One of my most painful personal experiences of being judgmental has been around bodies.
Those bodies, the ones that look like THAT (fill in your own image) are beautiful, perfect, exciting, interesting, or attractive.
These other bodies, the ones that look NOT so perfect (fill in your other images) are anywhere from slightly unappealing to repulsive.
Beautiful/Ugly, Attractive/Repulsive, Fat/Thin, Defective/Working, Young/Old.
This area of analysis, judgment, criticism, and studying imperfection often felt compulsive and out-of-control. Even when I was a teenager, I would have not only the thought that something was ugly on a body…but also that I was stupid to be thinking that it was ugly.
I should control my judgmental thoughts about those other peoples’ bodies! And while we’re at it, I should also love my own body! Major Dismal Failure at NOT judging.
So there I was seeing the world and it was jam-packed with images of other bodies. What was ugly was anything too fat or too thin, too round or too sharp or pointy, too bumpy, to heavy, too tall. It was so quick, I could easily tell you what was beautiful and ugly in one-half of a second.
I KNEW UGLY AND I KNEW ATTRACTIVE.
I was learning, or had learned, VERY quickly, very young. As soon as I could hear what adults were saying around me. As soon as I could see what people were drawn to, and how they behaved, and who they rejected or praised. It was in the movies and on TV.
I KNEW already at the age of 8 that when I sat on a table one day, and my thighs spread out in a squished way with my legs hanging over the edge of the desk. I was shocked. “I have fat thighs?! I did not realize this! Terrible! They are ugly!”
“100 percent of your misery is brought on by your dishonest, unconscious thinking. That’s what a lie feels like….if you think you’re too fat, it’s not about your body, it’s about your mind. It’s about imagination running wild…The mind doesn’t have the question IS IT TRUE? to stop it, so that it can reconsider, so that it can bring itself to sanity. Sanity is a word I equate with love, with intelligence and maturity. An immature mind, is a mind that hates itself.” ~Byron Katie
This past week I watched my mind as it looked at bodies. I watched my mind then criticize ME for having these mundane, stupid, shallow, ridiculous thoughts about bodies.
I confess, I had the thought that someone was too fat. That person should lose weight. They should exercise. Something is wrong with how they are taking in food.
And then, more judgments: another person I love I thought of as waaaaaaaay too focused on the body (and it wasn’t me). She should get off this whole get-the-body-perfect thing. What a waste of energy, time, resources, focus! Jeez!
Thank goodness for doing The Work and an absolutely wonderful facilitator walking me through it. Without the facilitator, I might NOT have even stayed with this ridiculous, mean, superficial judgment and brought it out into the open.
Can you call up an image of someone you know who is “fat” and who you think shouldn’t be?
Is it true that they would be better off thinner? Is it true they are actually FAT?
Is it true that they represent everything that fatness means? That they are undisciplined, lazy, that they eat when they are not hungry, that they are unhealthy, scared, angry, pudgy, needy, unhappy, self-centered, or don’t love themselves? Are they really unattractive? Do people reject them, are they lonely? Are they less than spiritual, or unconscious? Really?
Um. I have no idea. In fact, no. It’s actually not true. At all.
I recognize the power of the “ego” or the little me, the one who thinks it knows, the one who is trying so hard, so sure that it is RIGHT, so nervous about rejection or imperfection, so full of striving. This thinking part is so sure bodies matter.
What is really the problem with anyone in this world being fat?
I’ve noticed that the world, the universe, Reality actually contains bodies which are of all different qualities. The variety is enormous, in fact, and actually infinite. Incredible.
I notice that without the thought that anyone’s Body should be different than the way it actually appears to me in this moment, then the creativity and variety is incredible. I am not against anything. No resistance. No need to change anything.
All these bodies everywhere being themselves….
Could it be that any way a body appears here, now, is just right? See how amazing it feels to be with this thought.
Back once again to leaving everything alone.
What was too fat, was my thinking. When I think someone is too fat, or anything about me is too fat, my thoughts are slow, full, repetitive, thick, heavy, extra, big, dark, overflowing, wide, depressing.
Fortunately, my thinking is not ME. Just like my body isn’t ME.
“God, or your essential nature, is not Something. Not Content. Not Form. The best description with words is to say what it is NOT….It can be known in the silent space of stillness which is in everyone…”~ Eckhart Tolle
What if you walked around today, or sat around, or maybe the body you appear to have is lying around…what if you were here and entirely and completely without the thought that what your body looks like or represents IS you?
What if you are much more than that. Or not even that, at all.
P.S. At Breitenbush, the end of June, we will be looking at all aspects of what we consider to be flaws in the body, and Un-doing our beliefs about them. Stay tuned if you’d like to join me and Susan Grace Beekman from June 26-30, 2013. You can change your internal beliefs about what you think bodies should be like….and change your entire experience of being in yours.
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