so many countrysides.

Thank you breasts. You fed my children. You pleasured my partners and me.

Thank you back, for carrying the many loads of groceries,  knapsacks and school books.

Thank you, dear arms, for holding loved ones, swinging to a dance and on the playground bars.

Thank you dear wrinkles, for the caution that life is brief, and there is much to do.

2. Notice Subtle Messages and Mystery

When you step inside your body, really being IN IT, you begin to find that it has a few things to tell you.

Sometimes, it tells you:

  • There is danger nearby and you need to take cover
  • A friend is about to phone
  • Your mother across the country is unwell
  • The next right thing to do
  • What you like and don’t like
  • What feels right and what doesn’t
  • What colours matter around you
  • The music you are listening to is magical
  • The throbbing in your knee means you do weights instead of sprints
  • The food you are eating needs to be greener and fresher
  • This is what to read
  • This is what to write
  • This is who to love
  • This is who not to love
  • This is who you want to be
  • Or not

Notice. Notice yourself in your body. Notice the world through your body.

3. Say Hello 

Look in the full-length mirror. Yes. You. Yes. Full-length.

Set a 15-minute timer.

Smile at all of you.

The way you and I are used to seeing our bodies needs new eyes. Time to take those special spectacles out.

Now, imagine that you are looking and speaking to a sweet little girl. Pick one. Any will do. It can be you as a little child. Someone who melts your heart. A movie or book character will do.

You are looking at and speaking to a child you adore.Baby's foot

I know you would not say a harsh word to her about her body. You would not harm her the way you and I have been harmed by our own inner words.

So, look in the mirror and say thank you to your amazing body. Thank her for what she will tell you today and what you will notice.

You don’t have to be perfect while you do this. You will still have all those old thoughts sneaking in. The effort is what matters. You just have to show up and STAY. Stay with yourself.

Promise that you will notice her and cherish her for as long as she is alive holding your precious soul.

And keep showing up every day to thank her for her guidance.

Ask her for guidance and tell her you will pay attention.

Very soon, you and she will become best friends.

Now, come back and start again tomorrow.

And if you want a kickstart at showing up for the gifts that your body has to offer you, book a Body-Soul Presence Session.

If you can listen to the wisdom of your body,
love this flesh and bone,
dedicate yourself to its mystery,
you may one day
find yourself
smiling from your mirror.
                                                       ~Marion Woodman

Over To You

What guidance has your body graced you with this week? How will you thank its wondrous parts? 

Tell me what you think below. Your contributions and learning will help others who are on their own journeys.

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© Miriam Linderman 2014

Top Photo credit: Boston Public Library / Foter /Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Bottom Photo credit: limaoscarjuliet / Foter Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
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  1. Beautifully written, and obviously spoken from the heart. I needed to hear this today, and so do many others.

    Thank you. x

  2. Rebecca – I’m so glad this piece spoke to you. It’s a big leap for all of us and it’s a radical act.

  3. What a world it could be if we all did this as part of our daily practise!
    No more self-loathing, let’s start the revolution.

    Lovely piece.

  4. Wonderful post, Miriam, and a much-needed reminder for many of us in this ought-to-be-perfect-like-a-glossy-magazine-fashion-model society.

    Thank you for bringing us back to the wholeness and beauty of who we are, and our bodies as vehicles for expressing that.

  5. Shari – Yes, what a difference it would make to people. The space to love themselves unconditionally. Life would be good. I’ll sign you up for the revolution. 🙂

  6. Linda, we so need to reclaim ourselves. Everything else is unkind. Our bodies house us and love us. Gratitude is imperative. Thanks for connecting.

  7. I love this blog post. It’s the stomach that gets me when I walk by a storefront window and see my reflection. All the anger is directed there but I love the idea of appreciating and thanking my pouch for all that is does and has done for me – grown and carried my son, been a head rest for my husband, bronzed while bathing in the sun.
    thanks miriam for being such an inspiration with these posts.

  8. Pennie – I’m happy that you could bring appreciation to yourself. It’s painful to consider that we make objects of our bodies when they house our souls and the unique energy that is us. I wish you the ability to hold yourself as one entity -body and soul, precious and beloved.

  9. What a beautiful article Miriam! As I’m prepping for my wedding, the little voice in my head keeps saying, don’t eat that, one more crunch. To read this was truly inspiring and a great reminder about self love and acceptance.

  10. Hi Mary. What a treat to have you post here. And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I am so happy that this blog resonated with you. That’s every blogger’s wish, of course, that it will make a difference. Enjoy your special day, and come back for more. XO

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