Self Criticism. Is It Simply A Bad Habit?
I awoke this morning feeling neutral. That’s normal. And good.
I swung my feet onto the floor. And stood up.
Oh. My. Word.
The neutrality quickly turned to anguished neutrality.
My feet groaned. My legs creaked. (I swear they did..!)
But I wasn’t alarmed. Not really.
You see, yesterday I climbed a mountain. A really big one. It was a four-hour round trip of straight up, across the top, and straight down.
It was AWESOME! And I was with AWESOME FMG’s (Fellow Mountain Goats).
Last night, as I languished lazily on my couch, feeling very righteous, my phoned binged.
My FMG’s had forwarded a selfie we’d taken from the top of the mountain, earlier that day. Cute.
I opened the text curiously. And immediately frowned.
It was a brilliant pic. But, cripes, I looked old.
Back to today.
After I’d made some tea, I hobbled back to bed. Being horizontal was hugely appealing whilst I sipped myself to full consciousness.
And I pondered (as I do).
Why don’t we like how we look in pics?
I don’t know ANYONE (within my pre-selfie generation) who does.
Whenever we see an image of ourselves reflected back, we cringe. We judge. We criticize.
Is it social conditioning? Or is it simply a bad habit?
A bit of both, I reckon.
And largely a result of how we see ourselves.
Yup, our PERSPECTIVE OF SELF.
Let me offer a comparison.
When I see any pics of my daughter, I always marvel at how lovely she is. Without fail. I think she’s one of the most photogenic people I know. And yes, I’m a bit biased.
She, on the other hand, disagrees. Vehemently.
The only difference, is our perspectives.
The pics we’re looking at are the same. Yet what we SEE, differs. Quite a bit, it would seem.
The solution? It’s quite simple, really.
If I can learn to love/appreciate/respect myself as much as I do my daughter, I’ll see myself from the same perspective. In theory.
And how do we start?
By appreciating the heck out of ourselves.
Not just for how we look, but for what our bodies can actually DO..!
Beginning with the little things. Like our gorgeous eyes, skin-tone, illustrious hair, manicured nails, strong legs. Or whatever you personally like about yourself.
Just find ONE thing. And love it.
And when that feels comfortable, find another. And another.
Make friends with the little bits. Our arms that hug. Our lips that smile.
And over time, we can learn to lump them together. And appreciate the whole.
Until we can bask in our reflection without reserve. Or dread.
We’ll simply bypass the ego-based view.
Instead, we’ll see life in motion.
A co-operative, beautifully functioning bunch of cells.
And we’ll feel appreciation.
And finally, LOVE.