Our bodies can’t lie, and that’s why we hate them.
That’s why we spend zillions of dollars on diets, and zillions more on clothes and “shapewear.” That’s why women hide from the camera and why we airbrush the crap out of every photo in the media. That’s why we hate our bodies – they cannot lie. We do everything we can to avoid vulnerability and authenticity. We can wear the right clothes, talk a certain way, read the right things, post the coolest stuff – everything about our lives is up for editing.
We curate our presence to no end. All for what? So that other people think we’re smart, cool, relevant, insert-your-desired-adjective-here… so that our mask is what we want others to see. But bodies don’t work like that. If you eat junk food, your body will show it.
If you don’t ever get moving, your body will show it.
If you don’t care for yourself in even the most basic ways, your body will show it.
If you eat well and move well and actually love yourself, your body will show it!
The things you inherited and the lifestyle you choose will inevitably show up in your body. There is no quick fix and careful curation – your body cannot be anything other than EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. Bodies are ground zero for vulnerability. And that’s why we hate them. Suddenly, there’s no place to hide. Everything is exposed!
Now, that’s not to say we don’t try. There are products for everything under the sun: benign things like wrinkle cream and razors, all the way to plastic surgery, and everything in between. We try things like detox diets and crazy fitness bootcamps, not because we love our bodies, but because we hate them, and how they show the world who we don’t want to admit we are. …But what if this were a good thing? What would it be like to be excited that our bodies were truth-tellers?
To be excited that they cannot lead us astray? Because this is actually very good news. The body cannot lie!
Your arm bone can’t tell you it’s broken if it’s whole, your feet can’t say they’re on the ground when they are not, and your stomach cannot tell you it’s empty when it isn’t!
No, this isn’t some new trick for a diet. I’m just saying, we have this constant wealth of information at our fingertips – and under them too. Bodies provide us with so much, if only we know how to listen. Your body can not only tell you where it is in pain, but it can tell you how you’re feeling, where you’re holding stress, what you should do next, what it needs from you now. You begin to notice that maybe you should go for a walk around the office instead of popping an advil for back pain at your desk.
You begin to notice where fear and anxiety show up, and how taking a couple deep breaths can turn that around rather quickly.
You begin to know what your body wants in terms of nourishment and rest.
You begin to notice the joy of feeling at home in your body, the joy of hugging someone you love, the joy of preparing and sharing a good meal, the joy of rest after too much activity.
Bodies are meant to be our home. They are meant to be our way in the world. Your body’s only mode is whole-hearted honesty. It’s time to appreciate it for being a role-model instead of a tattle-tale. The trick is in befriending your body, daring to love yourself as you are. And that’s not just some happy-clappy yoga idea, it’s actually possible.
Just like a friend opening up to you, leading with vulnerability, you have to be patient and open yourself to hear what they’re saying. It takes practice, it takes patience, it takes a desire for peace. But it happens. And once you experience it, you’ll never want to live any other way.