Body Image Issues: How The Truth Will Set You Free

 / 

, ,
Body Image Issues

I always encourage my clients to be truth-seekers, both because the truth will set us free, and because body image issues always point us toward a complex web of untruths.

Granted, we all lie to ourselves all the time in many areas of life. This is nothing new.

We come up with stories to explain things out of thin air, sometimes even spending years or decades believing the stories we make up. Some of those lies are simple, like when someone doesn’t text us back for a while, and we decide they must be mad at us.

Other lies are complicated and massively impactful, like the ones we tell ourselves about our worth, body, appearance, and weight.

Those lies tend to be deep, dark, sticky, and old, both because they begin at such a young age, and because the personal and painful nature of the human condition skews us all toward feeling alone, wrong, bad, and broken.

Those stories also tend to be held up by the deeply ingrained conditioning of sexism, super-distinct binary gender roles/expectations, ableism, racism, and fatphobia that gets reinforced everywhere we look.

Perhaps you recognize some of these stories?

  • A woman is only worthy of love and acceptance if she’s thin, toned, feminine, and conventionally beautiful.
  • We must control our appetites and our bodies or they’ll get completely out of control.
  • Losing weight is the key to happiness.
  • If I fix all my flaws and look “perfect” I can avoid vulnerability and stay safe.

Why you should seek truth?

Truth-seeking (or truth-hunting, as I sometimes call it) is the process of identifying the specific and unique lies embedded in your unconscious mind, and either clearing them out or simply refusing to live life in accordance with them anymore.

The first big lie I believed about my body started at seven years old, when a teenage boy convinced me to “play a game.” The lesson I learned that day (and many times after) was that something about me invited boys and men to want me, and them wanting me was more important that me not wanting them.

It took me twenty years to discover that this story was a lie. Twenty years to discover that my value isn’t linked to being wanted, and that I don’t owe anybody anything.

It took me twenty years to discover that my wanting (and not wanting) mattered more than anyone else’s.

We ignore truth for temporary happiness

But this is how it is, to be human. Our minds are wired to make up stories. My story made sense to me at the time, and it helped me make sense of the world as I experienced it. But when I started naming and questioning these unconscious stories on my healing journey, I was pretty shocked to discover that, among other lies, I believed:

  • I am responsible for everyone else’s behaviors.
  • Men can tell I’m the kind of person you violate.
  • If I look perfect, and give men exactly what they want, I will be safe.

Don’t get me wrong, my conscious mind rejected all of those stories immediately. I was a badass, outspoken feminist. Consciously, I knew this was all complete bullshit. But despite that, my unconscious mind treated those stories like gospel.

Related: 21 Things That Change When You Start Respecting Yourself

This is where the truth-hunting began. If looking perfect won’t keep me safe, what’s the Truth? The truth will set us free.

The truth is that being a human is inherently unsafe, that bad things happen, and that the world is scary and painful, sometimes. The truth is that my body can’t keep me safe no matter how I look, and other people’s actions are neither my fault nor my responsibility.

That Truth was heavy… but it had the power to set me free.

Because the other part of that Truth was realizing that I am also strong enough to handle living, and being fully present, in a world which is scary and painful sometimes. The truth is that I don’t need make-believe to shield me from that reality anymore.

We all have lies about our bodies and worth.

They are often very convincing lies, given our life experiences. They are sometimes beautiful lies, tempting lies, because if our bodies are the problem, then we stand a chance of fixing it.

These are lies that have often protected us from some terrifying and painful prospects. It’s much easier to believe it was our body’s fault than to believe someone we loved would hurt us, after all. It’s much easier to believe the only thing standing between us and the life we desire is thirty pounds or a facelift, than to face the reality that maybe that life just isn’t in the cards for us.

Related: 8 Ways To Cultivate Resilience In Yourself During Tough Times

I had a client recently realize she’d spent her entire adult life hating her body because she believed if only she could achieve a “perfect body,” then nobody would ever be able to hurt or leave her again.

It’s no wonder that, when we give our bodies a completely impossible job– like looking perfect enough to keep us safe, score us a life partner, or make us happy– we end up hating and resenting them for being what they are.

Sometimes it’s easier to blame your body for causing pain and rejection (or failing to earn you love or belonging) than to face what it would mean if, in fact, life is just painful, lonely, and scary sometimes.

Related: Top 11 Ways To Step Out of Your Comfort Zone And Get Unstuck

But the truth will set us free.

Because when you go digging through the lies in your own unconscious mind, you will undoubtedly come across some truth that terrifies you… until you learn the even-deeper truth that you are strong enough to face and handle all of it.

If you struggle with body image, I encourage you to become a truth seeker. It’s hard, scary work sometimes, but on the other side of truth seeking is freedom. And, as Glennon Doyle says,

“we can do hard things.”

