Treat your body as if it belongs to someone you love very much.
That’s what she said. And I thought about it all day. And then I started to think…what if…not just your body? What if you treated yourself as you would someone that you love very much? Beyond working out or eating the egg instead of the donut…I bet most of us say things to ourselves that we would never in a million years say to anyone else – much less someone we love – but to ourselves…? Pfft…we’re ruthless. I’m not even talking about the dreaded F word. (Fat. The other one is fine.) How about: what is wrong with me? or I’m being ridiculous! I know I’m not the only one. And I’m not even particularly mean to myself. But I definitely say things to myself that I would NEVER in a million years say to a friend. Or…anyone.
I was not at a yoga retreat…in case you were wondering. I was in the gym at work – listening to a virtual spin instructor on the Peloton bike. I am a little bit in love with every single virtual instructor I’ve pedaled with. Sister-love, I guess…since I always choose women. It’s not just that they’re fit and relentlessly positive. It’s that they’re constantly dispensing lunchtime wisdom that I’m PRETTY SURE I need to hear. Things like if it doesn’t serve you, let it go…or keep your mind right here, right now or, that day…treat your body as it if belongs to someone you love very much.
So..that got me thinking.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems like there’s a little extra tension in this country lately. There’s been a news item or two. More than your average amount of political controversy (in case you hadn’t heard). People are hurt and offended and “triggered”. (I know it’s a teen-word…but it’s a pretty good one.) I’ve even heard that we’re in the middle of a gender war. I had no idea. Well…actually…I had some idea. I do not, after all, live under a rock (it is tempting) and so I’ve heard a thing or two or three over the past few months. Read a few headlines…much as I try to avoid them. Heard a number of opinions. It’s consuming. It’s exhausting. Some people are afraid. Some people are angry. Most people who are angry are probably afraid…but I digress.
I don’t know how to fix any of this.
What I do (think I) know is this: There is not enough kindness. We need more. And it is very, very difficult to show kindness to someone else when you’ve just finished beating up on yourself. Compassion gets tough, too. So, maybe…if we want to heal…maybe we should start with ourselves. Maybe we should treat ourselves as if we are someone that we love very much. Maybe we should treat ourselves kindly. Gently. With love. And acceptance. In exactly the way we hope to be treated by those around us.
There is not much we can control in this world. We can’t control the stock market, the politicians or the outcome of the World Series. Can’t stop the fact that mom-jeans are back (why?!?) or that velour sweatsuits are (allegedly) out. The one thing we can try to control is our own minds. It is not an easy thing. But, if we can change the voice in our heads (as someone pointed out to me this week – you’re lucky if there’s just one…. ;-)). We can be kind. To ourselves. And move through our lives confident in the knowledge that we are loved – that we are meant to be here. And everyone else is, too. Everyone. 😉 ❤️