We have all heard the saying ” body is your temple”, right?  But how many of us believe this, and treat our body as if it is a temple, as if it is our “home”?  Our place of safety and of love?

Truthfully, there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that, there is a growing trend for children to feel valued and loved according to the size and shape of their body rather than for their character or talents.

And as they grow older, confidence, self esteem, and other positive personality traits are intimately linked to their perception of their body size and shape. Sadly, the teen years merely exacerbate these body dysmorphic distortions.  But where does this all come from? How have society’s constructs influenced us to turn our bodies away from being our home to being a billboard, a structure that must conform to certain ideals and values.

Where love and acceptance are wrapped up into the laws of perfection: to ooze sex appeal but not be a “tart”, to be feminine yet be sporty and active, toned abs and thighs, and of course those perfect boobs.

Babies are born feeling at home and good enough in their bodies.  They smile even if their face is dirty or they are having a bad hair day.  No baby complains about their fat thighs… and neither do doting parents or grandparents.

So when and why does all of this change?

How do we become so disconnected from our body? So out of touch with those internal feelings and rhythms? That instinctual, biological awareness that regulates us and guides us.  Why is it that we feel the need to wear the mask of perfection, and do whatever it takes to uphold that mask and pity those that are damned with excess weight or other imperfections?

Why is it that we feel the need to only offer to the world that part of ourselves that we perceive the world judges as beautiful and good enough, and hide that part of ourselves that is flawed?

But I ask you, who gets to make this decision? Who gets to decide what is ok and what isn’t? What is fat and what is thin? What is perfect? What is the right body shape?  Who are those judges? Society? Men? Parents? The Media?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you are the beholder and no one else.

Can I be so bold as to answer that question? It’s you, You, YOU!  You are that judge, and only you.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you are the beholder and no one else.  No one else has the right to judge you.  Let go of stigma, of shame, of judgment, of criticism, of the need to conform.  Start by reclaiming your relationship with yourself and your body.  Value your body, you only get one, and it’s yours forever.  Take time to reconnect with your body and its innate wisdom, its cues, and needs. Do things for your body and live with your body. Come home to it.