Hating Just a Little Less

My therapist gave me this "assignment" a while back for body acceptance. She said she read an article where a woman started with a body part and for days would stare at it in the mirror until she had accepted what it looked like, then she would move on to another part. My therapist said the point is not to love your body overnight, but to start hating it a little less.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my body. I mean, I get frustrated with it when it decides to be too tired for life. Or when it decides to start randomly hurting for seemingly no reason. And there are things I am not so fond of aesthetically. Sometimes it's my arms, sometimes it's my legs, sometimes my stomach (usually my stomach, actually), sometimes my nose. Other days, those things look totally fine to me (except my stomach, usually).

So today, I was just looking at my feet. I have times where I really don't like them. I feel like my big toenails are shaped funny (they also don't look the same), and my big toes have a gap between them and the rest when I stand, which I always thought was weird. I notice that my big toes curve up so the nails point up to the sky, whereas the rest of my toes curve towards the ground. And my second toe is shorter than my big toe, which I've actually never really minded because - no offense people with longer second toes - I always thought it was kind of strange to have a longer second toe. (My dad told me they're actually both Native American traits, that the big toe separating from the rest makes it easier to walk in sand...Who knew? My dad, being a doctor, finds this kind of thing fascinating.)

In any case, I was looking at my feet and realized they're not actually all that bad. Feet take a beating throughout our lifetimes. We walk on them, we stomp on them, we do things like squeeze them into high heels, which are narrow and unnaturally raise our heels; many of us when we were kids stood on them in ballet class while cursing ourselves for wanting to torture ourselves in that way (or cursing our parents for making us), and while I know that most people in North American culture don't move enough, we still have probably walked the equivalent of many, many miles in our lifetimes. At the very least, I should appreciate them for carrying me this long, even if I can't appreciate the way they look. If I didn't have feet, well, I'd probably be in a wheelchair, and I am very grateful that I am not. But, I can still strive to accept their shape, their texture, their colour, their uniqueness.

To sum this up...If we can't accept our bodies fully, if we can't love every inch of our bodies, maybe, just maybe, we can work on accepting them the way they are, and hating them just a little less.



4 comments:

  • Sundancer | 31 May, 2012 16:43

    Those look like pretty awesome healthy feet. And trust me, I see plenty of feet, and in all sorts of conditions. You got good feet :-P

    I've found a good exercise for building a better relationship with your body is to just start listening to it more. We get trained to fight off the signals of "im hungry" or "im tired" or "i hurt", or "I need to peeeeee right NOW!". The more we can tune into that, the more we are acknowledging our body rather than fighting it, and that starts to translate beyond that level of simply listening, and into an attitude of gratitude and love. As you say, work on accepting our bodies the way they are, and hating them a little less :)

  • Small Girl Big World | 01 June, 2012 12:04

    What do you do that causes you to see a lot of feet? =D

    I agree with what you've said, I am learning to listen to my physical cues a lot more. Yesterday my brain really wanted me to go for a job, but my body was tired. I went anyway, and it didn't actually wake me up, and my ankles were really sore. Maybe I should have just not gone. Then again, if you get in that pattern, it becomes harder to start up again. So it's confusing, too!

  • LuxAeterna | 05 June, 2012 12:35

    You have beautiful feet.

    My second toes are longer than my big toes, but they are bent at the last joint and curve outwards towards my little toes. My third toes also, but not as much. I have beautiful feet.

    I'd thought for a while that maybe I'd worn shoes that were too small for me as a child and they had bent, but my son (who is about 18 months now) has the same toes, and his feet are beautiful too. So that must be genetic. I wonder if your dad knows which walking medium we were put on this Earth for?

    I used to hide my feet much more. My feet were generally white (at least I assume they were) all year round because they so rarely saw the sun. Now the sun is out and I'm wearing sandals nearly everyday.

    Where am I going with this? I don't think I had a point; it was more a brain commentary.

  • Small Girl Big World | 05 June, 2012 12:40

    I like brain commentary! =D I don't know about the second toe being longer. My dad is just kind of a dork when it comes to things like that. And I'm not even sure what he's talking about, because I still feel like it's hard to walk through sand. =P

    I like to wear sandals during the summer, despite my...not dislike, but discomfort?...about my feet. :)

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