"Is Your Mouth Not Powerful?"
The above is a question Iyanla Vanzant asked out loud in a lecture I heard a few years back. It reminded me of how powerful my "word" is. How I talk about myself is so important to my well-being. Yet I recall saying things out loud like, "I want to fall madly in love." You know what that's exactly what happened. I was crazy in love with someone who didn't feel the same. I was "mad" and then I was "mad" in the anger sense. I've also said things like, "Oh he's devastatingly handsome" and he certainly devastated me.
Iyanla has said when you declare yourself a "thing" then the exact opposite shows up. When you declare yourself peaceful then everything un-peaceful shows up. When I declared myself a body image warrior I found myself attracted to men who did not appreciate my body or how I looked. Somehow I ended up being attracted to men that wanted a J-Lo butt and stick straight hair. I could . . . straighten my hair and get painful butt implants, fix my nose, get botox to look younger, etc. Or . . . I could accept myself as I am and align myself with a man who likes curly hair and my body as it is right now. This "alignment" may not happen overnight but in the space of the desire and the manifestation I need to make life fun and love myself. If "Love is a Battlefield" then LOVING YOURSELF IS EVEN MORE OF A BATTLEFIELD.
So how does one actually go on with the business of loving one's body? I believe it takes a steady "diet" of the following:
- Avoid media that criticizes women's bodies. Now I'm not above the occasional article from Shape on how to do the perfect squat for a great butt . . . but I do not read media that makes fun of celebrities, for example, who might have slightly dimpled thighs. Therefore, I follow every positive body image blog I know exists. A few favorites of mine include Eat the Damn Cake and Rosie Molinary's blog. I get in the good words about body image from inspiring writers that make me see my body in a different way
- Focus on your strengths so that you crowd out those negative thoughts
- Say daily affirmations, especially the ones you write about YOU. I say get conceited and love yourself up. Love everything from the freckle on your nose to the curve of your calves
- Journal this question: What is right with me? There is plenty! Make a list and keep it handy for those weaker moments
- Know that no human no matter how awesome is universally loved even Jesus and Mother Theresa had their detractors
- Have gratitude for what is working and what is awesome
- Last of all, know that those who leave us, don't like us, don't think we are cute may be doing us a favor as they open the door to something or someone better
P.S. Readers: Two seconds after I typed LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD. Pandora Radio played Pat Benetar's LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD. Since starting this article I have heard this song at least five times. Yes, my word is powerful.