We're all aware on some level that we've learned to judge our bodies through osmosis of the culture we live. This has been the source of choices that result in impediments to a life of flourishing. How can we stand in the way of this onslaught and replace the damaging thoughts that shape our self assessments?
In previous blogs we’ve established that we are embodied human persons, that the body expresses the person, and that the body and the person can’t be separated. It’s now important to revisit the challenge of separating the value of the person from the appearance of the body. In what way is the value of my person related to the way I see my body?
Well, the perceived answer quickly becomes a personal one, so I’ll just speak from my own experience. I might be able to give a good Sunday school answer, “If I had a God-made price tag attached to my person it would read, ‘PRICELESS.’” Admittedly, it’s easier me to say this about others, but with an internal struggle, that would be invisible to you, I could admit that I am priceless because God sees us as priceless. But if I had to concede that this God-made price tag would necessarily be attached to my body that expresses my person, I would more likely cringe. I evaluate my body with a different kind of criteria and sometimes this means more to me than the value God claims that He has bestowed on me as a person. My husband and I have even occasionally started to exchange comments (when we are sure the kids aren’t around) about our aging bodies. Throw aging into the mix and the criteria with which I tend to evaluate my body’s appearance drastically reduces the number of days I can honestly assign positive value to my own body and therefore my embodied self.Read More