Mindful Mondays: Don’t Let Your Mind Bully Your Body

“Don’t let your mind bully your body.” ~Astrid Alauda

Today on the blog I (Teryn) thought I’d take a moment to wrestle through a topic that is always a hard one to talk about, especially when it comes to women. I found this quote a few days ago, and it really stuck out to me and has made me think about a lot of things. So let’s talk about bullying…

The Bully Outside

A little girl is standing in the middle of a school, feeling a little forlorn and lonely. A bully comes up to her.

“Gosh, you’re so ugly,” the bully snorts, looking the girl up and down.  “You need to lose weight! How could you ever think anyone would keep loving you with that body!”

The little girl starts crying.

The bully laughs. “Why would you need to cry? Just toughen up!” the bully says scornfully. “Just stop eating so much crap all the time. Why can’t you control yourself? You sicken me!”

The girl tries to run, but the bully follows her relentlessly.

“How disgusting,” the bully cries. “Get a REAL a workout in! You know you need it. You’re so weak, and you have absolutely no muscle! How can you look at yourself?”

The little girl crumples hopelessly up onto the ground, exhausted and overwhelmed.

The Bully Inside

Maybe some of you have experienced bullies, and you know how horrible it is to be subjected to the kind of insults and treatment that happens under a bully’s unloving attitude. If you saw a bully saying such things to a girl or boy, you would probably feel appalled and put a stop to it, right? No person deserves to be yelled at or made fun of about his or her appearance.

And yet, how often do most people mentally and emotionally bully their own bodies on a regular basis? How often do people say horrible things about themselves—both verbally and inside their minds?

It’s a sobering way to think about it, but in many ways, the way we talk to ourselves in our minds tells us about how we truly view ourselves. And oftentimes, the way we talk to ourselves is like a bully talking to a vulnerable girl.

The mind can truly be a horrible bully to the body. And what’s so sad about this is that because the mind and body and are intricately connected, that can actually make everything worse both physically and emotionally for us.

Just as the girl in the story fell apart under the barrage of the bully, so, too, our bodies will react very negatively the more we berate them internally. There can actually be health consequences the more we sabotage ourselves internally.

So don’t be a bully towards yourself. Don’t be the critic that only sees the negative, the one who doesn’t have any kind of grace or compassion for a small, vulnerable person.

Because at the end of the day, we’re all still little girls or boys at heart. And we must treat ourselves with love just as we’d treat a small child with love. We must treat ourselves with respect and love no matter what kind of flaws or setbacks we think we have.

 Photography by Sarah Kathleen

Photography by Sarah Kathleen

Mindful Moment:

Ask yourself, “Am I being a bully to my body?”

When you work out or think about your body, what are the words you use about yourself? Take note of those things that most readily come to your mind. Are they positive or negative? Do you tend to beat yourself up internally, or do you try to speak lovingly and positively? How might you begin to speak more kindly to your body today? 

 

Abby Mortenson