Besides, it’s not like hating your body is such a walk in the park. In fact, it’s incredibly fucking painful and lonely and difficult, as you probably already know. So since you’re already doing hard and scary things, you may as well do them in service of Truth, right?

At least that’s how I see it. And that’s how I help my clients see it too, because we are all strong enough to handle it, and because we all deserve to be free.

What do you think?

Written by: Jessi Kneeland
Originally appeared on: Jessikneeland.com

Body Image Issues pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

30 Things To Do Alone — Learn To Have Fun By Yourself

Fun Things To Do Alone To Make You Happy

In a world that’s constantly buzzing, people fail to pay attention to the art of being alone. That’s why I’ve come up with fun things to do alone at home, on a Friday night, or the weekend.

Sometimes, you need to find things to do alone to make you happy because it is responsible for numerous self-discoveries and peace from within.

It’s not just about luxury but few minutes with yourself will help rejuvenate your soul. All those moments by yourself range from quite reflections to nerve-wracking escapades.

30 Fun Things To Do Alone To Make You Happy

Before you say, “I’m bored”, take pride in your own company and start off on a journey of <



Up Next

7 Sophisticated Phrases That Will Make You Sound More Worldly And Polished

Sophisticated Phrases That'll Make You Sound More Polished

Are you looking to add a little sophistication in your speech and zhuzh up your vocabulary? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we are going to talk about some of the most sophisticated phrases there is. These sophisticated phrases will not just add to your knowledge, but they’ll also make you sound more cultured and worldly.

From some beautiful French phrases to a few Latin ones, you’ll be spoilt for choice. So grab a snack, and let’s find out what these sophisticated phrases are and what they stand for.

Related: 27+ Cool Ne



Up Next

6 Simple Steps To ‘Bless And Release’ The Past

'Bless And Release' The Past With Easy Steps

Pain and loss are inevitable companions in one’s journey through life. The mantra “bless and release” yields six transformative steps to heal and free oneself from emotional baggage.

When a relationship ends, we lose someone dear to us or our careers stutter, these are situations that can make us feel downcast and stuck.

But such brooding over the past only retards our path to recovery. On the other hand, adopting the “blessing and releasing” motto helps in finding solace and accepting life as it is.

Bless and Release Meaning



Up Next

Datsuzoku: The Japanese Philosophy For Breaking Free From Routine And Rediscovering Creativity

Datsuzoku: The Power of The Japanese philosophy for creativity

Do you feel creatively dried up? Do you feel a complete lack of creativity in your professional and personal life? If so, the Japanese concept of Datsuzoku may be just what you need to unlock your creative powers.

When you become stuck in routine life, it is likely that you will feel a lack or loss of creativity in your life as creativity does not emerge from a monotonous lifestyle. This is why it is crucial to incorporate Datsuzoku in daily life.

But exactly what is Datsuzoku? And how to practice Datsuzoku? It is a philosophy that has long been revered in Japanese culture for a long time. And by understanding Datsuzoku significance you can build a more creative and Zen lifestyle for yourself.

What is Datsuzoku?



Up Next

4 Steps To Open And Hopefully Change Someone’s Mind

How To Change Someone's Mind: Useful Pointers To Remember

If you want to change someone’s mind, there are a few things you need to remember. This article is going to talk about some of the best ways to influence someone’s mind, but in the right way. So, are you ready to explore how to change someone’s mind? Let’s go then!

KEY POINTS

Starting conversations with respectful curiosity can open someone’s mind without evoking their resistance.

Our brains are very protective of how we think. Arguing with someone activates the fight-or-flight response.

Practice summarizing key ideas people share so they feel heard before you ask if you can share your ideas.



Up Next

Are You Struggling To Manage Your Emotional Reactions? 3 Important Steps To Take

Managing Emotional Reactions: Effective Steps To Take

If you are someone who struggles to control or manage your emotional reactions, then you have come to the right place. This article is going to talk about some of the best things you can do when it comes to controlling emotional reactions or emotional reactivity.

KEY POINTS

Emotional reactions are based on mental habits you can change if you want to, believe you can, and can commit to the steps.

Even when you know a new mental habit will relieve your stress, you must consistently override your protective brain while forming the new habit.

Start with small steps so you can see your progress and celebrate your successes.



Up Next

The Philosophy Of Forgiveness: What Is True Forgiveness And How To Forgive People

What Is True Forgiveness? Tips on How To Forgive People

Have you ever held onto anger and resentment because someone did you dirty? Most of us often become trapped by the weight of bitterness and make wrong decisions that affect us more than it affects others. This is where true forgiveness comes in. But exactly what is true forgiveness?

There is a transformative power hidden within the philosophy of forgiveness. True forgiveness has the potential to liberate us from the chains of bitterness, allowing us to heal, grow, and rediscover the joy of living. 

Let’s explore the depths of what is true forgiveness and learn how to forgive people so that we can be liberated from the pain and bitterness.

What is True Forgiveness?