Embracing Your Body!
By Lisa Broere
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
Is this verse a daily reality in your belief system? Or do your thoughts about your body sound more like: “I hate my body. I’m not good enough. I’m fat. I need to change. If only I was skinnier I would….” Are there any things you’re not doing because of your beliefs about your body? It can be a daily struggle: Am I going to believe what the world says about my body (never good enough), or am I going to believe what the Lords says about it (fearfully and wonderfully made)?
I used to hate my body. I spent my teenage years in a ballet program at a Conservatory in the Netherlands. Thoughts about my body occupied my brain, my dance classes and my dreams. The mirror was my enemy because all day I would be in a leotard in front of the mirror picking my body apart. How my dance class went was depending on how I felt in my leotard, and when I was told I had to lose weight, dancing became less about pursuing my dreams and more about having to change my body. I started believing that if my body wouldn’t change, I would never be able to run after my dreams. I had a daily battle with this verse [Psalm 139:13-14]. The Lord said one thing about my body and I wanted to run to him with thankfulness about how He created me, but the world told me my body wasn’t good enough to be able to do the thing that I was most passionate about. Which voice was I going to believe? I can tell you one thing, self-hatred is not going to make your life any happier. The continual negative talk is not going to help you step into your dancing or acting class confidently and or be able to grow your creativity. In fact, it does the opposite. The picking apart of your body actually takes your mind off the beauty of growing yourself, your technique, your creativity, your spontaneity. Instead you’ll be occupied with what your body looks or doesn’t look like.
We think that if we change our body, we’ll start loving it more, but that’s not how it works. If we keep telling our bodies every day that they’re not good enough then that creates a lens through which we look at ourselves. No matter how much our bodies change, the lens will still be ‘not good enough’. It puts us in a cycle that we can only get out of if we change our lens! God says you’re worthy of love, have you accepted that?
How does loving ourselves change us?
It creates space in your head and your heart to run after the things that you love. Loving yourself well brings real joy, the ability to focus on your creativity, and it’s honoring the Lord for how he created you.
Practical steps to honor and love how you’ve been created:
Start thanking God for how He has created you! He doesn’t make mistakes. The parts of your body that you have the hardest time with, turn it around! (For example: I don’t have typical ballet feet, but I have such strong ankles that I’ve not had injuries.)
So take an honest look at yourself for a moment and assess how well you’re putting Psalm 139 into practice in your life. Start declaring truth over yourself and highlighting the areas you love about yourself.