Tuesday, February 4, 2014

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Take a moment and look at yourself in a mirror. 
What do you see? 
If I were to look in the mirror right now, this very second, this is what I would see:
A 5'3ish girl with her hair pulled back in a messy pony wearing some old high school sweat pants and her little brothers [really old] "Prepared For Scouts" Cub Scout shirt.  Pretty glamourous right? 
If I wanted to, I could sit and critique my physical appearance, and without a doubt I'm sure I could come up with some complaints... my hair is too thin, what is with this dumb zit.... etc. OR... I could choose to look at myself in a different light. 
What we think and feel about ourselves is a choice. Instead of insisting on being overly critical, we can (and should) look at ourselves and pay attention to the beautiful details that make us who we are. Instead of being sad that I have thin hair (that doesn't seem to grow no matter what I do) I can be happy that my hair is thin enough that it is super easy to manage. (See what I did there? ha)
I know, I know, this seems like a stretch... but really, trust me when I tell you, it works. Whenever I find myself criticizing my body or my physical appearance, for whatever reason, I do my best to push those thoughts out and replace them with a positive. 
This my friends, is step one. Getting rid of the negative thoughts.  
Step two: Doing your part...  
There are some obvious solutions to my "thin hair problem". I could get extensions and have a quick fix. Personally, I am not a fan of extensions and would rather get zero compliments on my hair, than a whole boat load for some hair I bought. But, that is just me. Some things that we don't love about ourselves, might not be fixable. In that case, we have to do our best to come to terms with it. Instead of focusing on the negative that can't be fixed, spend time focusing on the positive that you are grateful for. On the flip side, there might be things you don't love that are fixable. For instance, that little bit of winter muffin-top... If it bothers you... fix it. 
For the longest time I would criticize  tiny dumb things about my body but I never did anything about it. One of my goals this year was to exercise (even if it isn't much) every single day. I can honestly say, I LOVE it! Truly. I never thought I would be one of those people who couldn't wait to work out, but I am. Not only have I noticed some pretty obvious (positive) changes, I FEEL better. I am taking care of my body and in doing so I am learning to also love my body. When my legs are so sore I can barely walk, I realize how blessed I am to even have strong working legs.  
Step three: Understand your body is a gift. 

Have you ever given someone a gift? Not just any gift, a homemade gift that you put hours of thought and effort into. Now, imagine the person you gave the gift to looks at it and says, "This is ugly. It's too (_____) and not enough (______). I wish mine looked like hers..." etc.  How would you feel?  This my friends is exactly what we do to our Father in Heaven when we criticize our bodies. When we understand that our bodies are truly a gift from our loving Heavenly Father we [should] begin to understand that they are precious and should be respected in every way. This does not only mean eating right and exercising, but also loving and appreciating. Satan never received a body so he is going to do all he can to destroy yours. If he can't tempt you to sin and defile your body, he will do all he can to get you to despise your body. Don't let him win.  

Instead of waking up each morning and finding fault with our appearances, wake up and be grateful for the incredible body that you do have. When you really sit and think about it, that is exactly what they are... incredible. Take care of your body, learn to love and appreciate it. It truly is a gift from God. 
 photo 4441797_orig.png