I’ve been checking out some stuff lately on body positivity. It’s pretty cool, and I’m going to keep looking at it. It’s something I’m working on for myself, and it’s something I’d love to help others with. One thing I’ve already noticed is what’s already out there on “body positivity” is focused on our external appearances. I believe body positivity should focus on our insides, too. I’m not talking just general self-love stuff, but really coming to terms with our diagnoses and all the other crappy stuff happening with our insides and our brains.
My thoughts and stance are beginning to form around the concept of relationship. We have a relationship with our bodies. By the way, let’s just go ahead and include our cognitive abilities and mental health with our physical beings because that all comes from the brain organ. (You can tell my degree is in not science, right?)
I think about the idea of relationship pretty regularly. I’m a Christian, so I’m constantly analyzing and critiquing my relationship with God and my faith. My dog’s personality and interaction with me has changed in her senior years, so I think about that a lot, especially as I come to terms with her being less affectionate. I don’t have a significant other, but I have a lot of friends, and as it’s a beautifully diverse pool of friends, there are plenty of things that don’t always go smoothly in conversations, interactions, and emotions. Then, I’ve got my family, and I look at relationships there a lot, too, because, well, I’m the oddball self-employed, artistic, chronically-ill single with incomprehensible love for travel, opera, silliness, and commas.
So what makes a great relationship? And how can we apply that to our bodies?
I explored the Pinterest looking for a good meme on friendship that has a list of what makes up a good one, and I found this lovely one from Michael Josephson’s page:
The only person you are guaranteed to spend your entire life with is you. You have this one body. The better the relationship you have with your body, the better your life in your body will be.
I’m a terrible friend to my body sometimes. I’ll say mean things about it. I’ll get mad at it and pay it back for being a jerk … like when my stomach hurts and is all bloaty for no good reason, I’ll feed it a McDonald’s double cheeseburger and fries out of spite because it deserves it, right? Wrong.
We have to accept people for who they are, love them for who they are, without trying to make them be someone they’re not, or pressuring them to pretend to be someone they’re not. This is the same way we need to love our bodies. We need to love our bodies this way and in all the ways we know to treat anyone else.
You know how you’re not better than other people? Well, those other people whom you’re nice to are no better than you, either. Treat yourself the same.
Check out that A-Z list by Michael Josephson. Make your own list of what makes a good friend. Ask yourself if you treat your own body as a good friend. Apologize for any ways you’ve been a bad friend. Be specific and say it out loud. Say something nice to yourself, out loud. Ask yourself how you can treat yourself better. Start doing it.