Loving ourselves just the way we are

How many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and have not recognized the person you see? This becomes very common when we disconnect from our bodies, mainly because we do not like what the mirror presents.

Looking-in-the-mirror

Looking good is an obsession of our times. We are constantly bombarded with images of impossible bodies, many of which have become so thin by extracting ribs and other risky medical procedures. I do understand some procedures are necessary, when a person’s health is at imminent risk due to their excess weight. Those are not the cases I am referring to.  But I am sure you all know someone who is constantly complaining about the way they look, and you just cannot understand why, for they look just fine to you.

We have unreal expectations, wanting to look in real life like a model who has been airbrushed in the magazine’s pictures. Worse than that? We have a very perverted idea of what beauty is in the first place. External beauty is like fashion: the concepts come and go with time, just like bell-bottoms. Don’t believe me? Just check out the art of the Renaissance, where women were depicted as is, including love handles and cellulite.  That was in and sexy, considered a sign of health and fertility. Therefore, if parameters for external beauty are as changing as the weather, how are we supposed to keep up with the standards? Actually, we are not! The moment we understand that concept, we liberate ourselves from a heavy burden.

840px-The_Three_Graces,_by_Peter_Paul_Rubens,_from_Prado_in_Google_Earth
The Three Graces – Peter Paul Rubens (1639)

Consider this: how would the state of the human consciousness change if people invested just one fourth of the time they spend worrying about their external looks, actually taking care of their internal self? See, the thing is, the more you cultivate your internal beauty, the better you look on the outside! When you feel good about yourself, you emanate a beautiful energy that is perceived by others. That, in turn, makes you a beautiful person, appreciated by others for WHO you are, not for your measurements, height, and weight combination.

Accepting our bodies as they are, is the first step to actually attaining the changes you want. It’s the law of attraction, for it permeates and applies to everything in our lives. See, it’s OK to want to lose weight, but we have to start by being grateful for what we have TODAY. This body that you despise so much, is the one that has blessed you with all the emotions (positive and negative) that you have felt so far. Even if it looked different at some other point, it is still the same body; you didn’t move into a new host. How could we not be thankful for this marvelous perfect machine that allows us a 3D/4D experience to help us grow?

Once we are grateful for what we have, we can picture our bodies as we want them to look (visualization). One piece of advice though: go about this with the right intentions. Change your eating habits, not because you want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days and make your ex repent from leaving you. Change your eating habits because you understand it will help you be healthier, have more energy, and feel happier. Don’t begin an exercise program because your co-worker gets more attention from the boss due to her awesome figure. Begin an exercise program for its physical and mental benefits. See, the mindset is a very powerful tool. And everything in life is about intention. The purpose behind your actions DO matter greatly.

One thing is for sure, once you begin showing your body you love it as it is right now, you open the door for wonderful transformations. Go ahead, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you look! Concentrate on those features of your body you actually like the most, and enjoy looking at them and celebrating them. I assure you this exercise will boost your self-esteem and help you overcome your complexes.

Remember, external beauty as sold by Hollywood is just a standardized measurement, like the SAT’s. And there is nothing standard about human beings. We are unique expressions of God’s love, and we are to appreciate our differences and particularities, for they make us WHO WE ARE.

Living in Faith

20150524_200928_LLSIndependently of our beliefs, all major religions emphasize the importance of having faith. A lot has been said about faith: it moves mountains, it’s about believing without seeing, he who possesses it is never alone. However, many of these phrases become in many people’s lives, a simple cliche we repeat when we do not know what to say. Because one thing is speaking about faith, and a very different one living in faith.

In countless occasions, I have questioned myself as to why do we live in such a constant dissonance with this concept. For example, it is very common to hear people who claim they believe in eternal life, confess their fear of death. It is very hard for me to negotiate this paradox, since if you loyally believe there is eternal life on the other side of the bridge, why then be afraid to cross it? Just like this one, we see many other examples in our day to day lives. It has always troubled me how those who portray themselves as the most devoted to their faith, are usually the first to totally lose their cool in a moment of crisis. Well, faith is not only about putting your situations in the hands of that superior being, it’s also about taking it as a matter of fact that the situation is already resolved in the best way for all involved, in harmony with divine order, and above all TO GIVE THANKS as if it already happened. That is how you demonstrate your faith. Because if you ask fearing you won’t be listened to, if you ask with shame, thinking you do not deserve the help you request, or if you feel your situations are a punishment, then do not expect a miracle.

Faith is not only to be verbalized, faith is to be demonstrated with your acts. With acts as “absurd” as the apostles following Jesus, who abandoned everything: their instruments to earn a living (meaning their fishing boats), their families, their homes, and they went following a man who sold them an ideal. I use this Christian faith example for it is the group I know the best. Imagine, my Christian friend, Jesus appears to you today and tells you: “I will teach you all the secrets of salvation and eternal life, but I need you to trust me, believe you will lack nothing, and to abandon your apartment with a beach view, your job at that private company that offers you health care benefits, a retirement plan, and a Christmas Bonus, and to stay away from your parents’ house, because I need you to spread my word to the ends of the planet”. Would you be willing to leave everything without hesitating and follow him? Or such sacrifices were only expected from people at the beginning of the Christian era? Fortunately, such big sacrifices are not always required from us, but I guarantee it is expected of us a faith that is demonstrated, not verbalized only to die drowned in doubts and complacency.

Once clear in our faith, we must take action towards that we wish, taking for truth it has already been granted to us. Behaving as if we already have that which we have requested, in harmony with the divine plan and for the good of all. Take those little steps that take us closer to our goal. It’s the old adage “Help yourself and Heaven will help you”. With this attitude, we demonstrate our faith. Just like the woman who touched Jesus’ robe among the multitude and she was cured of her ailment. She told herself: “If I only touch his robe, I’ll be healed”. Indeed, the woman was healed immediately, and Jesus told her: “Be encouraged, daughter. Your faith has healed you.”

20150524_200814Another profoundly important element in the process of demonstrating our faith, is to always maintain our head high, a happy mood, a serene spirit, and an eternal gratitude in our heart. The situations, as negative or insufferable as they may seem, always have a reason in the divine plan for our spiritual growth. As such, although we might not understand the reasons behind our sorrows just yet, we must feel grateful for the opportunity to face those challenges which later on, will bring us closer to the perfection of our being. We must see the blessings inherent in all processes of our lives.

Buddhists affirm faith functions as the inspiring energy that opens people up to trusting Buddha’s teachings. For them, faith is a process of confirming the teachings by oneself, through experimentation. It is a spiritual trip where we find PEACE and LIBERATION.

I invite you to commit to yourself, to begin that spiritual trip, where the goal is not other than the realization of your maximum expression as a human being. Because, as that beautiful healing song entitled “Ábrete Corazon” (Open Up Heart) says: “…to reach God, we must learn to be human”. (You can hear the song and read the lyrics here https://dotsub.com/view/b3b90dda-b999-4584-b617-3c4d5ab65d8f  ).