Recently I went through a bout of feeling pretty crappy about myself. My activity levels were lower than usual for a number of reasons. My stress levels were pegging the top of the stress-o-meter. I had a serious run in with PMS. I was feeling sluggish and soft - not the good kind of soft, you know, the jiggly kind of soft.
I was also feeling unusually uncomfortable. Old injuries I thought had healed kicked up again. I felt slow and achy. When I considered getting myself up and moving, I let my aches and pains keep me sitting on the sofa. I know better than that. However, I couldn't get going. I also had a four-day migraine that took its toll of my sunny disposition. Generally speaking, I wasn't feeling very at home in my skin.
Not feeling good in my skin led to a run of some exceptionally brutal unflattering thoughts. I'm a girl who takes pride in having her self-talk on point. However, for a couple of weeks straight, I spent way too much time thinking some really harsh thoughts about myself and my body.
So, one morning I got myself dressed for the day. Honestly, saying I got dressed might be an overstatement. Let's just say I put clothes on and I caught a good look at myself in the mirror while I was brushing my teeth. I kid you not; I looked like horrible. I mean I looked sick, fat, and ten years older than I am. I'm not saying that to be hard on myself. I'm saying it because it was the dead honest truth.
And at that moment I realized exactly what I'd been doing to myself. You know, thoughts create reality. The reality staring back at me in the mirror sucked, but my thoughts leading up to that come to Jesus moment had been exceptionally sucky. So, go figure.
This might sound overly simplistic, but hear me out. Your thoughts aren't happening to you. You're thinking them. More specifically you're choosing them, each one of them. You may not be doing that intentionally, but you are. You get to decide what you think about yourself, and so do I.
And then there's that next part. What you think becomes real. Your self-esteem isn't an observation about what is. It's a product of what you've been telling yourself. And for better or worse, you're doing it to yourself.
When I got a good look and didn't like what I saw in the mirror, I knew what I had to do. I had to decide how I wanted to feel about myself and think thoughts accordingly - not one day, but every day. Knowing I have that power is freedom. You've got it too.
Here are four of my favorite thoughts that have gotten my self-talk back on point.
1. What makes me different makes me beautiful.
We tend to think we want to look like everyone else to fit in. Sameness is not sexy, and it's also not possible. We are all different. However, that's a good thing. The things that make us unique are the very things that make us most beautiful. Those are the features that make us stand out and shine.
Instead of trying to cover-up your flaws play up your uniqueness. Highlight what you've been hiding. That's where the beauty really is.
2. I love my body because she is a vessel for pleasure.
The more I love I show my body, the more pleasure she delivers for me.
Pleasure is what makes life worth doing, and when you're punishing your body, you cut yourself off from it. Unconditional love allows people to be who they are, fully expressing themselves. Your body is no exception.
If you want her to be fully expressed and you want her to fully experience everything, unconditional love is the ticket. Trust me; you want your body to fully experience everything. That is the seed of pleasure.
Love=Pleasure. That's how the system works. So work the system.
3. My body is a temple.
My body is a sacred container for my soul, and I need to treat her accordingly.
That means everything I put in her or on her is an offering.
Everything I do for her needs to be mindful.
Every thought I think about her needs to be worthy.
When I'm treating my body like a temple, I'm going to do right by her. When I'm doing my best for my body, she shows up at her best. I look my best, and I feel my best.
A sacred relationship with my body absolutely demands that I drop the negative self-talk.
4. Muscles are sexy, and curves are too.
That one requires no explanation because you already know it's true.