How you see yourself—is how the world sees you!
20 Jan 2020 | admin
Today, let’s dive deeper into what it means to be a human being and having a body to boast about. This segment is a part of the speech series that I deliver at schools for my young audience who face innumerable problems with their negative perception of their bodies, also called “Body image issues”. Unfortunately, this topic is very relevant to both children and adults alike.
Once…a parrot, a snail and a man decide to meet in a bar. Unfortunately, only the man made it. The Parrot could not open the door and the Snail was still on its way long after the bar closed. End of story.
This joke illustrates, what truly distinguishes these three creatures from each other. It’s not just the brain power alone but the very receptacle under which it is concealed…the physical structure!
The human body is an amazing piece of design that itself is capable of designing some of the most complex machines ever known, build structures thousand times bigger than itself, explore the depths of the oceans, send probes across the universe, allow us to sit in a room and watch the distant star systems and galaxies. It allows us to do things beyond the capability of any other creature on this planet. Can a snail or an earthworm do that?
In spite of the amazing things our bodies can do and have been doing for several centuries, in the 21st century, it has become a weapon to bring ourselves down. It has become a tool of choice employed on social media to humiliate, destroy each another, causing growing number of suicides in our children, depression in adults, body image problems, eating disorders and concoct endless ways to inflict pain on ourselves. We see this being played out every single day, across all walks of life.
Truly, the body is designed only to perform these duties:
1) CONTAIN: Can you travel without packing your suitcase? Imagine someone accidentally brushing against your suitcase, spilling all its contents on the floor. The main purpose of the human body is to act as a container to encapsulate internal organs, bodily fluids, providing protection and allowing for life to function.
2) MOBILITY: Do you know why the Snail could not make it to the bar on time? Physical limitations! The secondary purpose of a body is to take you from point A to Point B and perform actions (In fact, the only reason I am able to type this blog and you being able to read it, is our physical construct that allows extraordinary movement.)
But how do we treat our bodies? Terribly! We are constantly comparing ourselves with other “suitcases”, demeaning ourselves, subjecting it to unnatural physical changes, causing immense stress and strain.
There is also no reason why a gray hair or a wrinkle should make one feel “old” or less than complete. The body is meant to age and reach its logical conclusion. It is the law of the universe that billions before us have experienced and so will billions after us.
All that matters is how we treat this gift of having a body and cherish it for this lifetime. We don’t realize the importance of having a body until the day it’s truly gone. It may be the only thing on this planet that we truly own. Shouldn’t we treat it with all the respect and love it deserves? Shouldn’t we be proud of what we have without putting any more expectations?
Time for immediate action: The Gratitude Exercise.
Try this two minute exercise every night, before you go to bed. It will fundamentally alter the way you view yourself and help you make peace with the aging process.
Tonight, when you stand in front of the mirror, perhaps to brush your teeth or practise your speech. Address your body, without any sense of awkwardness, shame or guilt and tell yourself with a kind smile:
“I feel immensely blessed and lucky to be born with a human body”
“Thank you for allowing me to do all the things I did today”
“I feel grateful to you and will always treat you with respect and kindness”.
Do this for just one week and see how much joyful and contended your life will be.
Always, remember: How you see yourself—is how the world sees you!