Perspective is a powerful tool. Because “how things are” is incredibly relative, and how we think about them is key.

When it comes to our bodies, we are coached to consider their deficits. They aren’t thin enough, strong enough, sexy enough, young enough, smooth enough … and on and on. We focus on all of the things our bodies are not, and feel obliged to work toward correcting those “failings.” And, of course, your body is yours and you decide when and if it should be changed. But even if you’re in a place where you’d like to alter your body in some way, consider making this simple perspective shift:

Consider focusing on what your body is instead of what your body isn’t. Look at what it can do – right here, right now – instead of worrying about what it can’t do. Can your body dance? Do yoga? Balance a child while opening a car door? Can your body sing or draw or give amazing shoulder rubs? Can your body ride a bike? Have an orgasm? Hug? Laugh? Give birth to new life? Can your body operate a microscope or telescope or stethoscope? Can your body see or hear or speak or all of the above? Can your body knead bread? Walk in high heels? Drive a car? Eat and drink and enjoy flavors? Can your body demonstrate a roundhouse kick? Knit? Play the stand-up bass? Can your body till a flowerbed or ride a horse or run a marathon?

The list of things your body can do – and does – every single day is incomprehensibly long. And when you find your inner monologue whirring toward all of the things you wish your body was or could be, reel off a half dozen and see what happens. It might just remind you that bodies are miraculous, and yours is no exception.

If you’re hating yourself for what you aren’t, take a look at what you ARE. Because you’re bound to uncover uniqueness and wisdom and beauty and strength that was there all along, just waiting for your perspective to shift ever so slightly so they could come into view.

Image courtesy Matthew Fang

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