Momoseita’s blog post on loving myself is just what I needed to see.
This is resounding with me majorly just now.
I have worked out too hard and my legs have been partially cramped for two days now. I know I need to take it easy on my body, this wonderful body that I have abused in unconsciousness, often trying to make it fit into an ideal that someone else has decided on.
But looking at my stomach today, I was actually considering a strong HIIT workout.
Then something in me asked, “Do I love me, my body?”
I checked in with each part, and yes, everything but my stomach.
Then I considered why I was withholding love from my stomach area. (I think a lot of people do not like their stomachs, well, at least the way they look.)
The answer was because it did not look ‘perfect’. My stomach looked ‘perfect’ back in school and college, in fact till recent years. Until in my pain and unconscious state, the abuse I was putting it through took its toll. The stress eating, too many beers, too much smoking, too much of crutches to hide from, rather than deal with the discomfort.
I have adopted a healthier life, but it is turning into an abuse of its own.
I miss a workout, I beat myself up about it, I snack on food with tons of guilt, (a box of popcorn at the rare movie, has me in the blues for days!), I am constantly looking at protein and carb values.
Not that these actions are bad, but that they have turned into fuel for my ego to find more fault with myself. As I am.
Today, I choose to honor and love my body. To treat it kindly.
When I first made the affirmation, my mind automatically went.. “Ya Ya, let yourself go. Become a blob.”
Since when did loving my body mean letting myself go? Why can it not mean I nourish it with what is good, without guilt about it, and workout to push it to its potential, to honor its strength and push it forward, as it is meant to go?
Loving oneself is not about not pushing and not working. Loving anything is not about ‘letting it go’. That is a lazy kind of love.
Loving oneself and with kindness, is taking choices without guilt, without self inflicted punishment. It means paying attention to myself. It means asking for more from myself without destroying myself in the process. It is about loving my journey. It is about learning to communicate and respect all parts of me, physical, mental and emotional. It is about looking for a deeper level of understanding and loving kindness.
We as a culture have associated growth as a process that has to be fueled with pain and suffering. The relentless master who pushed his students till they bleed and some. The tormented warrior who trains till he burns up or burns out. Yes, pain is needed as we know we are growing. But then, why is love considered a weak force in comparison?
In college, I worked out as I had anger issues. The stronger I got, the more in control I felt, well.. maybe not in control, but the more I felt that I could handle anything life decided to throw at me. The body happened unconsciously. My body saw I needed strength and power. And it gave me that. But I had asked correctly.
And that is what the media forgets to show… That the real reason these students or warriors workout is because they want to get more powerful and strong. (And often, they have a time limit to do it, or extremely dangerous circumstances that demand quick growth.)
Now, I workout because I still have the same motivation, to get stronger and more powerful. Mentally and physically. I workout because I am happy at the end of it, my body feels rejuvenated and I know it is a good way to ensure that I keep negativity at bay. But on some days I forget that the end goal is not to get the abs for the picture or the definition on my forearms. (And it is only on those days that suddenly my stomach starts to bulge, mind over matter anyone?)
It is about me. It is about loving myself enough to grow, but loving myself enough to ask that my journey is defined by the value I bring. Loving myself enough to know that how it looks isn’t the best guideline.
Yes, I have made choices that have let to this state, and now I can choose to forgive myself for those choices. Now that I am more conscious than before, I can forgive myself for past actions that came from fear.
So I can now choose, why I want to workout. What is the purpose behind it? Today, my purpose is to give my body time to heal. Help it heal. So yoga to stretch out the legs and release the pain within. And a lot of Reiki.
Today, I am going to choose to bless what I eat. And start work at removing all the guilt associated. Today, I choose to see (and more importantly, feel) myself as a strong, powerful person with a body to match. A layer of fat on my abs does not detract from me. It does not change the fact I am a badass spiritual warrior! 🙂
Loving oneself does not mean that you are weak and unmotivated. It means that you accept where you are, and you plan where to go from there. That allows for healthier, happier, more long lasting changes and choices. Work from love, not from fear. There is no question which is the more powerful force in the real run.