Have you looked in the mirror lately?
I mean, really looked in the mirror. What did you see? Were you surprised by the image being reflected back to you? Did it look like you? Did it meet the image you hold of yourself in your mind?
If it didn’t match, what were the differences? What was the image telling you?
What do you think the image is that you are projecting out to the world? Does it match your inner view? How has it changes from a year ago? 5 years? 10 years?
Think about the image you have of yourself. Has it evolved over the years as you have? Do you still see yourself in your 20’s even though you are in your 50’s?
So often, we lock an image in our mind of who we are, never upgrading it or enhancing it as we change in the world. We upgrade our technology, cell phones, computers, etc, however we forget to upgrade our inner view of ourselves.
Think about how much you’ve changed and ask yourself if your image is really outdated? Is your inner image stuck in the 70’s and disco, while your outer self approaches the world in the latest fashions?
Internal imaging is not only about your body image, but it is about your entire being, mind, body and spirit. Body image is such a powerful subject in the media of late with actresses coming forward to speak about their struggles with food and image.
While the pressure they are under comes so much from their industry, it is also self imposed. Insecurity about their appearance existed deep within their being and rattled their inner foundation long before the external pressure began.
Think about your inner foundation. Is it stable or rickety and swayed by the latest fashion model to be on the cover of a major magazine? If you don’t feel stable and sure of yourself and the image you have of your self, what steps can you take?
First, identify that the image is just that- an image. The image is not a real thing, but just a picture or idea you took and filed away in your memory. That snapshot has been subjected to years of media influence, family and society influences.
The snapshot is no longer a clear picture, its been subjected to many layers of distortion and became an image that resembles a digitally enhanced, high-tech animation or caricature. It is no longer the truth.
After many years of distortion, it requires clarity. Sorting through the layers may take some time and concentrated effort. It takes patience and commitment, along with a good dose of compassion and self nurturing.
As you peel away the layers, each step of the way its important to clarify the truth. Ask yourself if the image you are seeing is the core truth for your being. Listen to your intuition. Feel the answer deep within your belly. Does the belief attached to that image ring true? Is it your belief or society’s? Is it your mother’s voice you hear, or maybe another’s?
Then ask what motivates that particular image. Is it motivated to please mother? Is it motivated to please father’s image of you? Could it be motivated by attracting attention, or by not wanting to attract attention? What is the deepest motivator? Could it be motivated by aloneness and the quest to never be alone? Could it be motivated by comparison and the need to meet some fictional inner standard?
Once you have identified your motivators, you can choose to address the core issues. You can face the emotion that is connected to the belief and release it, then replace the belief with a new truth.
You define your own truths. You create your own images. You define who you are and how you choose to present yourself to the world. It’s all up to you. You are the creator of your world. Regain your power from the fears you have held within you. Call on friends, family, or counseling for assistance in sorting the facts from the fiction.
You are the only one who knows the truth for you. Others can try to define it for you and tell you who they want you to be, or you can look to others who will help you ask questions and uncover your own truth.
Seek empowerment, not mass media and pre-determined molds to try to fit in to. Seek your inner path and find the light of your own truth, then radiate that light out for the world to see.
You are a unique being with your own inner beauty and shining light. If you recognize it, own it and value it, then so will others. Let that be the new image you show to the world.
© 2006 Jodie Foster
self improvement, Self Help, Personal Growth, body image