Friday, March 18, 2011

Loving away self-hatred

We live in a society where it is rather in vogue to be dissatisfied with at least something when it comes to your own appearance. Younger and younger children are being fed lies about how they should look. There's such a huge focus on the outward appearance that it often leaves little time for development on the inside.

Right now at Voice in Recovery Kendra has started what she calls a "grass roots movement" to stop self-hatred. While this is not a new concept and certainly not the only movement of it's kind out there, I am excited by the idea that there are others out there who see the problem with self-hatred.

Here's my take on it. I lived years in a state of finding fault with my appearance. I was always slightly dissatisfied with that lifestyle, but it wasn't until I was around people who were happy with themselves just as they were that I began to realize just how much I wanted that in my own life. My change started because I observed others and felt like I wanted to live the way they did. No one told me to change. No one guilted, scared, or pushed me into it. I decided to end self-hatred because I liked what I saw when others were doing it. And as a mother I didn't ever want to pass self-hatred on to my children.

Large scale change starts with the individual. It will happen when individuals decide they are good enough and stop self-hate. As those around them see what they are doing they too will get the bug and they too will change. As mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, sisters, brothers, and friends embrace a life of acceptance our children will naturally develop a healthy relationship with their bodies. The market will change as well. If everyone is happy as they are the media will follow suit.

I believe that the way to make a difference and to change the world has nothing to do with ranting and raving against the system and everything to do with changing our own lives. Sometimes it will be met with hostility from people who don't understand and think we are "giving up." Sometimes it will be met with criticism. But when you have changed and find the peace and happiness that accompanies it others will see that it is worth it.

We can't change anyone until we have changed ourselves. Stopping self-hatred starts with you. Start small. Make the decision that you are done with it. Then stop fat talk. Next start questioning your inner voice that tells you you aren't good enough. It takes time. Be patient and forgiving of yourself when you aren't perfect. Over time you will see a happy and welcomed change.

Let's make a move to stop self-hatred. One by one we can make a difference.