Our culture is inundated with images of thinness, perfection, beauty, narcissism and unhealthy examples of what the standard of beauty and acceptance "should be". It is no surprise then, that so many young adults and adolescents especially, are dealing with self-image and body-image struggles. How often do you see or overhear people complain about themselves? The effects of these ideals can be devastating, leading to depression, anxiety, isolation, self-harm, eating disorders and more. Whether it is a physical deficit people perceive, or they feel like they are too much to handle and misunderstood. I feel the need to speak out against the dangerous messages, that are subliminally and overtly being introduced to us everywhere we look. We need to look within in order to protest the ideals that are being forced upon us.
It isn't a new revelation that the media and large corporations prey on the impressionable developmental phases of adolescents and young adults, to plant a seed of doubt and question their self-worth. It is much easier to sell a product, if you convince your audience that they are not perfect or whole unless they attain the claimed results. What if we started telling the truth? That you are valuable, you are whole, and you are already perfect just the way you are!
That is not to say that improvements can't be made, however, what if we started out already whole, and just tweaked things along the way. I believe in continual learning, improvement and transformation. I work with clients to uncover an authentic sense of self-love and self-acceptance, which I believe to be essential as groundwork. We have all been told that we are not good enough, tall enough, pretty enough, smart enough, ambitious enough, strong enough, etc. I believe that releasing those limiting stories and transforming them into encouragement can have profound effects on an individual. If we start to have compassion for ourselves, forgive ourselves for past mistakes, and lovingly encourage ourselves to continue on the transformative path, we are much more likely to accomplish change.
If not you, then who? Try being your own fan, cheerleader, support system, superhero and/or nurturer. Why not lift ourselves up? Speak with optimism and hope. Encourage yourself and others to continue along this challenging journey of life. Lend a hand to one another and don't degrade anyone do to a perceived difference. Let's get curious about each others circumstances and have compassion for the struggle that we all face, in one manner or another. Let's embrace difference, and celebrate it.