It has taken me a long while to come to the realization that I love my body. That no matter the state of my mental or physical self, I will always strive to make it better.
I truly do believe that people are born with differing capacities for self-love, that their constitutions at birth are determined for them by a divine combination of environment and genetics. And while this matter is outside of our understanding at the time, we will always have the ability to take what we have and shape our constitution for betterment, even going as far as constructing a new archetype with an aptitude for unlimited love. Joyful-loving-kindness, our primordial and intended nature, transcends any and all boundaries currently established by beliefs held on neural or physiological plasticity.
There is a fine line between analytics and criticality; both are qualities that allow us to discern a situation and judge how to appropriately act or react. But this astute discrimination has now extended itself to a mentality that no longer provides for our favor in the realm of self-love. What I mean by this is that we have to be able to be critical. We have to be able to go about our day and read people’s body language, digest maybe what their wearing, how they hold themselves, or what they say and react appropriately. Perception is not only a quality important for our lives socially, for our communication skills, or for our advancement in the world of 10,000 things, but it is a skill fundamental and necessary in this regard. But instead of using this attribute for the sole purpose of betterment, we now critique other people nonsensically- maybe we think the shoes they are wearing are ugly, or they have a stupid looking face, or their haircut is unattractive. If you find yourself having any of these sorts of thoughts, most likely you are making the same sort of judgments to yourself. Maybe you find yourself looking in the mirror and feeling as if you’re fat, or you wish you had bigger biceps so you tell yourself that you’re going to go to the gym and cut out carbs, and eventually you get to the point where you create rules for yourself about what you can eat and how often you have to exercise. All of these restrictions only emphasize the cycle of self-loathing that begins with a simple glance in the mirror and a subsequent thought. But the point here is that until you decide for yourself that you love your body no matter how you came into this world, you will never have the awareness to recognize your constitution or tap into the potential for unlimited love available to us.
Having love for yourself is not an egotistical sort of love. It should not be confused with admiration. Love is a state of mind we reach when we discover the beauty of our bodies, marvel at the beauty of others, and lose the desire to have expectations for how we or anybody else should be. When we find love for ourselves we find harmony in this dance. We go about our day, we act without judgment, we take it all in.