I think even the most open-minded, spiritual, and healthy people will tell you that it is hard to not care what anyone else thinks about you. Ever since high school I always thought “Who cares what anyone else thinks, what do you think of yourself?” But what if you think you’re ugly? What if you think you’re not good enough? What if all this bullsh*t is just in our heads!?
Our society puts a large emphasis on doing certain things to impress others, such as buying new clothes for school every summer so kids notice you, wearing makeup to cover our blemishes so we can pretend to be perfect, or winning the basketball game to impress a girl. Why do we do this?
I’ve been really working on self-love for the last few years, but it’s a long journey that doesn’t happen overnight. Some things are easier to let go of than others, for instance I was able to let go of doing my hair everyday. I now embrace my natural hair, I wash it once or twice a week, and it’s usually thrown into a bun at work. On the other hand, I am constantly stressed about my skin not being perfect and people thinking I’m not the spitting image of health that I ought to be. What the hell kind of thinking is that? No one has ever said to me that I shouldn’t be a personal trainer or holistic nutritionist because I have pimples, but for some reason I seem to think that it’s not good enough.
And then there is our body image. I can tell you that I have had distorted body image in the past and this also takes time to heal. I’ve thought I was too skinny, not muscular enough, and too fat all in the same day. On the other hand there are days where I love my body and am grateful for all it can do. Why is that?
I know that the Internet, social media, magazines, and all of the perfectionist society that we live in have a lot to do with this. We keep holding ourselves up to these perfect images of edited people and it’s just not real, it’s not possible to be perfect. I think it’s very good for us to take a break from looking in mirrors occasionally as well. I noticed that when I go camping or travelling and I don’t have a full-length mirror to look in I don’t over think it at all.
Social Media focuses a lot on what healthy looks like artificially, when really healthy does not mean perfect, it means physical, mental, psychological aspects of a person are balanced and well-functioning. So if you think you need to lose weight or gain more muscle or be more toned to be healthy, you’re probably wrong. You need to love yourself, you’re body, and respect it to do what is good for it. Sometimes you’ll need to cry, that’s fine. Sometimes you’ll need to skip the gym, that’s fine. Sometimes you’ll need to have a cookie, that’s fine.
Letting go of opinions also means we need to stop judging others for how they may appear, how they dress, what their body looks like, or whatever. No one can ever know exactly what another person is going through, so how can we make assumptions such as: “Oh that girl has really bad skin, she must not eat very well.” Or “That girl has really large thighs and shouldn’t wear those tights”. Let’s stop judging! It may be hard to do this at first mentally, because I know we all have bad thoughts, but it is important to not perpetuate it by talking about it.
Once we stop putting so much pressure on our selves to always be perfect, have nice skin, be thin, and eat salads everyday we can just let go and start being ourselves doing what we love and what makes us feel good! So for our mental health and well-being, let’s all focus on loving ourselves, enjoying our journey, and not caring what anyone else thinks! And let this extend beyond our health journey and bodies, but also our careers, our education, our possessions or our housing situations. Let’s stop feeling ashamed of where we are in this journey we call life and start feeling grateful to be alive. Namaste!
Thank you for reading 🙂