Embodiment. How does each of us inhabit, embody, our bodies? Do you know anyone who actually likes their body just the way it is? Every day and in every way, we are literally assaulted by unrealistic images of what the ideal male or female body should look like in advertising, media, and the entertainment industry. And for folks who are gender non-conforming or non-binary, where are they to find realistic and positive images of themselves? Not all bodies can be starved, supplemented, and sculpted to one “perfect” standard or norm.
Not all overweight or fat people are unhealthy or incapable of physical activity. Not all lean or “normal” weighted people are in shape or healthy. Either end of the spectrum walks around as disembodied: body, heart, mind, and spirit all separate from one another. Our poor beings are unintegrated.
So here’s the thing: as UU’s, we do not believe in “original sin.” We can borrow from the priest, Matthew Fox, who talks about all of us being born with “original blessing.” Can we extend that to our bodies as well? To see them as blessed and perfect just the way they are? Because if we do not accept them and stop beating ourselves up over them, we are harming ourselves. The diet industry is counting on the self-loathing of our embodiment.
Here is my challenge to all of us this month: start with blessing your body just as it is. Be in your body. Try on embodiment…
Peace, Shalom, Salaam,