Unravelling the knots

You know, those inner knots that say you’re not okay? The knots that make you believe you’d be better if you did this or that, if you owned this or that, if you used this product or that product, if you were just a little bit better (because you could be…) than you are right now?

Marketing is pretty much entirely based on the principle of convincing us that we’re not okay just the way we are, right now. What a revolution it would be if we didn’t literally buy into those suggestions anymore!

This simple line drawing expresses my despair,  frustration and disgust with selling myself out by accepting that lie. My exasperation with getting sucked into thinking that I’m not okay, and that my body will never be okay. When in truth, my body is and has always been a fine body with functioning parts, a good battery and renewable energy. Why do I feel so much self-disgust and shame, the creeping urgency to improve myself?

I can’t blame marketing for my skewed beliefs. They come from within. The knot is in my mind and I did not put it there, it is something I have had to learn to live with. There is no one to blame for the delusions of those who suffer from body image problems, body dysmorphia or eating disorders. And so many of us, even those not diagnosed with any of the above, are convinced of flaws in our appearance.

We can learn to take a stand against the war we unwittingly allow ourselves to wage within. It uses up so much energy and takes away our freedom to live fully. Taking a stand means recognizing the beauty of body diversity and including our own body in the wide range of acceptable shapes and sizes. Taking a stand means stepping back from our subconscious biases to allow for space in which to begin to recognize the marvelous workings of a human body and mind.

Most of all, unravelling the knots of our belief systems means applying patience and tenderness to the parts of us that are wounded and broken, and giving them a chance to heal. It’s a process that is easier to grow into when we share our experiences and discover that we are never alone with them, and yet we remain unique. What is your body story? Are you giving your body all the love it needs?

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