2 min read
FOR PEOPLE WHO GET UPSET WHEN THEY SEE THEMSELVES IN A PHOTO OR IN THE MIRROR…

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When you look in the mirror, or see a photo of yourself, and feel terrible, you have a choice. 

You can stay immersed in the experience your mind is creating and follow each thought along the path it has taken you so many times before.  

You can swim in all the painful beliefs about there being a right way to look, and a wrong way, and how sad it is that you don’t measure up.

This creates, prolongs, and magnifies the experience of sadness, disappointment, anger, jealousy, blame, fear etc.  

It may give rise to self-pity and bitterness.

This way is the way of suffering.

But there’s another way.

You can also try something different.  Something like this…

You can pause and take a step back.  And get curious about where your experience is coming from.

What are the invisible judgements that you’ve taken on during the course of your life that have led you to feel despair about your appearance?

Take a deep breath.  Slow down.  

And ask a few questions without rushing to answer them too quickly because you think you already know.

If you hate your appearance, there is a lot you don’t know.  

You don’t know how to be happy in the body you have.  Would you like to know more about that?  (If not, that’s a great thing to get curious about!)

Try to be humble and open to something new.  Your existing perspective is making you miserable after all.

What would your experience be like if you saw yourself without any judgement? If your legs were just legs.  Your belly was just a belly.  And your skin was just skin.  

How would you feel if you dropped the idea that any body part needed to be a particular size, shape or colour?  

How would you feel if you didn’t consider wrinkles, dark circles under your eyes, spots, asymmetrical features or fat as wrong?

Don’t rush ahead to the next thought.  Hang out in not-knowing for as long as you can.  That’s the space where more helpful thoughts come from.  They don’t come from a hyperactive mind.

Get out of your head.  Become more aware of the sensations in your body.  Are you holding tension anywhere?

Notice your feelings.  Can you name them?

Witness your suffering.  Be present with what you’re going through.  

If tears come, let them flow.

You are suffering from the result of a lifetime of conditioned judgments that tell you to rate, reject, criticise and judge your body.

Can you feel some compassion for yourself?

Don’t try to force yourself to like what you see.

You don’t need to change the beliefs that are making you miserable.

They will change on their own once you realise that they are second-hand ideas that you don’t need to take so seriously.

And when the feelings of self-disgust and shame feel unbearable, remember that we human beings are capable of feeling everything.

All feelings are transient.  

And these kinds of intense emotional experiences are meant to wake us up to the fact that we’re in the grip of painful misunderstandings and illusions that we’d be better off letting go of.  

They’re powerful for a reason – to get our attention.  

They can help us if we heed their message.

And when you slow down enough, you’ll become aware of a deeper part of yourself beyond all your judgements.  That part is peaceful, loving and wise, and has everything you need to heal and live well.

As soon as you turn away from the toxic beliefs dominating your consciousness, you’ll start to access the love and wisdom within you.

And that’s what will cure your sight, and take the speck out of your eye, so you can see yourself clearly, without judgement.

This may not happen immediately.  It probably won’t.  But it will happen if you let it.  

Love has the power to heal you, but you must stop worshipping your mind’s judgements like false gods in order to access it.

So, why not try something new this time?  What do you have to lose?


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