Monday, May 27, 2013

Shame 1-Appearance & Body Image

We begin a 12-part series on shame, based on Brene′ Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. Order Daring Greatly by clicking here.

Our publishing schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Let’s begin with these words from Brene′.

“People often want to believe that shame is reserved for people who have survived an unspeakable trauma, but this is not true.  Shame is something we all experience.  And while it feels as if shame hides in our darkest corners, it actually tends to lurk in all of the familiar places.  Twelve ‘shame categories’ have emerged from my research.”

Appearance and Body Image

This is a huge area for creating a lot of shame for men and women.  We never quite feel we measure up in the image department.  In a world where glamour and beautiful features are in high demand, we readily see how this can lead those less gifted to feel inadequate and shamed.

I have a memory of dating a lovely woman a few years ago.  One day she wanted to go swimming.  I suddenly panicked.  I’m a really nice guy, but have battled a weight problem most of my adult life.  I begged off from this swimming outing and even used the words “I am ashamed of my body image.” 

Not a proud moment, but a truthful one. 

Brene′ says “Shame is having someone say ‘when is your baby due’ and you’re not pregnant.”

Any redemption I might offer to this characteristic seems weak, but here is my attempt.

If you are one who suffers with shame over your appearance and body image there are some things one can do.  The obvious ones are healthy eating choices and exercise first.  Not only will this benefit overall health – the improved confidence one can gain from this is immense.  It’s an overwhelming feeling of “I’m taking charge.  I’m doing something pro-active.”

There is one more factor to consider.  If one judges you solely on appearance/body image, is this really a relationship you want to pursue? 

Is that job really the ideal one for you if a certain body image is the criteria that one must meet?

Seth Godin, in a daily blog, gave some advice that I find very freeing.  I am paraphrasing:

“You will not reach every person in the world.  Every person in your town will not buy you products.  Everyone will not watch your TV show nor buy your advertised products.  All one can do is reach those who like and embrace what you offer.” 

I am a blogger.  Not even every member of my large family reads my blogs.  

Bottom line – beneath your appearance and body image beats the heart of a person of great value.  Discover that genuine individual and embrace him/her.  Set her free and be at home in your own skin.  Be the best you this world has ever seen. 

P Michael Biggs
Offering Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

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