This is an interesting question that just popped into my head. Why is it a requirement that I have to like my body. Why is it required that I be comfortable in it or be proud of it?
There seems to be this mantra in alternative culture that everything has to be ok. If you don’t like your job change it, if you don’t like the way you look change it, blah, blah, blah.
There is apparently some societal standard that we have to make things ok. I am not sure where it came from and I think we are all falling victim to this mantra and we don’t even realize it.
For instance, I have been very sensitive about my appearance lately. I hate my body. I hate it with a passion. If I did not need it to interact physically with the things in this reality, I would shed it in a heartbeat even if it meant I couldn’t have a new one. I hate how it looks, I hate how it feels, I hate that I am judged by the personification that accompanies my consciousness. I can’t stand how slow neurokinetics are. I can’t stand how slow neuromuscular reaction times are in humans. In short, I can’t stand how slow this body is in comparison to how fast my mind works.
I have something to tell you. It is ok to NOT be ok. It is ok to be broken, it is ok to operate outside average parameters. You don’t have to be “ok”. I know this is confusing but the summation is it is ok to not be ok with something.
I guess the best way I can explain it is this. The societal standard for the need to be ok is exemplified by the fact that when we see someone who does not fit our definition of “ok” we try to help them fit our definition of ok. This does not make us bad people, this makes us human and means we have fallen victim to the things we are taught. There is nothing wrong with that. We just need to wake up, realize what we are doing, and stop it.
How do we try to make them fit our definition of ok? We try to reverse or fix the thing that we see as them not being ok. Take my absolute hatred for my body. Whenever I talk about it the people who care about me try to make me feel attractive by complimenting me. Telling me they love my body, telling me they think I am attractive, sexy, brilliant, etc.
They don’t mean to but they are trying to overwrite my reality. No matter what you tell me you think or feel about my appearance, it is not going to help. I really appreciate the gesture and I love that you care so much you want me to feel better but please, stop calling attention to it.
Imagine having a magnifying glass, one that only magnifies things you hate. You never use this magnifying glass to look at your own body because you already know absolutely everything that is wrong with it by heart. You keep it locked away but you tell the people you love and trust that you have it and you are ok with the fact that you have it, you have just had it in your pocket for so long that you are ok with it being there and are ok with how it works.
This makes sense, it is being ok with the fact that you are not ok. I am absolutely fine with the fact that I hate my body and hate the fact that I need to have one to interact with the ones I love and do the things that I want to do. I have come to accept it. I have passed the fighting it phase and have become truly ok with it.
Back to the magnifying glass. For some reason though, having that magnifying glass in your pocket that magnifies your flaws really bothers the people who care about you. Most of them don’t have one. In fact, most of the people I know are fine running around naked in almost all situations.
They of course feel like this is normal. It is normal for them. Where they fail is, they do not realize it is not normal for me. They want me to feel good about my body like they feel about theirs. The problem is I just don’t and complimenting me and trying to convince me that this shit pile of meat I am trapped in is good or attractive or whatever does nothing but amplify even more the things that are wrong with it.
You see what they don’t understand is, when people tell you nice things about the body you hate, you don’t believe them. Your brain immediately tells you that they are lying to make you feel better. Their intentions are good but they end up doing a ton more damage than you ever could on your own.
What they do not realize is, the proper answer is, “There is no requirement for you to like your body, if you don’t like it that is fine, I still like you.” I guess the problem is they do not realize *I* am NOT my body. My body is a meat covered endoskeleton that I drive around this reality and use to interact with it and the things in it.
Well, I have digressed quite a bit, gotten lost, changed tense and perspective, and just generally written a shoddy article here. What I am hoping is that with a judicious lack of editing you can see that I am sharing with you one of my most internal feelings. I am being genuine and vulnerable with you when I say you do not have to be “ok”. It is alright not to be ok.
What we need to do is learn to accept everyone as they are. We need to learn to help them when asked. We should not force our help or fixing onto other people. A lot of the time we can do a lot more damage than good that way. What we need to do is accept all states of mind and learn to help others when they ask.
Sure, we can ask if someone would like assistance but if they ask us not to help then we shouldn’t. Just remember, when you are complimenting a person who hates their body, you might just be magnifying the things they hate in their head by shining a spotlight on them.
Remember, love people as they are not as you think they should be. You don’t need to fix the suffering, all you need to do is be willing to hold space, allow them to have and experience their emotions and most of all make damned sure you are not trying to overwrite their reality no matter how benevolent you feel you are being.
Peace, love, and happiness always,