The secret to a positive body image and an increased level of self-esteem begins with you. First, avoid looking in the mirror. You are your own worst critic, so if you remove your voice from the conversation really good things start to happen. Second, take the pictures, don’t be in them. Pictures have an enduring quality. They provide physical proof of the aging process and weight gain. They become recorded history. At least with a mirror you can walk away.
When I don’t look in the mirror or at pictures of myself, I am an incredibly handsome man. My hair is still a rich color of brown. I have, what I would describe as, a Brad Pitt in the “Legends of the Fall” kind of look. And, my body is in amazing shape. This expression self-perception came crashing down in the bathroom of a hotel in Minneapolis.
Peggy and I were staying in a room with a huge mirror opposite the shower. Every time I got out of the shower, I had to look at my naked self. It wasn’t pretty. My hair was grey and thinning. My trimmed body looked like it was prepping for hibernation. What happened to Brad Pitt?
There’s one problem about not looking at myself. I miss out on the rarest gift in the universe, the human body. Scientists have discovered your body was a billion years in the making. It took elements from all over the universe to call you out into life. Your body is the result of thousands of generations of people walking on the earth. It will also be part of a thousand future generations. These three things give depth to what it means to be created in the image of God. You get to see it every time you look in a mirror.
The human body is very much like the human community. A point Paul makes in 1st Corinthians. We can pretend to not look at our ugly parts, as though they don’t exist. However, in not seeing these parts, we’re not seeing the full miracle of life. Life is more than breathing. It’s engaging into the lives of others, especially those who are different from ourselves.
Listen to Paul and strive for the greater gifts. Search for a profound sense of community in Christ. It is the path to discover a more excellent way to live. (1 Cor. 12: 12-14; 27-31)