“Accepting yourself as you is the most difficult thing in the world, because it goes against your training, education, your culture. From the very beginning you have been told how you should be; Nobody has every told you that are good as you are.” - Osho
Faith was, and is, a major part of recovery and something I never touch on
We can fall victim to comparison and self-criticism. We are surrounded by contradictory messages telling us what “beauty” is and where our self-worth and identity should come from
Now, there is nothing wrong taking care of your body!!
Your body is a temple [1 Corinthians 6v19]
I love the gym and enjoy getting my hair and nails done, I am all for eating well. But it isn’t designed to be the focus of obsession, the source of blame or neglect. God doesn’t want you to be constantly striving to change. Constantly comparing and trying to change our bodies reinforces the deep belief that we are not good enough as we are when God looks at us and says:
You are ALL GOOD there is NO FLAW in you [Song of Solomon, 4v7]
I have dodgy knees and find it hard to run, I have been very ill with eating disorder, self-harm, and it can be hard to hear this and think God had good intentions, hard to feel blessed in the body I have. I know others may be suffering from worse physical impairments and I want you to know that God did not ad does not want suffering from you.
“Every GOOD and PERFECT gift is from above” James 1v17
But we do live in a fallen world where we have free will, where bad things happen, illness, injury, mental health problems, heartbreak…. God offers an abundance of healing and wants us to place these burdens onto him instead of carrying around bitterness, anger, frustration or sadness.
Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
In my own recovery I found the more I turned to God with my issues and honesty the more things started opening up: people came into my life who offered unconditional support, circumstances started to change; jobs, relationships, I started looking upwards more than inwards.
Take is from someone who has done everything and anything to her hair, been underweight, overweight, obsessed with the gym, tried every diet under the sun… it all provides no long-term lasting confidence boost; no key to higher self-esteem and definitely shouldn’t be relied upon to dictate your worth.
My faith taught me that my body was made for me, for the glory of God.
To look beyond the image and see what talents and gifting I’d been given, and allow Him to turn my pain and suffering into an abundance of opportunities and growth.
When messages bombard me telling me I’ll b happier with shredded abs, a thigh gap and tanned skin, my God says, these things can be good but should'n’t be the focus of obsession, a worry to us daily or cause of distress.
Do Not Worry About Your Body, What You Wear or What You Eat [Mathew 6v24]
And that we shouldn’t respond in fear, but know that through Him we can cope and go on to achieve
God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control [2 Timothy, 1v6]
If you are struggling to feel accepted in your body, to love, cherish and own your worth I then I want to affirm to you that God is longing for you to bring that burden to Him for Him to carry, and that you are:
You are unconditionally and everlastingly loved [Jeremiah 31v3]
Made in His perfect image [Genesis 1v27]
That you are fearfully and wonderfully made [Pslam 139v13 ]
You are ALL BEAUTIFUL my child, there is NO FLAW in you [Song of Solomon 4v7]
Placed within the same body you so quickly neglect, doubt, blame,
Do you see your worth?
Do you recognise your potential?
Do you realise the hundreds of gifts; all unique, perfect and placed within you, for you?