Don’t Hate Your Broken Body – Try to Love It
It’s easy to hate your body when you feel trapped by disabilities, chronic illness, or physical impairment. Learn how to love it instead.
Hi, my name is Cherish, and I hate my body,
In Primary, we are taught that we are children of God. In Young Women’s, we are taught that we are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
Because of this, I have always thought I knew in part, who I was because I knew I am a child of God. You would think that knowing this very important piece of knowledge would make life easy in knowing just how precious and important I am.
However, sadly, I admit I rarely feel precious or important.
Do you feel that you are divinely unique and a gift from God?
Again, for me, the answer most days is a very solid NO.
Read the post Does God Love Me?
Despite my own negativity towards myself or my body, I follow God to the very best of my abilities. I attend church. I minister to the sisters in my ward. And I magnify my calling. I read my scriptures. And I commune with my Savior often.
I love and trust my God and my Lord. And I strive daily to draw closer to Him as I continually put in effort to better myself.
I have recently been pondering on the fact that our soul (now and in its resurrected state) is a combination of our body and our spirit. This shows me how supremely important our bodies are that they will be a part of our eternal selves.
Our bodies are so important that we chose to come to earth and receive our bodies. Followers of Satan are so jealous of our bodies that they try and possess ours, and when Jesus had cast spirits out of a possessed individual, the evil spirits begged to be put into the body of pigs.
Our bodies are important to a degree I don’t think I fully understand. Yet, despite knowing all of this, I hate my body.
I hate my body
Why do I hate my body?
Probably for the same reasons others do: I am fat, I’m short, I have PCOS, I’m broken and handicapped from a car accident and it is impossible for me most day to see my body as anything but a limitation.
Even though the Church has taught me that I am a child of God, the world has taught me that I am meant to be sexualized, manipulated and weak.
I’m not tall enough, thin enough, smart enough, attractive enough. Quite simply: I am not enough.
No wonder I don’t feel precious and important!
The reality of this logic hit me this week as I asked myself this: How can I be a true follower of Christ while at the same time listening to and believing the world?
This realization was such a gut punch – I needed to do the seemingly impossible task of loving myself and my body.
Read the post Love Yourself Like You Love Your Neighbor
So how do I not hate my body?
How can I love a body that is 60lbs heavier than I want?
A body that’s so broken, I cant even exercise to change. A body so broken I can’t eat meat, dairy and eggs.
My body so crippled that some days I literally cannot even get out of bed.
How do I love a body that is marred with scars, stretchmarks, moles and other imperfections? How do I love a body that by societies standards, is disgusting, ugly and fat? And how do we overcome this?
My sister gave me some great advice I would like to share, and which gave me some hope.
Your body may not be perfect (because we are on earth and nothing is perfect) but it allows you to be here.
Bodies allow us to love, hug and feel the tender kiss of a child. Your body allows you to wrap your arms around others and allows you to feel such comforting embraces. You can taste all the things that bring you joy.
With your body, you get to be a presence in your family, physically being there to experience, learn and grow with those you love most. You get to feel the rain fall on your face, the smell of a candle and the taste of a sweet treat.
You get the opportunity to survive and overcome the world.
Read the post about The Stages of Grief With a Chronic Illness
Your body is like a car
Yes, it might hold you back at times, and it is hard; but this is a part of you, and you are meant to overcome and perfect.
Work with your body, care for it, nurture it and slowly in doing so you can come to love it.
You do not have to love the imperfections. Instead, love the vehicle for what it is.
Read the post Life is a Marathon – Stop Sprinting
So instead of calling my body the fat, handicapped, sassy short woman that the world has had me see; I should now call it my vehicle towards perfections, even with all its imperfections.
Continuing with the car analogy, some people have fancy cars, others have ones that run well.
I have a beater that is mostly being held together with duct tape. The windows are gone and it has a rusty, peeling paint job, and the tires are flat.
But they are moving towards the one thing that will fix it: me and my broken body are still moving towards Christ.
I know I am a child of God and will strive to love my body for where it is at today. And I thank it for the distance it has traveled since yesterday.
I will care for it so that we can reach our destination, but not obsess over where I should be or where the world thinks I am supposed to be.
So while I do not love my body yet, I love that it allowed me to write this.
Note from Tiffany: if you are still struggling with your body, read this post about how to conquer body image issues and this post with 15 ways to practice self-love right now.